November 15, 2012
A few days ago, I mentioned my grandmother’s rolls, a treat she always made at Thanksgiving and Easter. I’m speaking of my maternal grandmother, Ruth (Anderson) Ledford. When I was young, my mother and grandmothers taught me to cook, and it turns out I had a knack for breads. I say “had” because I don’t have the time to keep my hand in, although I do enjoy it so, especially the finished product.
Thanksgiving meals in our family require these rolls. I’m pretty sure that everyone would forego the turkey before doing without the rolls. When my mother’s large, extended family gathers for the holiday, I am always asked to bring a batch or two. I sometimes think that’s as much from nostalgia as from the tastiness of the rolls.
This recipe is time-consuming, but otherwise easy. If you don’t have space in the refrigerator, a cold room will do, as long as the dough is loosely covered. A clean dish towel works well for that purpose. Be sure to make these in a bowl that’s big enough to handle the rising dough.
October 27, 2011
Gingerbread was one of my mother’s favorite holiday treats, although she seldom cooked it. I think it reminded her too much of her mother, whose recipe this was. I remember my grandmother cooking gingerbread during the winter, but for some reason, I always recall her serving it with a lemon sauce instead of whipped cream. That could be my own addition to the recipe.
from Ruth (Anderson) Ledford
2 1/2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar (white, granulated)
1 c. light molasses
3/4 c. hot water
Sweetened whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease well a 13 x 9 1/2 x 2″ pan. Sift flour with soda, salt, and spices; set aside. In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and eggs for five minutes with an electric mixer. At low speed, beat in the molasses and hot water. Add the flour mix, beating just until smooth. Turn batter into pan. Bake on the middle rack for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool partially before serving with whipped cream.
September 7, 2009
My father’s sister, Andrea, was known for her kind heart and effervescent love of life. Few knew of her wicked skills at the Canasta table, and even fewer were allowed the recipe for the wonderful fruit cobblers she baked. Cancer claimed Andy just a few short years ago, at much too young of an age, but each time I make this recipe, I remember her warm-hearted goodness.
Just as a warning: this is one of those pinch of this mountain recipes with largely inexact measurements and cooking times.
1 stick butter, slightly softened (one stick equals 1/2 cup)
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 to 3 cans of fruit in heavy syrup (berries or peaches are the best)
fresh whipped cream sweetened with a little sugar
Pour the fruit into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan (glass is best). In a bowl, mix the butter, flour and sugar together with a fork until all is incorporated; you should have very small clumps (smaller than peas), but the butter should not melt. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven until the center is no longer doughy, about half an hour to 45 minutes. If the top is browning too fast, either turn the oven down a bit or cover the pan loosely with tin foil (being sure the foil is not touching the cobbler).
Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Top with freshly whipped cream and enjoy.
Notes on the ingredients:
1. Butter is an absolute must; margarine or shortening must never be used.
2. Home canned fruit is best, if you don’t have fresh. Prepare fresh fruit by cooking it on the stove with a little water and sugar (to taste) before making the cobbler.
3. Do not ruin my Aunt Andy’s cobbler by topping it with store-bought substitutes, like Cool Whip or ReadyWhip. If you’re going to have a dessert this good, then suck it up and use real, heavy whipping cream that you’ve made yourself.
August 24, 2009
We’ve had a bumper crop of zucchini this year, so naturally we’ve been making lots and lots of zucchini bread. The recipe we use was handed down by my maternal grandmother, Ruth (Anderson) Ledford, who was a superb cook. (Ah, Sunday dinners!) This recipe can easily be divided in half for those who only want a little bread.
4 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
3 cups self-rising flour
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts (we like pecans)
Blend all ingredients together in a large bowl until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 50 minutes or until the loaves test done in the center.
Enjoy warm with butter or cream cheese, or wrap and store for a later treat.