Delicious disasters

By kateandcarla

November 26, 2010

Category: Uncategorized


Although I spend an inordinate amount of time searching for recipes, watching Food Network, and eating, I am not a very good cook. And despite my affinity for muffins and brownies and bread, I’m not much of a baker, either. But I’m committed to improving, because I belong to a family that esteems delicious traditions– and, more than anything, I want Lily to have wonderful kitchen memories.

With this in mind, we parked Lil near the fridge early yesterday afternoon (far way from the oven, any outlets, and Charlotte’s water bowl) and set out to make a meal special enough for this Thanksgiving– our first as a foursome. She watched us– contentedly, for the most part– chop and mash and reduce (mostly Dmitri) and scorch and spill and drop (mostly me). 

Our kitchen adventure? Mostly successful– if mostly means that everything my husband made was wonderful (and everything I made was mediocre at best). Here’s what we ate:

Dmitri’s grilled red snapper (because it was 80 degrees in Mississippi yesterday)–our new Thanksgiving tradition.

Dmitri’s balsamic roasted broccoli– absolutely wonderful.

My parmesan and garlic mashed potatoes–not so tasty.

White chocolate and Greek yogurt cake, inspired by this recipe: — an epic fail on my part, although the recipe– as written– sounds really wonderful. Perhaps I should feel less, um, inspired next time and just follow the instructions.

 In spite of my disappointment, here is the truth: to have people to cook with and to cook for– even when the food’s not perfect– is pretty amazing. And knowing that, despite any physical distance, the family food experts– with their wealth of knowledge and recipes and love– are always a phone call away, helps to make the bittwersweet task of moving on and establishing new family traditions seem more sweet than bitter or sad.

So. In honor of our phenomenal families (and their willingness to offer all sorts of support), here is the recipe for the cookies that I should have made yesterday because they are easy and beautiful and yummy– no additional  inspiration (read: inventive additions) required :).

Aunt Elma’s Gingerbread Cookies 

Cream together:
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup shortening (butter-flavor Crisco is best)
Blend in:
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup ultra-strong coffee (cold)
Add dry ingredients:
5-1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 teaspoon ginger
3 teaspoons cinnamon
Roll onto floured surface and cut
into shapes. (Option:  Make into walnut-size balls
and press lightly with glass bottom dipped in big-crystal
sugar.) Bake on parchment 9-10 minutes at 350 degrees.
– Kate

2 Responses to “Delicious disasters”

  1. Traditions…’re starting new ones; we are continuing old ones. All are good! Being without our “real” kids/granddaughter and sharing with our adopted friends and family is bitter sweet. Great food…all the Thanksgiving “have to’s” were there…..and were wonderful! Now…bring on Christmas and all of us together!

  2. So, I love Lily’s expression in this picture and the fact that she looks like she has her hands on her hips. That is sooo funny!

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