Monkey Faces and Indian Pudding
As I sit here trying to cool off at 3:00 AM – yes it’s winter and the inside temp. is 62, but I am hot, (you older ladies will understand), I was enjoying reading about the Indian Pudding again, and I was replying to comments on the re-blog post, from Laurie @ A Taste of Morning. That Indian Pudding recipe and photo got me thinking of my grandparents and all the baking and cooking they did.
My grandmother always had cookies on her little counter in the kitchen and sometimes they were store bought, but I remember her holiday cooking best. She made “monkey faces” which were cookies filled with mincemeat, but I didn’t like mincemeat so she would put jam in some too. She made her own jam and jelly also and had a little dirt cellar where she kept her jars of preserves on wooden shelves. The cookies – which were more like little pies because the dough was like thick pie dough- were made by plopping the mincemeat, or jam, onto a round piece of dough and then covering it with another round piece. The edges would be pressed down with a fork and then slits made in the top.
She also made the tallest apple pies ever. I used to call her apple pie “mountain pie” because that is what it looked like. My own homemade apple pies have never looked anything like hers. My father liked cheddar cheese with his apple pie.
She made Indian Pudding too. (You can find Laurie’s recipe in the previous post.) I don’t remember eating it but I remember asking what it was. I always asked and my Nanna would tell me the ingredients. If it sounded good (and it always did, except for that mincemeat) I would try some.
I also remember that my grandfather (who was a farmer and a mailman) always made the shortcake for the strawberries that he grew in his huge garden. Many things were homemade and homegrown and I grew up with fresh vegetables and berries growing in abundance in my own front yard. My parents never seemed to think it was a big deal and so I took all that for granted as a kid. I sure wish I had baked with my grandmother and learned preserving and canning and how to make a pie crust – I always have such trouble with that.
My grandparents lived off the land as much as they could, even in more modern times. But they had lots of land to do so. Their house was small, but they had a big barn and a huge garden. Their son, my father, built our home on a hill in back of my grandparent’s house. It was their land and they gave it to him to do so. Behind my house was lots of woods and eventually pasture land that belonged to someone else, but we always went back there as if it was ours and my grandparents used that land too to collect berries and apples needed for certain recipes.
Those were good days.