Dear Diary

As you know, we moved recently, and in moving, I found a great deal of “stuff” that I had forgotten about.  Like hows about a diary… which I made the mistake of reading?  Yeah, angsty youth isn’t all that attractive on me.  I will say, I am surprised about what I wrote, because 90% of it I don’t have any recollection of.  A friend of mine from when I was a kid, Catherine Daly, who is a book editor and a writer of young teen girls novels (check them out here) reminded me about a period when we were kids, and some of the things I said.  I remember the time she was talking about, but I have no recollection of what she told me I said, or the situation.  Isn’t that strange?  I usually pride myself on remembering things like that!

Another thing I found was my very first cookbook.  I still have it after ALL these years!  Below are a few photos of what a cook book looked like for kids, back in 1975, when I was all of 8!    There are some great recipes!  Like baked or deviled eggs.  I noticed that there are a few pages with bent corner, like Good Potatoes, which is comprised of baking potatoes, butter, sour cream, parsley or chives, a baking dish, fork and knife for cutting the potatoes.  They’re basically baked potatoes. Another one I have folded down is Pigs in Blankets, which is something I make with my nieces and nephews now!

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The kicker is the recipe I wrote myself on the last page which is titled “My Own Recipes” I put a recipe in for sponge cake:

Tablespoon of baking soda

2 cups of flour

1 cap full of vanilla

3 eggs

1 cup of water

Sift

I guess I didn’t get past that sifting stage! (PS – I’ll have to try this one and see what it’s like, I wonder where I got that from?)

This all put me in mind of what I do with my own nieces and nephews.  I asked the Hubby the other night, what am I going to write about for 30 days?  And he said, “Write about cooking with the kids, you have photos of that, right?”  And he is right.  It’s one of my favorite things to do, although, I rarely get to see all of them!  (My secret is that I am going home next weekend and will get to see at least a few of them!)

My niece Lily told her Mom that “I love when Aunt Elizabeth makes cookies, they’re special!”  Baked with more love!  So, here is something I use as a go to, that I cook with the kids in many styles, savory for Pigs in Blankets, sweet for sweet teeth! I have a variation of this with cherries on the site earlier this year, but seriously these were made to have sharp cheese in them.  Again, I borrow from Nigella Lawson, but have made my own tweaks.  These scones are more of a biscuit dough than a traditional heavy scone.

Cheese Scone Dough

2 cups plus self-rising flour
5 tablespoons of rye flour (just use self rising if you don’t have)
1 heaping teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard (omit if you’re making for young kiddies)
2 tablespoons grated sharp cheddar cheese (the sharper the better)
1 cup whole milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, flour/s, salt, dry mustard.  Mix them well, and make sure that the ingredients in the bottom of the bowl are all mixed well.  (Kids love to do this, especially with wooden spoons.  Make sure you have a few tablespoons of extra flour in that case.)  Once they’re well mixed, sprinkle the cheese over, and use a fork to toss it into the flour.  The idea is to cover the cheese in flour so that when the wet ingredients are added, the cheese stays separate and doesn’t lump up in one place.
In another smaller bowl, mix together the wet ingredients, making sure the egg yolk is well incorporated.  Add the wet to the dry and mix until it congeals, I suggest using a fork.  Place a few spoons full of flour on a countertop or cutting board, and dump the dough out on it.
You’ll have to knead a little, and as you do, it will firm up nicely.  Leave it to rest for 10 – 15 minutes under a tea towel, preparing for rolling out.
On a cleaned surface, scatter some flour ad roll the dough out, to about 1/2 inch or so into a rectangle.  Cut this into strips, about 1/2 inch wide, and wrap them around some hot dogs cut into quarters, or even eighths.  Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350° F, for about 15 – 20 min.  You’ll see the dough is all puffed and the hot dogs are sizzling.  You can make this with veggie hot dogs, it works really well!
Now my niece Elsa makes these with me, but we use chocolate chips, and they’re super duper!  Substitute salt for the sugar, and omit the cheese, to be replaced by about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.  Form it into an inch high or so round, cut into wedges and put into a baking a sheet, and cook for the same amount of time, watching there is no burning, since ovens vary a great deal.
Here’s a photo of a messy Aunt E and little E, making chocolate chip scones.  I love that I have these photos!!
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