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Grandsons, Crisco, and Ginger

My twelve-year-old grandson and I made cookies. He is quite a good cook, already, with a specialty of baked pretzels. Yum. The recipe we made today is tried and true, but it does hearken back to the 60s. Meaning, it calls for Crisco. His eyes widened when I pulled back the foil lid and he saw the smooth, white, waxy surface.

“What is THAT?” he asked

I said today we would follow the recipe but maybe in the future we would substitute butter. I mumbled something about lard gaining favor now, blah, blah, blah. No use. He guilted me on the vegetable shortening.

This recipe also called for ginger, and I did suppress a smile as I saw him shaking the container over a measuring spoon. It’s hard to sprinkle out a teaspoon. I felt quite proficient as I showed him how to pry off the plastic sprinkle-top, making it easy to dip into.

I promise, I only turned my back for a second. It’s obvious to me now, that of course the teaspoon didn’t fit into the little jar. As an experienced cook, I know one uses the ¼ teaspoon, or the ½ teaspoon, to get the correct amount. But, of course, a novice cook simply turns the jar over and tries to shake the correct amount onto the spoon. Without the plastic sprinkler top.

Wow! Ginger everywhere! A little mountain of ginger and a cloud of ginger-puffs. We tried not to inhale.

Now here was the dilemma: Try to spoon ginger back into its own jar, or call it a day and scrape it into the trash. We decided on the latter, congratulating ourselves on having the best smelling kitchen waste bin!!

In the end, our final batch of cookie dough felt like bread dough in consistency. No matter, we barreled ahead, breaking off sizeable amounts to make nice, big cookies. After nine cookies were on two cookie sheets, I decided to re-read the recipe for any omissions.

Ooops. We left out the milk. Too late now. They may be a little cake-y, but they will still be good.

And, you know what, they WERE good. Of course, a little homemade icing, made with real butter and only one tablespoon of Crisco, makes any cookie taste divine.

How about you? Does Crisco ever sneak into any of your recipes?


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