Tag Archives: recipes

A thank you note to a special young woman

Lily Schumacher's tiny ginger cookies with raspberry filling

Dear Lily,

Usually I mail my thank you notes, but I thought it would be fun to send yours in a blog. I’m kind of hoping this will inspire you to start blogging about your baking experiences. You could share all of your favorite recipes!

Every time you show up with your latest culinary success, I am amazed by what a kind, generous soul you have at such a young age. You’ve truly learned the value of sharing what you have with others. Your kindness cheers me every time!

The tiny ginger/raspberry jelly sandwich cookies were terrific. How did you make the ginger cookies so tiny and perfect? You have far more patience than I do.

How do you choose a new recipe? Do you scan cookbooks until you find one that sounds good? Have you ever created your own recipe? I’ll bet you’ll do that some day.

For my birthday, my mom is baking me an ice cream cake roll, my favorite. I’m going to save a slice just for you. Maybe you’ll want to try one next time you have a birthday in your house. I’ll bet your dad would like one.

Someday, maybe we can bake together. What would we make?

Thank you so very much for the “get well” cookies you’ve brought. That means a lot to me and Fred.

Sincerely,

Mary

Honey milk balls: good-for-you sweets

Kids aren’t the only ones who balk at eating something new if you tell them it’s good for them. Adults are pretty much the same way. In fact, we (the elders) can be downright suspicious about new foods.

Of course, we like to blame that on our parents, who we claim “made” us eat cooked spinach because it tasted yummy and because it was good for us. Note to kids: This is a lie. No parent — at least none with whom I am acquainted — ever forced a child to eat cooked spinach because (a) they also did not like it; or (b) they wanted to save it all for themselves because for some unfathomable reason, they really did like it.

That brings us to liver. And yes, I do realize there is little connection between liver and spinach, aside from the fact that both are sources of iron. Most kids — no, make that most humans — do not like liver and cannot be enticed to try it no matter how many onions are smothering it.

Here’s the thing. I love liver.  In fact, I requested it for my birthday dinners, which is why my brothers were often absent those evenings. They conveniently developed the one-hour flu. Unfortunately, while liver not only is a good source of iron, it also ranks way up there on the cholesterol scale. My daughters are still thanking my doc for having discovered my high cholesterol before I subjected them to liver.

Before I lose you, let me make my point. Food should not only taste good, it should look appealing. Ah, and yes, it should have some redeeming value. About 30 years ago, I received my first copy of Doris Janzen Lonacre’s More With Less Cookbook (Herald Press). Hidden among its pages of amazing recipes is one for Honey Milk Balls.

The name itself is intriguing. Honey and milk in a ball? How is that possible since both are (somewhat) liquid forms. But they’re delicious. Kids love them. Adults love them. I was reminded of this again when I made them for my adult students. All I had to say was peanut butter and they were snatched up.

The ingredients are honey, peanut butter, powered milk and oats. That’s it. No baking, no cooking. Mix, stir and roll into little balls. Kids love to make them because kids love any reason to get their hands into something mushy. Adults not so much.

High in protein, fiber and calcium, they are actually good for you. They’re easy to make. What more could you want? Aside from a bigger bowl to make a triple recipe. Get a big one. You’re going to need it.

Honey Milk Balls
1 c. oats
1 c. powdered milk
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. honey
Mix in a large bowl (you may have to finish the mixing with your hands, which is okay because you can just lick your fingers. Form into small balls and eat. If you don’t eat them right away, store them in an airtight container.