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To Grandmother’s house

When I was growing up my Dad was the “house mom”. My mother stayed at home while my sister and I were babies. Then when we were older she worked part time on the night shift as a nurse. When I was about age 10 she was asked to fill in for the Director of nursing and then asked to stay on in that position.  She worked all day, came home and drove 30 minutes to campus to work on her M.B.A. Yes, she was super mom for sure!!  Dad, who was a high school English teacher, became the “house mom”. He was in charge of planning the meals, grocery shopping and making sure we were taken care of.  He still worked as a teacher and loved every minute of it, but he also became the household organizer and held it all together. He did these things without complaining and backed mom up until she retired as the Vice president of two hospitals 15 years ago. Dad came to every concert of mine, took me to brownies and girl scouts and in general kept things going.  My dad’s specialties were his spaghetti sauce and tacos. He has also made gingerbread men every Christmas for many years. This past weekend we drove the 2 hours to my parent’s home, hung lights, decorated the tree and helped make the annual gingerbread cookies. Dad made the dough and refrigerated it over night and then in the morning we rolled out the cookies.

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Dad at the Oregon coast back in the 70’s

Each and every year people request these old fashioned Gingerbread cookies and each year Dad is happy to whip up his dough.

 

Gingerbread  cookies

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 1/2 cups dark molasses boiled with 2/3 cup honey cool for 10 minutes

3 beaten eggs

2 Tbs.ground cinnamon

2 Tbs. ground ginger

2 tsp. baking soda

2 Tbs. lemon peel

2 Tbs. orange peel

1 tsp. salt

8 cups flour

(1 egg white beaten for glazing cookies)

 

Directions

I asked my Dad to give me the exact directions for his famous cookies. So here it is.

Mix molasses and honey in a pan on the stove until it just boils, turn it off and remove from heat. let this cool about 10-15 minutes but do not let it get hard. Mix together butter and brown sugar, add eggs and mix well. Add molasses mixture, flour and other spices. Mix well. Dad refrigerates this over night or for around 6 hours. This makes the dough easier to work with.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray cookie sheets with baking spray to prevent sticking.

Lightly flour work surface. Scoop out a large piece of dough and form into a ball. Using a rolling pin, roll dough and then turn over, roll out until thin and even. Roll dough to around 1/8 inch thickness, firmly press cookie cutter into dough and remove cookie, place on baking sheet. You can roll the dough thicker if you want softer cookies and thinner to have crispy cookies.

Place cookies on baking tray. When tray is full, beat one egg white in a bowl and spread thinly on each cookie. Decorate cookies as desired. Mom puts a craisin as the mouth and raisins for eyes and buttons. You can have fun with this and put what you want on your gingerbread men.

She also left some plain for the kids to decorate later.

 

Place trays in oven and bake for 10 minutes or until done. Remove trays from oven and let cool. Gently remove each cookie to wax paper to cool further.

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These are the broken cookies that we got to taste test!

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The night we arrived at mom and dad’s, we sat and talked and hung a string of lights in their t.v. room. The next morning I slept in until 5 a.m. and an hour later mom was up preparing to roll the cookies.

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This is the second year mom and dad have been living in their retirement community. For 40 years they lived on 6 acres of land up in the woods in a home with three floors and 3 flights of stairs which became very tiresome! There was a mile long dirt road leading up to the house on the hill and it was isolated.  There were many repairs and a great deal of upkeep needed. We treasure our memories of living in that fantastic house up on the hill, but when dad called to tell me they were thinking of moving I was both relieved and of course sad!

My oldest son lives near mom and dad and each year he brings them a tree. This is the tree in their new place and on this little visit the kids decorated it with a variety of ornaments that have been collected through the years.

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In the big house they had a large tree that usually had a coordinated theme that changed every few years. In this house mom told the kids to just “have fun” and chose the ornaments they liked.

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Mom and Dad many years ago

Last year my son, Yusuf, made this  beautiful Advent calendar for mom and dad. This year we picked out their favorite treats and filled it up!

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That afternoon the kids had fun decorating the plain gingerbread men with frosting and sprinkles.

Mom usually turns the craisin into a smile but I made this guy a bit more serious!

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We lived away from my folks for 16 years and now we can pop over to see them any time! It is a great feeling to be nearby! Love you Mom and Dad!

Lynniepooh

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183 Comments Post a comment
  1. The cookies look delicious Lynn! It is nice that your dad still makes them and let you share the recipe too 🙂 I bet it is a nice feeling to be back near them. Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 15, 2015
  2. What a lovely, happy, colourful post. Oh, and I love the nail polish!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 15, 2015
    • Yes can you believe mom had this done on her manicure? I was surprised but Foof wanted to show her nails she thought they were fun!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 15, 2015
  3. Thanx for sharing such wonderful post…. loved reading thru… what a gorgeous looking cookies….

    Liked by 1 person

    December 15, 2015
  4. Ginger biscuits of any sort are one of my favourite things to bake. I’ve tried out dozens of different recipes over the years, trying to find the one that creates the same texture and flavour as one made by a friend during a home economics lesson in school 20 years ago! I haven’t yet found it but I’ll be adding your dad’s recipe for gingerbread men to my list. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    December 15, 2015
  5. Wonderful family memories and a delightful gingerbread cookie recipe too! Thanks for sharing, Lynz. Happy Holidays to you and your family. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    December 15, 2015
  6. From a part-time nurse to a director, then to VP…wow! That’s a great achievement! The gingerbread man look yummilicious! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    December 15, 2015
  7. Wonderful memories Lynz…and the cookies are so adorable 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    December 15, 2015
  8. Cookies look so delicious…Happy holidays to you and your family Lynz…

    Liked by 1 person

    December 16, 2015
  9. Ahh such lovely memories! Loved reading it. And those nails!! They are absolutely gorgeous! Lovvvee them! btw your mum and dad are so beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 16, 2015
  10. For some reason I couldn’t reply on blog posts very well yesterday, but it seems to be working now! 🙂 This is such a lovely post, Lynn, and what delightful cookies!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    December 16, 2015
  11. Your parents sound brilliant and adorable.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 16, 2015
    • Thanks so much they are wonderful!

      Like

      December 16, 2015
      • It must have been terribly difficult to be so far away from them for so long.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 16, 2015
        • It was hard and they had no one! So I always felt this weight! I did’t want them to be alone. Now they are 81 and have moved from their home,dad had cancer. I just cant imagine them being alone. I make sure we are there at least every two weeks to see what is going on. The gingerbread men were up in the air last year so I said no no we are coming and will do them! It is a big job for them!!! So I feel blessed that we are here! The move was huge!!!! How could they have done it alone, no way!

          Liked by 1 person

          December 16, 2015
  12. Lovely memories! Thanks for sharing them with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 16, 2015
  13. Beautiful, I love baking gingerbread cookies. That is an awesome Christmas tradition. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 17, 2015
  14. I love all your recipes… and these Cookies too …Happy holidays to you and your family Lynz…:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    December 17, 2015
  15. That was an exceptionally sweet story Lynn. And a great recipe to try with my daughter ☺ Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 19, 2015
  16. Thank You….I am going to make these wonderful Gingerbread Cookies….Wonderful Fun

    Liked by 1 person

    December 2, 2016
  17. Interesting family. A heck of a mom!!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2018

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