GRANDMA’S SUGAR COOKIES:My grandmother was one of the best cooks EVER. A real cook. The type of person who could whip up a meal for twenty from a bare cupboard with only an hour’s notice.
Her fried chicken would make you weep. When I was in high school, I was member of the Future Farmers of America poultry judging team. We kept the chicken we used for poultry judging practice—and people want to know where I got the stories for Redneck Ex—at Grandma’s house. One day a couple escaped their confines and were waltzing around Grandma’s yard. When they started pecking at her roses, she went outside, grabbed them and wrung their necks. Right there in the middle of town. Snap! Guess what we had for dinner? Fabulous chicken!
As a kid, I used to fake an illness simply so I could stay at Grandma’s. She had a yellow cookie jar with a giant red poppy painted on front of it. Really tacky, but I never noticed because it was always filled with delicious treats. On one of my ‘sick’ days, Grandma taught me how to make her sugar cookies. I think I was in the 2nd grade. No measurements. No fancy mixer. With dabs, dashes and really tired arms from the wooden-spoon action, I made my first batch.
Mama was onto my pseudo-sickness ruse, but if I didn’t do it too often and I brought home baked goods at the end of the day, she let me get by with it. Everyone knows learning how to be a good cook is way more important than book learning anyway.
GRANDMA’S SUGAR COOKIES:
These are crunchy and spicy—more snickerdoodlish than a simple sugar cookie
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
Cream together sugar, butter, egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder and spices. Mix together until stiff. Add milk.
Roll out and cut (I use a jelly jar since that’s what Grandma always used.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool on pan for 2 minutes then remove to wire rack.