When we returned from France, I had gained one pound, one (1) little pound. In a day, the pound was gone. I was so proud! But now, the week before Thanksgiving, this is the danger zone. These are the days – more than my birthday, more than Christmas – when I pack it on.
A week ago Tuesday, in anticipation of my daughter's family's arrival and when I knew I had the time, I made Millie Kilmartin's gingerbread cookies. (butter cookies for Christmas; gingerbread for Thanksgiving) Millie was a wonderful friend from when we were both sentenced to live in Corning, N.Y. She made them for Christmas (no, no, Millie, butter cookies for Christmas), decorated them beautifully, hung them on their tree and gave them to friends and neighbors as gifts. They've contributed to my undoing, or more accurately, my expanding, even since. (I'm not mentioning dinner at the Brazilian steak house or lunch at Fudruckers or . . . well, never mind.) The cookies are damned addictive, and they disappear faster than a kiss on the wind.
In two days, the cookies were half gone. It's true that Steve helped me in decimating (or would it be halif-inating) them, but *hangs head in shame* I ate more than my share. I made a second batch on Friday. Stephanie, Scott, Pumpkin and Pie Boy (who now informs me he is NOT Pie Boy), arrived Saturday. Three days after that, there wasn't a crumb left for a mouse. (Not that we have mice. Elaine Cat takes care of that.) This is not a one-time occurrence, folks. It happens every year, year after year, constant as the sunrise. So, yes, I can anticipate the phenomenon, and, no, it doesn't seem to prevent the behavior. Or even slow it down. Fortunately, these gingerbread cookies are kind of a pain to make, so I won't have any more for a year.
You may ask, if you always eat so many and, furthermore, you don't seem to care to show any signs of self-control *my head droops in shame*, why don't you just double the recipe? Ahh, there's the rub (as in rub my bulging tummy with sugary yumminess). It is the only recipe I've ever made that cannot be doubled. Double it, and something goes wrong. It doesn't taste right. No, you have to make it 2 1/2 dozen at a time. *sighs* Just as well I suppose.
The cookies are gone. All that's left is tomorrow's turkey and sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce and pie. To heck with shame. Face the danger, I say; face it and plow through it.
Millie Kilmartin's Gingerbread Cookies
(I've tweaked it a little; make it at your peril)
(in general, I don't get a big thrill out of cooking, so don't go expecting any more recipes from me.)
1 C sugar
1 Tbs ginger
1 tsp each cloves, cinnamon
1/4 C light corn syrup
1/4 C dark corn syrup
1/2 C water
1 C butter
Bring to a boil (in microwave is fine). Cool to room temperature.
Add (mixing can easily be done by hand with a big wooden spoon:
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
4 C flour
Chill. Then I set on counter for 45 min. Dough is VERY stiff.
Roll out (not too thick, not too thin) and cut into shapes. (We like gingerbread boys and girls, dinosaurs, hearts, cars, circles, turkeys, etc. We like to be able to choose.)
Bake in preheated 375 oven for 12 – 13 minutes. They're really good iced, but they never last long enough at our house to decorate.
Now you'll have to excuse me. We have to have a birthday party for our new doll.