Lucy Boston

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grandma, lard, fall & pumpkins

Leaves are turning;
the wind is blowing from the north,
I miss summer already.

Time to change up my cooking habits from summer menus.

Time for more comfort foods.
Time for October foods--- PUMPKIN?

Pumpkin may or may not be in shortage this year.
Depends on from which source you get your information....
last year's pumpkin crop was smaller in some areas
because of weather conditions and a pumpkin blight
that caused the blossoms to fall from the vine
before producing a pumpkin crop.
not as much pumpkin was canned as is usually canned.
Sooo, if you don't have an abundance of pie pumpkins in your area,
or don't want to mess with the canning part,
purchase your canned pumpkin NOW for this holiday season.
That is the WARNING being issued by some pumpkin farmers.
"Canned Pumpkin Shortage!" 

So, how about we make some pumpkin cookies?
In honor of this so-called shortage?

This recipe for Pumpkin Cookies was my paternal Grandma's recipe.
I can tell, 'cause it has lard in it.
Yes, lard.
In  those days, you used what you had, and in the fall, you rendered lard.
If you come across a recipe with lard, you know it is an oldie but goodie!
And you know you can just substitute shortening for lard, right?
Not margarine, though. 
Too much water in margarine these days.  Makes the recipe a flop!
Anyway, here's my salute to Grandma & lard & fall & pumpkins!

Pumpkin Cookies
Cream together:
 2 cups lard (or shortening)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs.
Add 16 oz. canned pumpkin*, and mix in.
(*yes, I know that the new cans of canned pumpkin are 15 oz., and this works.  One ounce does not make a difference in these cookies.)

Add dry ingredients:
4 cups flour (I use white whole wheat)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice

Optional additions: dark chocolate bits, raisins, chopped nuts.
I love these with dark chocolate bits!  The GOOD kind of chocolate, not the waxy kind.
I use about two cups of optional something in the whole recipe.

Drop by the tablespoonful onto a baking sheet. 
Slightly flatten cookie dough ball,
then bake at 350 for 9 to 10 minutes. 
Let cool and drizzle with icing.

Orange Frosting:
1 to 1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar (aka: powdered sugar)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate (yes, the frozen stuff).
Mix well with large spoon.

You can dip the top of each cookie into the icing and twist out and turn over, letting the icing run down the cookie top and your fingers.
Or, I use a fork and let the icing run through the tines over each cookie. 
Store covered.
Makes 48 or so soft cookies!

Happy pumpkin cookie making!

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