Archive for November holidays

Square Dancing Day

Oh dear.  This time of year brings on the blues (short days; little sunshine; cold, wet weather) and one way to get through it is to have a daily laugh and sugar rush.  

Luckily on Planet Earth there is always something to celebrate, and today is Square Dancing Day.  Square dancing originated with the first settlers in New England, America.  

Today square dancing is enjoyed by millions around the world. Wherever Americans have gone overseas – England, Germany, Australia, Japan, etc., they have introduced square dancing and it has been enthusiastically enjoyed.   See for yourself with these samplings!

Bugs Bunny Square Dance

These square-dance, homespun American recipes will do-see-do.  Have fun swinging your partner and howling the loudest, since that’s the only way to get the Cookie…say!

Witchfinger Cookies Recipe

1 cup soft butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. almond extract
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
whole blanched almonds
green food color
raspberry jam

Mix together butter, sugar, egg and extract. Add flour, baking powder and salt, plus a little green food coloring to create a ghoulish look. Form into a soft dough. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Take a Tbsp. of dough and roll out into a long finger shape. Dip an almond into a little jam and then press into the end for the fingernail, Make a knuckle shape in the
center, slash in a few wrinkles and top with small bits of dough to make a few warts. Bake 20 minutes on parchment paper-lined or slightly greased cookie sheet. 

Potato Chip Cookies Recipe
1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2-1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 to 2-cups potato chips, coarsely crushed
1 (6-ounce) package butterscotch chips

In a large bowl combine the sugars, shortening, eggs, flour, vanilla, water and baking soda. Mix well. Add the potato chips and butterscotch chips and mix well. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F  for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

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St. Andrew’s Day

St. Andrew was a fisherman who, along with his brother Peter, became disciples of Jesus Christ.  Andrew was crucified by the Romans on a X-shaped cross in Greece, and the Saltire is known as St. Andrew’s cross.

While probably most recognizable as the patron saint of Scotland, he is also the patron saint of Greece, Barbados, Russia, and Romania, a surprise to me.

If you’re a fishmonger, singer, spinster, maiden, old maid, or a woman wishing to become a mother, St. Andrew is your man.  He’s also handy with gout and sore throats, though I haven’t unearthed why…

Enjoy St. Andrew’s Day with this Scottish Shortbread recipe from my cookbook, Our World At Your Table. Guess they’re making these in Barbados today, too.  They’re simply good and an all-time favorite.

6 oz plain flour
2 oz caster sugar
1 oz icing sugar
2 oz rice flour
5 oz butter
pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 140°C (280°F or Gas mark 2).
In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugars and the butter.
Sift in the flours and salt: work by hand to a stiff dough.
Roll out the dough to ½ inch thickness.
Shape into a round or into ‘fingers’ and prick with a fork.
Bake in the oven until light golden brown, around 30 – 40 minutes.

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