When I was newly married (19!) my then-husband and I moved to a farm located between Binghamton and Ithaca, New York. His job was being a farm hand. Mine was reading, watching the one television station available (for a limited number of hours), and gaining weight as quickly as possible. The cookies below helped wildly in that last endeavor.
We lived far from any neighbors—other than the farmer and his wife, and the farmer’s son, his wife, and their children. When the farmer’s son’s wife invited me for breakfast one morning I was ecstatic. Upon arrival she offered me a 7&7(I had no idea what it was), a Pop-Tart, and a cup of her depression. This was my introduction to the shattering of the sort of idealization that only a girl from Brooklyn could have about life on a farm.Christmas week, the farmer’s wife invited me to a cookie party—where each guest brought enough packages of cookies (a dozen per beribboned bag) to exchange with all the guests. My excitement, though a teeny bit measured (based on my breakfast visit) was high enough for me to spend my next weekly library visit foraging for the most interesting and exotic cookie recipe I could find. My life was that much of a farm life void. (As my then-husband busily worked 16-hourdays, becoming buffer and buffer, I slowly morphed into a candidate for Weight Watchers, had one existed in the town of Center Lisle, New York.)
The cookies I made were everything I’d hoped. Complicated, sophisticated, delicious, and greeted with faces of horror. What were these lumpy brown things brought in by the Brooklyn Jew? Clearly, they resembled nothing close to Christmas cookies. I handed out my Plain Jane bags of cookies, sans ribbons curling down the sides of the bags. My New York bakery sophistication style sweets might as well have been wearing little yarmulkes and speaking Yiddish for how much they stood out. All the other offerings were variations on a Christmas butter cookie theme cut in the shapes of stars and Santa, and decorated (Sparkles! Red and Green Sugar! Glittering Gold Balls!) with the skill of holiday possessed Rembrandt.
My cookies looked like the homely third cousin your mother forced you to invite to the Bar Mitzvah. But they were the tastiest. (see the end for the recipe.)
(At my cousin Gary’s bar mitzvah)
The Comfort of Food is a collection of the most comforting food I’ve ever cooked or eaten. Pre-order The Comfort of Lies (releasing 2/12) between now and 1/31/13, and you can share the recipes and stories (such as the one above and the recipe below)
Twenty-five people will be chosen at random to receive a printed version of this limited edition story and recipe collection, filled with recipes like that above; everyone who enters the drawing will receive a PDF of the cookbook .
The Comfort of Food started as a gift for my family—typing up my favorite and best recipes, complete with stories of how they came about (such as ‘Chocolate Pie Supreme,’ which I found in a mystery novel) and grew to a limited edition story and recipe collection that I wanted to share with readers. (Complete with recipes from the grandparent collection.)
All those who pre-order my new novel, The Comfort of Lies, between now and January 30,2013, can enter for a chance to receive a printed version of The Comfort of Food. There will be 25 winners of the printed book. PDFs of The Comfort of Food will be sent to all. Honor system.
And if you’ve already pre-ordered the book, you also can enter.
Here are the 3 simple rules:
1) Pre-order The Comfort of Lies
2) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Include in the email the date you pre-ordered The Comfort of Lies and where you pre-ordered it from. (The pre-order link above will take you to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, and IndieBound—please specify independent store from whom you ordered) along with:
- Your name
- Your email
- Your mailing address
Your information will never be shared, except to add it to my own mailing list. If you prefer not to be on my mailing list (for notice of readings, touring, etc.) please let me know.
Easy-peasy. Like dancing.
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour, sifted
1 cup finely chopped nuts
Dark chocolate, melted (if desired)
Preheat over to 325°. Combine corn syrup, butter, and sugar. Bring to boil.
Combine flour and nuts w/liquid. Place by teaspoon 4 inches apart and bake
for 8-10 minutes.