Archive for the 'candy' Category


Bingo and Brownies

I’ve been thinking about my paternal  grandmother lately. She has long been a coffin muffin, but still, memories of her are always with me.  Just yesterday, as I was surfing the web, I ran across this site called Foxy Bingo.  I was drawn to the fox’s snappy suit and wondered where I could get such an outfit.  It would make a good Halloween costume, as I would like to be Prince this year or a disco dude.  Then I started to think about my Grandma Ferguson and how much she loved playing Bingo and slot machines.  I wonder, if she was alive today, would she get into the Internet gambling fun?

Grandma loved to dance.  Folk dancing in particular.  If I recall correctly, she taught us the song called Bingo.  Does anyone else know that song?  “A big black dog sat on the porch, and Bingo was his name.  A big black dog sat on the porch and Bingo was his name.  B.I.N.G.O., B.I.N.G.O., B.I.N.G.O.  and Bingo was his name.”  We used to do some folk dance to that song.  I loved it.  Maybe my grandmother liked that song so much because of her love of playing bingo?  I’ll never know.

Grandma Ferguson was not a cook, as I recall.  She was totally addicted to sugar.  Perhaps that’s one of those things I liked best about her; she always had gum and hard candy in her purse.  There was always Kool Aid in the fridge because she said the tap water was undrinkable (and this was in the 60’s!).   Boxes of brownie and cake mix were always present in the cupboard, as well as a pan of brownies on the counter.  All I can remember eating at Grandma’s were sweets.  And not the homemade variety, I can assure you.

The only home I remember her living in was a converted garage in Lemon Grove, California.  I loved that place!  It was so tiny that you had to turn sideways to get through the bathroom door.  Her friend Thelma, a large woman, would have to go down the street to the gas station if she needed to use the facilities, as she could not fit into Grandma’s toilet.  There was actually an upstairs in that garage where we would find all sorts of treasures that she had pack ratted (as my mother would say) away.  I recall finding a cool violin there and begging my grandma to give it to me.  She wasn’t as soft hearted as I had hoped.

Some of my grandmother’s proclivities certainly run through my veins.  I share her love of thrift store shopping, sweets, sewing and creating and a Peter Pan attitude for life.  My mother was always so annoyed with her mother-in-law.  “She’s like a little kid” my mom would complain.  She was embarrassed to go into thrift stores with her. I remember her telling us that Grandma wanted to go to Girl Scout camp with my cousins, making a big deal about it, like Grandma was crazy.  I believe my grandmother had the right idea.  She was living life the way she wanted to.  She was following her bliss, each and every day.  With every swig of Kool Aid and bite of brownie, she was celebrating life.  And if she were alive today, I know she would grab her bag and go with me to the thrift store in search of that foxy suit.  Bingo!


P.S.  After watching this clip on YouTube, I’ve decided to be this fox for Halloween!




It seems like everyone makes cookies at Christmas time and I didn’t want to bore my audience

with a post about cookies.  But then I thought, Hey!  This is what I do.  I bake and I cook

and I blog about it, sometimes.  And maybe my cookies will be different from the cookies

others bake and blog about.

I started making cookie dough in November.  And then stocking my freezer full of it.  That

way, I could bake-off what I needed and still have plenty to see us through Christmas time.

Freezerful of cookie dough balls ready for the holiday baking frenzy

Here's a closer look

What started off to be a plan that sounded something like this “I’m going to make a platter

for Katie’s work mates and some bags for a few select, special people.  That’s it, no big

deal.”  So, it started off simple enough.  One afternoon I baked off about 6 kinds of

cookies and made some toffee. 

Some Snickerdoodles cooling

English Toffee cooling and hardening - this stuff is way addicting, right Cat?

You know how I like my close up shots

 I made a lovely large platter for Katie to carry off to work the next day. 

A platter for Katie's workmates

I had cookies and toffee left over, of course, so I put some little gift bags

together and brought them to my work.  Everytime I saw someone who I felt a special

fondness for, I would give them a bag of treats.  It felt really good to do that.  Since I

enjoy feeling good, I started baking more cookies off every few days and kept carrying bags

of goodies to work.

Color coded bags of treats, red contained vegan, blue were caramel corn and white had regular cookies and toffee

Some  treats were especially geared toward certain folks.  The Parmesan Black Pepper

Biscotti went to those few who are not sweet tooths.  I can’t imagine not being a sweet

tooth, being highly addicted to the stuff myself, but, oh well.  Let me tell you, HUGE HIT

is an understatement.  They loved it.

Savory Biscotti - who knew? Apparently these went really well with red wine

I work with quite a few vegan people.  I didn’t want to leave them out, as it sucks to feel

like the odd man out because of dietary differences.  My vegan goodie bags contained vegan

English Toffee, Orange Almond Biscotti and Ginger Molasses cookies.  I have never seen so

many pleased vegans!  Many told me I should market the vegan biscotti and the toffee as they

had never seen any, anywhere.  One friend told me that if it weren’t for the goodies bag

from me, he would not have had any treats on Christmas day, as he spent the day with his

family and he is the lone vegan.  He also said it had been years since he had toffee and he

was so grateful.

I pulled out my text books from culinary school, found a recipe for peanut brittle and whipped up a batch

I don’t even know how many bags of treats I gave out.  Actually, the very first person to

get a small platter of cookies was Dr. Alice C., our chiropractor.  She is pregnant and very

protective of her food.  She said she might eat them all herself, but later confessed to

letting her hubby have a cookie or two.  Not only did co-workers get the cute little bags,

but our mail carrier, Ken, who looks forward to his annual sugar fest, and the smart alec

cashier at Rite Aid, Gary, scored.    Our favorite waitress at Sam’s Billiard’s, Stephanie,

was presented with a large platter to take home to share with her family.  The following

week we were greeted with lots of ohhhhs and ahhhs over the sweets.  Although, she is way

sweeter than those treats.  I even made caramel corn closer to Christmas and the

ladies at our optometrist’s office practically wet themselves when they dove into the bag I

presented to them.

How about a closer look at that toffee and peanut brittle

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies and Cherry Chocolate Chip Biscotti dipped in white chocolate - yum!

So, long story short, I made tons of cookies and lots of people happy (and maybe a little

tubby!)  I for one am glad to see an end to the holidays and am truly ready for a new and

exciting year.



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