Treasure hunting


Pattie, Wikimedia Commons

Molasses crinkles, otherwise known as gingersnaps, are an old-fashioned treat that never fades from popularity.

I like to find things, and because of that, I am surprised I am still alive and well. When out walking around, my eyes are always on the ground instead of looking where I am going. Using this method, I have found coins, jewelry, interesting bird feathers, beads, arrowheads and an assortment of artifacts such as railroad spikes, old bullet casings, square nails, antique bottles and even an old Prince Albert tobacco can. Oh, and an equally old Log Cabin syrup can.


Somehow, I managed to avoid walking into a bear or over a cliff.


The other day I made a few discoveries right in my own house, specifically in one of my many recipe stashes. (You know, the ones that somehow never got organized.) I found recipes I had kept for decades and never once tried. I decided, by golly, I was going to finally make some of them, so here are a few of the rediscovered old treasures that made it into the “keepers” folder. I hope you find something to keep, too.


Molasses crinkles


It wasn’t until the day before writing this that I discovered who “Aunt Dot” was. The recipe card said it was from Aunt Dot. Turned out she was my husband’s grandmother’s sister. How could I have not known? Ancestry.com would have sent me to genealogy jail for that.


3/4 cup shortening


1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed


1 egg


1/2 cup Brer Rabbit (green label) molasses


2 1/4 cup flour


1 teaspoon cinnamon


1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger


2 teaspoons baking soda


White granulated sugar, for dipping


1. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger and baking soda; set aside.


2. In large bowl, cream together brown sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Blend in molasses and egg.


3. Add flour mixture and chill for at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350.


4. Roll dough into balls about the size of a small walnut and dip one side into the sugar. Place sugared side up on greased baking sheet (I find that nine cookies to a standard baking sheet works out just fine, in three rows of three, due to spread).


5. Slightly flatten each cookie with the bottom of a drinking glass. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 9 minutes. Edges should be lightly browned. Allow to rest on baking sheet about 1 minute, then with spatula, remove to a baking rack to cool. They will become crisp when cooled. Store in airtight container.


Strawberry banana salad


Fluffy and sweet, this makes a great dessert.


3 ripe bananas


1/2 lemon, juiced


1/3 cup sugar


1 can (14-oz.) crushed pineapple, drained


1 1/2 cups diced fresh strawberries (I used more)


1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries


1 cup plain Greek yogurt


1 tub (8-oz.) whipped topping


1. Place bananas in a large bowl and mash. Stir in juice from 1/2 a lemon.


2. Add sugar, pineapple and yogurt; stir until smooth. Stir in strawberries and cherries.


3. Fold in whipped topping. Refrigerate until serving time.


Beef-zucchini casserole


At first glance, this may seem a bit odd, but I found it to be very delicious and I even had seconds.


1 1/2 pounds zucchini


1 pound lean ground beef


1/2 cup chopped onion


1 teaspoon garlic salt or seasoned salt


1 teaspoon oregano or Italian seasoning


2 cups cooked rice


1 carton (16-oz.) cottage cheese


1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted


1. Slice zucchini into 1-inch pieces; steam or boil until barely tender and drain well if boiled.


2. In skillet, cook ground beef and onion until meat is browned and onion is translucent; drain if necessary.


3. Add seasonings and rice to beef mixture, stirring well.


4. Place half the zucchini in a greased 3-quart casserole dish (deeper rather than wider). Spread beef mixture over the zucchini.


5. Cover the beef mixture with cottage cheese, spreading evenly. Place the remaining zucchini over the top of the cottage cheese layer. Spread cream of mushroom soup over all. (If you wish, you can top casserole with about 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese at this point.)


Super beet salad


Okay, I am likely to get tomatoes thrown at me for this one, as I understand a lot of folks detest beets. But just in case there are some beet lovers, I will dare to include this recipe. My mother-in-law used to make this quite often and I loved it.


1/4 cup vinegar (such as apple cider vinegar)


1/2 cup beet juice (drained from canned beets)


1/2 cup water


1/2 cup sugar


1 small package raspberry-flavored gelatin


1 small can julienned beets, well drained (or cut sliced beets into matchstick shapes)


1 cup sour cream


1. Combine vinegar, beet juice, water and sugar in medium-large saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.


2. Add gelatin, stirring until dissolved, and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. then add beets.


3. Pour mixture into a gelatin mold and chill until firm. Unmold onto serving plate and top with sour cream just before serving.

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