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Easily Distracted

28 March 2006

Tax papers are almost all organized. So, of course, I find myself easily distracted. Kitchen Witch asks in the comments if I have other recipes like the snickerdoodles I can share. And I ask, Do you mean Amish recipes or cookie recipes?

If you mean Amish recipes, I suggest Shoo-fly Pie. Our family’s first experience of this pie has a story behind it (and what do you know, there’s alcohol involved!), and it goes like this:

We lived in a New Jersey suburban town, on a small street of small houses, but with big neighborly feeling. To our right lived Ray and Gail. He worked for the electric company, she was a nurse. They had one child (Little Ray), for whom they bought a motorcycle one year before he could get his motorcycle license, so he’d go a-round, and a-round, and a-ROUND the small house (on its small lot) on his bike, tearing up the grass and making alot of noise. But that isn’t what this story is about. It’s just a little bit of landscaping. Another bit of landscaping: Ray built a wooden porch by himself off their back door. So on Fridays, Ray would get off work at four, Gail would come off her shift at the hospital, and they would sip white wine on their back porch, (lots of white wine), and be all neighborly and chatty.

One day, our parents had decided we’d take a little weekend trip up to Amish country. So on Friday my father got home early from The City (New York, that is), my mother had packed up the tent and all the gear in the old Impala, and we kids were all jittery all day at school, looking forward to our mini-vacation! As we are driving out of the driveway, Ray saunters drunkenly over his front lawn to the window of the car. And he starts being neighborly. Chatting. The engine is running, my parents are being neighborly back to him, and it looks to us kids like we are going to be stuck here forEVER. If it wasn’t clear from his walk that Ray had started the wine-sipping a little early this Friday, what he says when he is told that we are going up to Amish country for the weekend confirms it.

“Make sure you try some shhhhhhhhooo-flypie when you’re up there. It’s delishhhhhhous.”

Yeah, sure, Ray. Whatever (you silly sot). The crazy talk of some drunks!

Imagine our surprise later that weekend when we have a meal at an “Authentic Amish Smorgasbord.” There, on the dessert table, is this gooey, extra-sweet, molasses pie called Shoo-Fly Pie. “Hey, he wasn’t totally out of his gourd! Rock on, Ray!” We thought as we overindulged in the sweetness. (Not that we said “rock on” for real. That’s just to give you a sense of the frivolity of the moment.)

[Note: This pie is very sweet. And what we call molasses is what is called treacle in the UK (or so I’ve been told).]

If it is cookies you are after, then I suggest Peanut Butter Cookies. These remind me of the first summer after the Consort and I started dating. He went back home to the mountains and I stayed down in DC to work. He would send me care packages, which were very much appreciated by my entire dorm floor when they included baked goods. Although I was willing to share the mix tapes he’d include, nobody got a kick out of those like I did. Plus, you can’t eat mix tapes. In the first care package I found a bag of home-baked peanut-butter cookies. These being a particularly “American” treat, I don’t think I’d ever had them before. So, being the first time I had them, and being from my sweetie, I have a special place in my heart for peanut butter cookies.

[Note: The actual recipe is further down the page on the link I provided. This site will bear some investigating, I think: Cooking for Engineers, hmmm.]

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