Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Snow Cakes: A Moment of Nostalgia

Posted by Cerella Sechrist at 9:32 AM 1 comments
By: Sadie Spencer (Main Character in the novel Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)

When I was a child - about my daughter, Kylie's, age, my mom and I started this tradition. When the first snowfall came to our hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania, we'd don coats and scarves and mittens and head out into the backyard to collect a few cups of freshly fallen snow. I used this little red sand bucket to collect it - after the summer months, Mom always made sure it was scrubbed clean and stored in the closet until winter was upon us.

When snow was forecasted, I'd begin watching the windows, eyes peeled for the first fluffy flakes to appear. As soon as I spotted them, I'd run to the hall closet, grab that red pail with the lemon-yellow handle and shout for my mom to bundle up!


I was fidgety with anticipation as she buttoned my coat and tugged my cap over my ears. Once we were suitably layered, I would place one mittened hand in hers, the other holding tightly to my pail, and we'd venture outside to begin scooping soft, virgin snow into our container.

Of course, occasionally, the snow didn't always make it into the pail - an impromptu snowball battle was often called for first. =)

But after the snow was finally collected, we'd make our way back inside with red noses and crisp smiles. Mom would carry the snow into the kitchen and store it in the freezer as we set about preparing Snow Cakes, a recipe as sweet in tradition as it is in taste.

I recently rediscovered this recipe of my mom's, written in her elegant, sweeping hand, in the back of one of my own forgotten cookbooks. For any who may want to start their own mother-daughter snow tradition, I'm including it here:

Snow Cakes
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup packed snow
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind
Combine the brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder with the milk, snow and egg. Line muffin tins and fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 425 degrees F.

Enjoy with cocoa. Preferably the Hershey kind. (And Kylie says not to forgot the marshmallows, too.)

(To learn more about Sadie, Kylie and their mother/daughter adventures, check out the book Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cucumbers Gone Crazy: Pickle Pops!

Posted by Cerella Sechrist at 2:53 PM 1 comments

By: Sadie Spencer (Main character in the novel Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania, by Cerella D. Sechrist)

I know what you're thinking. I thought the same thing. First it was pickles deep-fried on a stick, now we're liquefying this innocent little veggie into tubes and selling it as dessert?!? NO. WAY.

But yes. Way. And here's the conundrum: As bizarre as this food trend may seem, it puts me, well, in a pickle.

My daughter, Kylie, is all about the processed snacks. She's a five-year-old kid, you know? So how do I argue this one with her? It's a VEGETABLE, masquerading as a TREAT!

She's not supposed to have this kind of leverage at her age.

And it gets worse. These things - these pickles sold as popsicles...they're actually supposed to be...GOOD for you. No, really. It's true. I googled it. (Which can never go wrong, as we all know.)


Seriously, though, I think the makers of the Pickle 'Sicle may be on to something here. After all, pickles ARE good for you. Other than the sodium concerns, pickles are low in saturated fat and choleserol and are loaded with Vitamin A, fiber, potassium, calcium, etc. They're brined in vinegar, which has its own range of health benefits. The Pickle People (okay, even I snickered on that one) claim they add no preservatives or additives to their pickle product. (I'm going to start lisping soon.)

In which case, when Kylie demands her Pickle Popsicle, I may have no choice but to relent on this one.

If someone comes up with a Pickle Pie, though, I'm drawing the Mommy line.

(To learn more about Sadie and Kylie's mother/daughter adventures, pick up your copy of the novel, Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist, releasing February 2, 2010 from Summerside Press)
 

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