Friday, December 21, 2012

Aunt Emma's Chocolate Mint Cookies

This recipe has been a favorite in our home for years.  Mom always made them every Christmas. Mom and Dad also had them made by the hundreds for their 40th wedding anniversary in 1988.

They are printed in The Durrant Family Cookbook "A Home-Cooked Heritage" page VIII-1 (cookie section) Book published in 1991, reprinted December 2010.

 I don't know when they became a holiday staple in our house, but I have to make them every year too.  These cookies just seem to say Merry Christmas to me. 

This is a three-step cookie, but it really couldn't be easier.  It has a brownie base, a creamy frosting filling and a bitter-sweet dark chocolate topping.  Yum! I double this recipe to fit in a large, 12x14 sheet pan.

2 eggs, beaten
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract or 5-6 drops of peppermint oil
1/2 c. margarine melted (I use butter)
2 squares melted unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 c. sifted flour
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped small

Beat eggs, (but not like I did,) margarine and sugar together well. Add chocolate and flavoring. Then add flour and nuts.  Pour into a 9" square pan.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Cool and ice with:
1 c. Powdered sugar
1 T. cream
2 T. soft margarine (again, I used butter)
3-4 drops of peppermint oil
Put in the fridge for about 10 minutes until the icing is set, then cover with:
1 square of bitter/sweet chocolate melted together with 1 T. melted butter.

When set, cut into small squares.

Maybe one of my relatives can remind me who Aunt Emma is and why we love her cookie so much.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Mending Jeans

My cousin asked me today if people still really do this, well, yes, I still do.
My hubby regularly rips holes in knees and so do my four boys.  Buying new jeans is just not an option for us. I have even been known to pick some up at the thrift store and repair them as well.  Boys size 10-12 jeans are hard to come by so I'll take what I can get.
 
Here's a little tutorial on how I accomplish this task without the use of those yucky iron-on patches.
First of all, I keep any lower pant legs that I cut off from making denim shorts out of the "too-bad-to-mend" pairs. 
This is my "patch" material.
Step one: Open up the leg seam about 8 inches past the seam on both sides.  Give yourself plenty of room to get into the leg area.
Step two: Cut your patch about 1-2 inches bigger than the size of the hole. Make it a nice square or rectangle in proportion with the hole.
Step three: Turn your pant leg inside out and stick a large ruler inside or a piece of heavy cardboard so you have a surface to pin against. Placing the right side of the patch to the wrong side of the pant leg, pin the patch in place.  Be careful, don't prick yourself, and now turn the pant leg right side out.
Step four: Using a wide zig-zag, stitch the patch down reaching underneath and removing pins as you come to them.  Stay about 1 inch away from the hole and feeling with your fingers to be sure you are still on the patch as you sew. You should have plenty of room with that leg seam opened.
 
Step five: Now, clip diagonally into the corners of the pant leg and carefully trim away just the frayed edges.  Turn this flap under and top stitch zig-zag over this edge holding it into place.
This shows me rounding the fourth edge and stitching all those edges down.
Step six: turn the pant leg wrong side out and carefully trim away the edges of the patch, being careful to only trim the patch and not the pant leg.
Finally, step seven: close the pant leg seam.  I zig-zag the edge mimicking the serged factory edge and then I use a straight stitch  on top of the former stitching line.
The finished patch!
These jeans have a lot of life in them still and I may be able to pass them on to the next two kids too!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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