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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

Category

dessert

It’s National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. According to the National Day of Calendar, vanilla ice cream is sold more than chocolate. I’ll have to think about that. It seems when we go for ice cream, there are more chocolate cones in view than vanilla, especially when it is soft ice cream, or custard. But if you think about the fact that pie à la mode usually uses vanilla and sundaes are often made with vanilla, then I guess the calendar information must be right. Really, what difference does it make in the long run. Continue reading

Americans have been enjoying this springtime cake since the early 1900s when many cakes were made in cast iron skillets. (The skillet could be put in a wood burning stove oven without harming it.) Continue reading

Carrot Cake – Flash Fiction

“Girl, you dare put a piece of carrot cake in front of me that’s got bugs in it?”

“Grams, you know those raisins aren’t bugs.”

“Well they look just like the weevils that got in our flour when I was a girl and I ain’t eatin’ that.

“Grams, you taught me to make that cake, pick the raisins out and try it.”

After a tentative taste Grams old face wrinkles. “This ain’t my recipe it’s got hooch in it.”

“It’s not hooch, it’s Jamaican Rum I soaked the fruit in.”

“I guess them bugs are good and dead then.”
**

March 16, 2018, prompt from Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about carrot cake. It can be classic or unusual. Why is there cake? How does it feature in the story. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by March 20, 2018, to be included in the compilation (published March 21). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

Reminds Me of Home

The blond brownie is a golden color with a mild molasses flavor achieved by using brown sugar instead of cocoa for flavoring. I find it interesting that the recipes I looked at and have made myself, all add some sort of chocolate to the blond brownie, usually in the form of chips. Now why not just make a chocolate brownie? Who knows? Humans are funny that way. Continue reading “Reminds Me of Home”

According to the National Day of Calendar many people receive fruitcakes as gifts sometime during the holiday season. Some people eat the holiday bread. Others may re-gift them. There are those who sneakily throw them away and others who will do so openly. But on the third day of January, another type of fruitcake, ahem, person comes out of the woodwork.  These are the characters who have hoarded them, stored them and hid them so they can celebrate National Fruitcake Toss Day. The idea being, see how far you can throw one of the hard disks. Continue reading

Make Your Own

I’m a home-made person and baklava falls into that category because you can adjust the amount of sugar, honey, lemon or cinnamon used. I decrease the first two ingredients and increase the last two to fit my personal taste. Plus I use a mixture of pecans and walnuts for a richer nuttier flavor. The real secret of making this treat though is how to defrost the Phyllo (or filo) sheets. Yes, I buy them! If the sheets are thawed slowly they handle much better and are easier to work with.  Continue reading “Make Your Own”

Designed Slices

A bundt cake can be any cake baked in a Bundt pan, forming it into a distinctive ring shape.  The mold of the Bundt pan was originally inspired by the traditional European fruit cake known as Gugelhupf. It was in the 1950s and 1960s that Nordic Ware popularized the style for the mold design and trademarked the name Bundt.  Continue reading “Designed Slices”

My Mom Did It

As a youngster our family birthday tradition was we got to pick the menu for that day and Mom would make a scratch two-layer cake and decorate it with the frosting color of our choice. My dinner was baked ham with pineapple and clove, mashed potatoes and peas. My cake was a Chocolate Town Special (recipe used to be on the Hershey’s bitter cocoa can)  with white frosting and piped sky blue pink designs. Before frosting the cake Mom would wash a dime and push it, standing up, into the bottom layer. The four of us girls, Mom, her friend Doris and maybe a couple of extras would be on hand when the cake was cut. Who ever got the dime was supposed to have good luck all year. I don’t remember opening presents, but I have fond memories of those cakes. Continue reading “My Mom Did It”

Campfire Necessity

S’mores used to be made around a campfire or bonfire in the back yard if you lived in the country. They were, and still are, a staple as an evening snack at Boy and Girl Scout, church, and 4-H camps. But times change, city homes now have movable fire pits in the yard and S’mores can be enjoyed anywhere. Once when my children were small we toasted marshmallows over a candle and enjoyed  S’mores at the kitchen table. Continue reading “Campfire Necessity”

Tis The Season

It’s National Strawberry Sundae Day. In western New York state, we are at the peak of strawberry season. I like to drive by the fields and see the people crouched down to pick their own strawberries. The plants grow very close to the ground so picking them can be as painful as it is rewarding. I admit, we don’t pick our own anymore.

Growing up my family preferred strawberry shortcake. My mother would make a fresh buttermilk biscuit the size of a round cake pan. Once it was cool enough to handle she would flop it into one of her hands, then carefully slice it in half crosswise. The bottom half would go on a large plate. She would slather it with butter then cover it with fresh smashed strawberries. Next she would turn the top of the biscuit upside down on the bottom layer so it too could absorb a layer of butter, then more strawberries would be poured on top of that. We always let it sit while making fresh whipped cream to top it with. The result was a gooey, yummy dessert, only enjoyed when there were fresh strawberries.

Currently my husband and I have a local farm we like to go to. They have a dessert stand and you can get either a strawberry sundae or shortcake. On a summer evening, there is nothing like berries on cold refreshing ice cream. They also have some goats in a pen near the stand, so we take the grandchildren and enjoy watching them pet and feed the goats. Goats also love strawberries but are happy with the long grass we can pick in a nearby ditch.

All too often these National Days have something to do with food, and I like food. I don’t usually think of a strawberry sundae at breakfast time, but I am today. I think Saturday will be a mandatory let’s go get a strawberry sundae event.

Always Chocolate

It’s National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. According to the National Day of Calendar, vanilla ice cream is sold more than chocolate. I’ll have to think about that. It seems when we go for ice cream, there are more chocolate cones in view than vanilla, especially when it is soft ice cream, or custard. But if you think about the fact that pie à la mode usually uses vanilla and sundaes are often made with vanilla, then I guess the calendar information must be right. Really, what difference does it make in the long run.

When I was a kid I always picked chocolate when we went for ice cream and generally still do. My tastes have matured a bit so now I get it with raspberry or marshmallow added, and maybe some nuts too and or some extra chucks of solid chocolate. It was noticed recently that I order the same thing every time we go to Bruster’s for ice cream. To satisfy my friend’s thought process, the next time we were together, I ordered something different. You guessed it. I didn’t like it and regretted my decision and said so. He left me alone after that.

We have a couple of ice cream places near us that make their own hard ice cream. My husband and I will go for a drive and pass three or four other ice cream places just to get the made locally brands. I have a favorite flavor at each place, but both are chocolate based. I purposely don’t look at the calorie boards when choosing ice cream because it is a fact I don’t want to know. Let me enjoy my ice cream in ignorance. I’m sure it wouldn’t taste as good if I knew the reality of how many calories there is in a double scoop chocolate raspberry truffle in a waffle cone. The sun is out, maybe a trip to the ice cream stand is in order today.

 

Cakes, Cookies and Pies, Oh My!

It’s National Gingerbread Day. In June? My sentiment exactly. Where is the picture of a hard brown man-shaped cookie that should represent this day. There is a lot more to ginger than just a ginger cookie at Christmas time.

It is said ginger has been used to calm an upset stomach since the late 900’s. No, that’s not a misprint, I do mean 900A.D. It has been used to flavor breads, cakes, pies, and our most memorable Christmas cookie for a very long time. Now it is even used to flavor beer. What will they add it to next? Shampoo, maybe?

When I was in grade school there was usually a box of Nabisco Gingersnaps in the cupboard. I can envision the yellow box now and smell the aroma as if an open box were right in front of me. A cup of warm milk to dip the cookies in after playing out in the snow was a traditional winter treat. I would dip the cookie, suck off the goo, then swirl the ginger flavor in my mouth finally swallowing it slowly so the warm mush could coat my throat to make the flavor last longer.

These days there is always a bottle of ground ginger in my spice cupboard. I use it in my baking and even in a couple of stew recipes. It’s great to sprinkle some on a nice piece of white fish or chicken breast for a different zesty flavor. I also like candied ginger. I chew it a long time so it adds a hot zing of freshness to my mouth.

We are only six months away from Christmas (groan) when the hard brown man-shape cookies make their appearance once again. I suggest you don’t put much frosting on the ones you make, or choose to purchase so you can really taste the ginger. Oh, and don’t forget to get extra milk to go with them.

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