With a heavy heart I said a final farewell to my grandmother last week. She had been failing for a while, and we knew that her time was limited, so I booked a flight for last weekend to say good-bye. Sadly, this did not come to pass, and we ended up driving across the Wisconsin woods and Minnesota prairies for a funeral instead. I should have taken pictures of the fantastic icicles dripping down the bluffs along the Mississippi River, or the surreal image of hundreds of windmills dotting the prairie, or even the thick fog rolling across the snowy fields.
Seeing family and friends was a comfort, as was sharing favorite memories. Good-bye, Grandma Max -- we'll miss you, your ever-present smile, and the twinkle in your eye, but we know that you lived a good, long life.
She loved to make quilts, and she made a handmade quilt for each of her
children, as well as her grandchildren. She also embroidered many
towels. She enjoyed canning pickles. While a resident of Tuff Nursing
Home, she enjoyed playing cards, especially “Kings in a Corner” with her
daughter. She will be remembered by her family and friends for her
delicious sugar cookies, as well as for her homemade lefse.
Grandma Max was a hard worker, as all farmers are -- driving tractor, cleaning the cream separator, butchering chickens, feeding the barn cats, crocheting slippers, and baking up a storm. Her sugar cookie recipe truly is legendary. These cookies are short and crisp -- quite unlike garden-variety sugar cookie cut-outs.
Grandma Maxine's Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup white (granulated) sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups + 1 tablespoon flour
- Cream sugars and butter; add eggs, then oil and vanilla.
- Sift dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Chill overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll spoonfuls into small balls, then drop on cookie sheet, and press with a glass that has been dipped in white sugar.
- Baking time depends on thickness of cookies. Don't let them get brown, just a hint at the edges!
- Makes about 3 dozen.