Tuesday, September 27, 2011

~~~~CREATING HARVEST TIME MEMORIES~~~~ One Pumpkin Cookie At a Time


I've shared with you many, many times over the past two plus years (OMGOSH...it will be three in January!) about my precious mother and all the creative things she did when I was a child.  A few years ago she was clearing out some things in her home and gave me all the old newspaper clippings from when she was a Brownie (Girl Scout) Leader with my Auntie P.
(Yep...that Becky Elliott would be Moi!)

My mother was also my elementary school Room Mother and on a Preacher Man's salary had to be really creative (and frugal) when planning classroom holiday parties.  There was one for Fall/Harvest, Christmas and Valentine's Day if I remember right and they were always done on less that a shoestring...

In the mid 1960's the student to teacher ratio was thirty-one or thirty-two to one!  Can you imagine that today?  Anyway...that was allotta treats for allotta kids with not allotta money...

Halloween was different back then...just fun and kids with lots of sweet (and mostly handmade) costumes!  I remember it being a happy time in my life!  No mean, spooky, evil stuff like there is today... :(

For our Fall and Harvest party she made place-mats (construction paper) in the shape of pumpkins (jack-o-lanterns) and fashioned small treat baskets out of black paper with black cat faces.  Each one was hand painted and sported a carrying handle.

They were filled with traditional sweets like candy corn, small wrapped Hershey Bars as well as tiny pumpkins.  We had vanilla ice-cream cups donated from one of the local Southern Cali dairies (my Grampa hand painted their AD signs for them!), but the highlight of our parties were the pumpkin shaped cookie-on-a-stick treats taken from a recipe in my Mom's Woman's Home Companion Cookbook.

Today it remains the only recipe I use if I need a fabulous spice cookie!  It's delicious, soft and chewy!  Back then they didn't have the plastic/cello bags like they have today and certainly very little craft ribbon...

I remember the cookies my Mom made were wrapped in pieces of plastic wrap and tied up with orange crinkle tie ribbon.

Simple, inexpensive and very, very festive!

The recipe is easy to follow and before baking a wooden craft stick was inserted almost to the top edge of the the dough.  A tad bit more cookie dough was added on top of the stick before being lightly flattened and baked.  In the 60's there were only wooden popsicle sticks so the larger craft sticks work much better for the cookie suckers today!

Now...if spice cookies aren't your thing then remember this...  One of the best and easiest cookie recipes out there is the basic chocolate chip recipe found on the back of most bagged chips.  Just omit the chips!  You can still add a combination of a couple different teaspoons of your favorite spice to this recipe if you want (allspice, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, etc.).  Add a jack-o face to your cookies with piped royal icing (tinted orange) and wahhh-lahhhh!
You're done!

Note to my talented Momma:

Mom~You helped to make my childhood sooo much fun!  It's taken me YEARS to figure out how absolutely amazing you are and how much I have to be thankful for!  I'm sorry to be so late with all my THANK YOUS and words of praise!  You were before your time and most certainly would have rivaled Miss Martha (and her entourage) with your talents had you been afforded the chance!  Secretly...I am glad your children (and our classmates) had you all to ourselves!  You were and are an incredible Mother and I love and adore you (thank you for the beautiful card...)!



Hope you are enjoying these first wonderful days of Autumn!  It's sooo good to be back!

Love to you...


Barbara Jean said...

cute and sounds yummy too.

new banner?? have not been by for awhile. sweet, like you, and your blog.

barbara jean

KatyDidStitches said...

Ah...I see somebody else is having trouble sleeping. So nice to meet another insomniac in the middle of the night!

Now, will I wake the hubbin up if I go out to the kitchen and bake some cookies? They look so GOOD!


Theresa said...

Precious story of your sweet Mama and those cookies are TOO cute! Have a blessed day dear Rebecca, HUGS!

Yasmin Smith said...

Beautiful post!! Loved the story about your mom and her being a room
mother (I recall the days when I was one for ALL four of my kiddos at the same time!) Your mom certainly was creative and I know all of the children at school loved it when she baked those cutie pooty cookies!! What a great idea!!
No, Halloween is a lost fun time for today's children....so many scary things that parents don't let them freely roam the streets of the neighborhood to "trick or treat" anymore...usually have a party at school or church. But the children of today miss something that was just pure fun a long time ago, don't they??
Hoping you are feeling better each day and enjoying your week..
Love, Yasmin

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Rebecca ~ Your mom reminds me so much of how my mom was while we were growing up ~
Thank you for the sweet memories!


Ginger said...

Those cookies look so good and they are beautiful all wrapped up with that lovely ribbon. Moms are so special and we don't realize just how special until we do it ourselves. Miss R I am so glad you are feeling better.

Sherri B. said...

I love this trip back in time. A sweet time with school parties and 'Room Mothers', like your sweet mom, who poured out their love for us all. Thanks to your mom and all of the others who made these special memories. xo

Shelia said...

Hi Beautiful! Oh, what a sweet story and those cookies! They are so precious! I'm taking a blogging break to finish up a crochet project but just wanted to peep in on you and I had to leave a comment! Love your new header and you are always the most creative one! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Julie Marie said...

Hi Rebecca... so glad you are feeling better!... I just posted this morning about childhood memories of this beautiful time of year as well... your momma made such incredible things for you, just like mine did... and like you said, back then, on a shoestring as money was often tight... but that made it all so much more beautiful... those cookies sound delish! and so cute for Halloween and Autumn... my mama was also our Brownie troop leader, and room mother as well... sigh... those innocent times are so cherished by me, and I know by you as well... wishing you a beautiful Fall day... xoxo Julie Marie

GwendolynKay said...

Hello Rebecca,
Love the sweet cookies. When I was a young girl , in brownies, my mother was my troop leader. I have something in my pocket.... you know the rest :)
Blessings and hugs to you and your wonderful mother!

Holly- Cutie Pie Cottage said...

Oh cute! And I LOVE spice cookies! ♥

Yasmin Smith said...

Me, again...I did not notice your new header and went back to look after I saw some comments on it...it is really pretty...simple,
elegnant and so you!!!
Enjoy the day! Love, Yasmin


It's a blessing when our Mom's make us good memories! I remember too when halloween was FUN and the homemade treats were the best!
Glad you are feeling better. Thankful that I don't need any med's at this time!

Christine said...

When I started teaching in the early 70's the largest class I had had 38 third graders! And no air conditioning. The pumpkin spice cookies look festive and I think I can smell them through my computer!

Nancy's Notes said...

Rebecca, what beautiful and sweet words to your mama...I know it must warm her heart to read these words. Sounds like she was just like Martha! Great and adorable gift giving cookies!


Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Hi Rebecca
Those were the days...when you never had to be fearful of the treats yor brought home. Like you, I received many handmade goodies like rice krispie squares because people couldn't afford to buy things.
Today's generation probably has no idea what waxed paper is but when I took my lunch to grade school, I had to save and reuse it for 2 days before I was allowed more.
How times have changed!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What a precious mom! I am truly inspired to do some memory making:)

I love those harvest pumpkin cookies!
(In honor of celebrating the harvest and fall since I don't celebrate Halloween.)

Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring, Rebecca

The Polka Dot Closet said...

I'm with Lavender Cottage, No more handmade goodies today...I have such fond memories of Halloween


NanaDiana said...

First off- I am so glad that you are feeling better. And, I love how much you love your Mom and truly appreciate her AND let her know it!

I love the idea of those cookies for the grandkids. Do you share that recipe at all? I think it is hard to find a recipe that is soft but still has enough "substance" to it.

Lovely post full of lovely memories. You're right- Your Mom was ahead of her time! xo Diana

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Beautiful post honey.

Linda said...

i have the same cookbook. mine was published in 1942 and it was my Dad's cookbook. i ended up with it and use recipes from it-just good stuff. yours is the first i've seen besides mine. i feel lucky to have it.

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