October 06, 2008

Sunday with Mom, Chocolate giveaway coming soon, and a Beautiful cookbook!

I have some exciting news about a giveaway and a new cookbook I was sent to review so please read to the end - and enjoy the story on the way!

Last week early archery started - so begins my fall of being a hunter's widow. Its not so bad. Grumpy is doing something that makes him happy, so I am happy! Plus, it give me a chance to do things that I don't do often. Earlier last week I gave mom a ring and asked her if she had plans for Sunday. It had been a while since I had been over to her place and I wanted to go spend some time with her. I also had ulterior motives (sneaky little me!). Growing up, we always loved it when mom made doughnuts. As soon as they were out of the hot grease we wanted them either rolled in cinnamon sugar, confectioner's sugar, or to dip them in pure maple syrup. Mom always made a great doughnut - which we called fry cakes. With the fall weather here, I have been hitting the fall food cravings as some of my recent entries can attest to! I always think of fry cakes and cider when fall gets here. Halloween parties, fall festivals, hayrides, apple dunking, popcorn balls, and all other things fall dance around in my head. But the one thing on my mind for Sunday was Mom's fry cakes.

When I walked in to mom and dad's the warmth hit. I went into their newly remodeled living room and the fireplace was lit and beautiful!

I then was confronted with a beautiful floral setting on my grandmother's old table that mom has in a window in her dining room.

I brought the goodies in I was bringing to help make the treats and mom and I set out to make the fry cakes. I don't know about the rest of you bloggers, but I always feel a little silly when I am wanting to get lots of photos and telling people what I am doing, but I get over it. If they think I am a little weird, oh well. Grumpy thinks I am weird too! But, I am so happy to have done this because I now have a memory of this day with my mom making her yummy doughnuts!
Here is the recipe she has used for years in her handwriting. I asked her why the recipe was called Lucille Brewer's Doughnuts. Mom said she believed it was named after someone but the recipe was one my Nanny used to use and was passed on to mom (and probably Aunt Marlene too!). I decided to google Lucille Brewer but all I could come up with was a newspaper archive they wanted you to pay to access. I passed. All that was really important to me was that this was the recipe passed on to my mom from her mom. You can follow the recipe as written or you can make the changes my mom has made through out the years and I have noted for you.

Now, on to make the fry cakes!

Mom always starts with the "wet" part first. She mixes the eggs, melted shortening (she used canola oil), milk (she used buttermilk), and lemon extract (she used about a tablespoon of lemon juice) in her blender to mix it well.

Yeah, that is me up there cracking the eggs...An ingredient mom added that is not on the recipe card is a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Blend well in mixer :)

Measure dry ingredients into sifter. Mom told me that since she uses buttermilk she will use about 3 Tbsp of baking powder and 1 tablespoon of soda. I asked her why and she said she wasn't sure, she just always did. She knew what she was talking about although she didn't know why. I had to know, so I looked it up! It seems when you use something with high acidity (such as buttermilk) you should use baking soda to reduce the acidity. Oh, and with the nutmeg, you can use more or less depending on your taste - or substitute cinnamon.

Mom then uses her hand mixer to start the mixing process of the adding the flour mixture to the wet ingredients.When the dough is stiff, mix the rest of the flour in by hand.

Pat and shape the dough.

Roll the dough out and start cutting. Mom used her biscuit cutter because she said the doughnut cutter is too small for her.

Next, mom cuts the center hole out...

Don't these doughnuts look so nice?!

Prepping the shortening. We used solid Crisco.

Mom does a test with a small piece of dough. When dropped in if it sizzles and floats to the top, then it is ready to fry. Watch carefully. You do not want the oil to get too hot or the doughnuts will brown too quickly and be raw inside.

A pile of the finished product sans the ones my dad and brother ate!

The beautiful inside!

My beautiful mom with the prized doughnuts. I went home with half of these ;)

I told you at the beginning of this post I wanted to let you know about a beautiful new book I was lucky enough to recieve It is called "The Gathering of Friends," by Michele Huxtable. The link to the site is on my sidebar - please check it out - the photos in the book are absolutely beautiful and I am looking forward to trying the recipes also!

I am so excited because a local Chocolate Shop has agreed to give away a 12 piece box of their chocolate! This is my very first giveaway! Later this week I will have another post with more information about the giveaway! As a tease, there is a photo of a 12 piece box below :)


Jenny said...

What a wonderful post! I love the doughnuts with mom, those moments are just priceless! And they look terrific!

How fabulous is that cookbook?! I love it and can't wait to try the recipes too.

Pam said...

What a lovely day with your cute Mom. I love memories like that...it's great that you captured the day on your camera! I wish I could have one of those beauties - they look fantastic!

noble pig said...

OMG you lucky, lucky girl. I would do anything for a plate of those! Your Mom is so cute! Love your header too!

Susie said...

We started our wood stove this weekend and it was 'so' nice. :)
My Mom and I use to spend tons of time together too and I loved it so. Glad you are enjoying your time with your Mom and those donuts look awesome.
You two 'look' so familiar.
Thanks for letting us into your life.
Susie in northern NY

HoneyB said...

Susie, we probably look so familiar because I believe we live very close to each other! I checked your photos and my dad is related to Miranda's family. Also, you probably went to school with my Aunt Ann (my mom's sister), she may be a little older than you. That is, if you went to school right here in our area? Feel free to email me at yahoo - grumpyshoneybunch!

Michele said...

what a great way to spend your Sunday! I have memories of my grandmother and I baking cookies together on Sundays. I don't think that my mother ever let me in her kitchen. If it wouldn't have been for my Gran....I would have been clueless in the kitchen.

recipes2share said...

What a great Sunday with mum..lucky you! My parents are a flight away so a quick visit is never on the cards!

Anonymous said...

Seeing this blog makes me so glad we moved back to Lake George! I haven't seen my Mom yet. We are getting wood together and have started our woodstove but not the fireplace yet. I have been cold here in the mountains. We are bracing for the cold NY winters!I have had Aunt Gwen's doughnuts and they are delicious!!! Love the photos...Amanda

Jo said...

wonderful post... and those donuts look amazing :) but for me, even better... is seeing a Mom and Daughter in the kitchen together. Nothing beats that *hug*

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful blog Shelby. A wonderful memory to have. Now can I have one of those?


Barbara Bakes said...

Those are beautiful donuts and a beautiful mom! How lucky you are - my mom can't bake anymore.

Meg said...

Love all the step by step pictures and the pic of your lovely mom!!

Megan said...

Baking with mom = priceless! It's posts like this that really make me miss my mom. Enjoy your time.
The doughnuts look very yummy as well as those chocolates. Love the fall look of the header, my favorite season! :)
Cant wait for the giveaway.

HoneyB said...

Jenny - that cookbook is beautiful! It sits on my coffee table.

Cathy - you were my inspiration for actually getting Halloween decorations up!

Pam, Michele, Fiona, Jo, Barbara, Meg & Megan - making memories is the best.

Robin - If you want to travel down here I'll save one for ya! :)

Amanda, sweet Amanda. I love you so much! You and I have hearts alike - so much like our Grandma. I had no idea you were back in Glens Falls. I'm so happy your back closer to home. I'm glad you left a comment today. XO

nicole said...

Ohhh how nice. You said Grumpy thinks you are so wierd for taking all those pictures. My husband is the same way. He shakes his head every time I pull the camera out. haha:) Those doughnuts look so yummy! I could use one right now.

Carrie said...

Looks like such a great day with your Mom!

Flourchild said...

Beautiful donuts and a beautiful mom! This is my favorite post of yours so far. Nothing better than time spent with your mother doing something you both enjoy. YOur pictures are fabulous and your mother is a very talented donut maker. Thanks for the heads up on the cookbook. Im off to look at it!
Enjoy doing things you like while Grumps hunting!

Prudy said...

I love making doughnuts this time of year. I miss the fry cakes in NY. I'm printing out this recipe for sure. We had your pumpkin muffins for breakfast on Sat. and loved them.
The best part of your post today was reading about spending time with your mom. Don't you wish you could freeze time?

Clumbsy Cookie said...

What a wonderful day with mom! I'm glad you took pictures as well! So cute the recipe binder! And what a cool mom you have, she looks very young! Making doughnuts is allways much nicer when we can share it with mom, they look delicious!

Vickie LeBlanc said...

I love donuts. They are so good fresh out of the oil. And those chocolates... are they for real !

Reeni said...

The doughnuts look fantastic! Mom's recipes are the best, I still love making all the things I grew up. You did a great job documenting it. My family is so used to me taking picture of our eats they always ask first before eating. It wasn't always that way at the beginning.

Mrs Erg├╝l said...

Now you're making me crave for donuts! Since no oven action is required here it seems like a great recipe to try out!

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