I Remember Mama’s

This is the time of year when every one gets sentimental and reminiscent about foods from their past, especially holiday meals. To be quite truthful, my mother cooked to feed us. She was not an especially good cook nor did she leave me a legacy of recipes or cookbooks.   She did make a good cornbread dressing to serve with the turkey which I think her mother-in-law taught her to make. She made cakes from boxed mixes and somehow, she managed to have most of the layers fall. I got many a birthday cake with a ton of icing between the layers. She used cooked pudding mix for pies with a refrigerated or frozen crust. From the time I was 12 years-of-age, she was happy for me to cook most of dinner.

Years later, she had a niece and her daughters coming to Houston to visit her. She called me and informed me that I needed to come, too. But….I needed to come two days early. When I questioned why, she informed me she needed me to make pie crusts for her.  I drove 200 miles to Houston from San Antonio and made the pies with my crust recipe and Aunt Swint’s pie recipes. I am sure my cousin knew Mother had not made the pies, but we both pretended she had.

She told me once that since I was coming to visit her she would make my favorite meal. When it was time for dinner she got frozen crepes out and put them in the oven. I was quite surprised that crepes were my favorite meal. I told her how good they were and how pleased I was with the meal. When your mother is 80-years-old, you play the game her way.

I have one recipe written down that I am positive I got from her. I was an adult when she started making Applesauce Cookies, so it isn’t a childhood favorite. Actually, it was her favorite so she primarily made them for herself. One warning, this cookie needs to be aged in an airtight container for at least one day to meld the flavors. Also, they are moist and will stick together. Line each layer with wax paper to keep from sticking. I am not sentimental over these cookies, I just like them because they are not overly sweet and a part of my cooking history.


2 Cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cloves

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

With mixer, cream shortening and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients. Mix dry ingredients into sugar mix. Alternate dry ingredients with apple sauce;

Applesauce Cookies

ending with flour mixture. Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie tin.

Bake 350°F until edges begin to brown, approximately 14-15 minutes.


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