It's lurking around the corner! That fateful weekend we have to play all our cards just right so that you can impress families and foes. Houses are bursting at their seams - crammed with family members that don't always get along. As a little girl I always felt like a sardine in a tin on the "Christmas Beds" that my family made on the lounge floor. This largely constituted old smelly mattresses on which 10 kids or more had to fight for a place... survival of the thinnest? If you were small enough you were lucky enough to get a continental pillow for a mattress, blissfully all to yourself.
Unfortunately I have grown up. My wish to be one of the alcohol consuming, bed hogging adults has come true. Now I envy the kids on the floor. Round about when I was eighteen years old I discovered the competitive under currents at these family gatherings. Being armed with a case of beers and a cavalry of (what I thought were) good jokes was not what being an adult at a gathering entailed. You have to have something or someone to brag about. You know, to prove that your family is better than your cousins'. Your kids are faster and smarter, even though you only own a 3L Ford (My 3L Ford joke turned out not to be appreciated.... "Martin is a 1, 2, 3 man - 1L Brandy, 2L Coke and a 3L Ford" I was met with a mixture of blank and glowering stares - no laughter. Martin has always been proud of his car and the considerable amount of Klippies he could throw back? I didn't think he would be offended. Geez!)
Since I am one of the girls in the family that are a bit more housebroken, I've decided that I will try to impress my family with some baked goods. Cooking is too dangerous as I'm not particularly good at it and my attempt on said day could mean that we all will have to drink a bit more to stomach any failings. Baking is good! It's pre-prepared, all the burnt cookies and bad batches can be left at home and only the successful deserts will make it to the table. Brilliant, isn’t it? Someone else can take the fall for the raw pap and burnt meat *NOTE TO SELF: Remember fire hydrant*.
I can therefore drink my cold beer in peace listening to the family squabbles, educate my daughter about the danger of crocodiles (it's hard to keep kids out of the Croc River, especially since the adults ignore the dangers Lowveld living after the first case of alcohol has been consumed). I will be able to go into 2008 assured that no matter if I don't fit in, it's my family and we love one another very much. At least my deserts will be enjoyed by the next generation! Hopefully when they reach their prime they will tell their kids about my "lekka" cookies.
For any of you in the same predicament here is a really easy recipe to bowl them over with:
Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe!
Dough is prepared and refrigerated overnight. Baking time - approximately 15 minutes.
2¾ cups of flour
¾ teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of margarine @ room temp
1 cup of sugar
1 large egg
1 table spoon vanilla
- Mix flour, baking soda & salt in medium sized mixing bowl. Mix well, set aside.
- Cream the margarine and sugar. Then add egg and vanilla. Mix well
- Gradually add flour to the margarine & sugar to make dough. Roll the dough into 2 separate balls and refrigerate overnight. (Or 2 hours if your in a hurry)
- Roll out the dough until it’s about 1cm thick
- Cut the cookies from the dough, I usually just use a glass to do so – chill for another 2 hours in the fridge (this helps to retain shape)
- Oven bake for 10-15 minutes in a preheated oven at 180°C (until the cookies turn golden brown)
- Cool and enjoy!