If you’ve ever set foot inside a bookstore in New York State, chances are you’ve spotted this iconic book:
First published in 1981, Applehood & Motherpie: Handpicked recipes from Upstate New York is a collection of recipes put out by the Junior League of Rochester.
It seemed pretty “down-home” to me, and I’d always wanted it, but only recently got my hands on the book.
Flipping through it, I’ve found that it has lots of folksy recipes, but it also has just as much upper-middle class bitchiness.
Take, for example, the anecdotes sprinkled between the recipes:
When Annette’s 5 children helped her bake pumpkin cake one of them left out the sugar which was needed to catalyze the baking soda so that the cake would rise. Without the sugar such a leaden cake resulted that her dinner guests, who had been looking forward to sampling their favorite cake, wound up initiating her new garbage disposal instead!
Poor Annette. Never able to show her face at the Pittsford Wegmans again.
Jane, a weight watcher, hid food from herself all over the house. A favorite spot was the clothes dryer, until one day neglecting to remove the caloric booty, she found herself with a whole dryers load of cake crumbed clothes!
The silly cow!
The more I read this book, the more the Junior League of Rochester sounds like the antagonist in a John Waters movie.
Uh-oh. There’s trouble in Baltimore tonight!
According to the book, these Cowboy Cookies (no explanation is given for the name) are “a lunchtime favorite from the Fairport Central Schools.” I’m assuming that’s because they contain butter, sugar, and chocolate — the holy trinity of caloric goodness — and not because the cookies are anything special. They’re oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and not a great version at that. Not horrible, but not exceptional either. I increased the amount of chocolate chips in the recipe below, which should make them better; the original calls for half the amount (trust me, it’s not enough).
So now that I’ve ripped on the Junior League, their book, and its recipes, I’m pretty sure they’ll come after me. They’re powerful women you know, with lots of connections.
If you hear a news report about a taffeta-related death, you’ll know A) who died and B) that it was no accident.
1 ½ cups butter
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsps. vanilla
2 ¼ cup flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
3 cups rolled oats
12 oz. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Blend into creamed mixture. Add rolled oats & chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.
Yields 6 dozen cookies.
Grade: C+ to B-