Baking time is here

Yea, when I got up this morning to go to church, it was only 69ºF outside! Fall may be here anytime.
My week in Devine was truly a fun and exciting week. Not only did I get to spend time with my newest great-granddaughter and her precious big brothers, I got to see their Daddy also! I got there too late to have lunch with the family, but we had a great afternoon. There had been illness and fevers in my other great-granddaughters, so I didn’t get to see them until Thursday. My son and I had lunch at our favorite BBQ restaurant in Hondo. Friday morning before I left to come home, I went to LaCoste as my other daughter was in, as well as a friend of hers, so I got to see both of them. The house in LaCoste is looking great, she is painting it in colors that were prominent at the time it was built and it’s looking good. Her sister and the little one she keeps came over also and after her friend left, we went out to lunch. Truly a fun and happy time for me. Of course, I would have cheerfully done without the traffic coming home…it was not good. I was trying to figure out why there was so much of it, when it dawned on me that it was Friday evening…of course there was traffic. However, I made it home just fine without any problems.
One of the most delicious smells to have in your kitchen is the fragrance of cinnamon as it bakes into something luscious and tasty. Some of the things to bake that come to mind are such as an Apple Crisp, Apple Pie, baked apples and of course let’s not forget good, old-fashioned Gingerbread. Any type of oatmeal cookie usually has a teaspoon or so of cinnamon amongst the ingredients, snickerdoodles are rolled in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar before baking and molasses cookies are full of wonderful smelling spices.
Gingerbread is something that my family has always loved. My recipe is one that came from a cookbook that Mother used when I was growing up. It smells so spicy and wonderful when it is cooking and is really not difficult to make. Many years ago, when I was hostess for the bunco group I was in at the time, one of my substitutes was a young woman who had never tasted gingerbread in her life. Of course she was teased that she must have had a deprived childhood, when in reality, she simply had a mother who didn’t really like to cook!
Here are a few recipes for you to try, apples are pretty plentiful at this time, even though some varieties are pretty pricey, there are good tasting can be used in many ways.
Quick Homemade Apple Crisp
5 cups peeled, sliced baking apples (Granny Smith, Rome Beauty or any tart apple)
3 tablespoons sugar
¾ quick cooking oatmeal (not instant)
½ cup brown sugar (packed)
¼ cup flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons butter
¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mix apples and sugar and place in a 2-quart baking dish. For topping: in a medium bowl, combine the oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; add pecans if used and mix to combine; sprinkle over apples in baking dish and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden.
Grandma’s Gingerbread
½ cup shortening
2 eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
2½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg or cloves
1 cup boiling water
1 cup molasses
Sift together: flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices; set aside. Cream together shortening, sugar and eggs until fluffy; and add sifted ingredients with the molasses. Add boiling water last and stir in gently, just until mixed. Pour into 9×13 pan and bake for 45 minutes or until done. If you like, sprinkle the top of the dough with a tablespoon or two of sugar before baking, or when cake is done, sprinkle with powdered sugar.