I'm sorry this is a little disjointed, but I am feeling sleep-deprived as well as despondent. I know that I promised you Shepherd's Picks this week, but we will all have to wait for next week. Don't worry it is coming. Instead I shall entertain you with a recipe since Teri left it taped to the computer. Believe it or not, we had 2 date trees in our back yard when we were growing up, and every year it was our job to pick the dates while dodging biting horses. My mom had this great recipe which she would make out of the precious fruit every Christmas, and which I never liked until I was long grown up. We haven't made them for years--maybe Teri and I have never actually made them--but for some reason she was compelled to make them Thursday night at midnight after dragging Sydney and Char all over Salt Lake City and 3 trips to Smiths for supplies. Anyway, all of us were half asleep at the table, but Teri never seemed to notice as she cooked and yakked on into the morning hours. The odd thing is that you make these cookies in an electric frying pan which the Charlands thought was very strange, and then Teri began a weekend-long frenzy of cooking her entire repertoire of electric frying pan recipes. It was a little embarrassing. As they drove away this morning she was still trying to entice them to stay another night with yet 1 more recipe. They didn't look back as they sped over the viaduct. Well anyway, everyone loved the cookies, and so many people have asked me for the recipe--here it is. It is very odd--but don't be scared, it really works and they are very good.
Sophie's Date Balls
Plug in your electric frying pan at a medium hot temperature--maybe 350.
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups chopped dates--we just used 1 package. Not actually growing them anymore.
2 well-beaten eggs
2 T. cream
1 t. salt
2 t. vanilla--Madagascar Bourbon vanilla from Williams-Sonoma is quite fine
1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds crushed up a bit
4 cups Rice Krispies
1 package of flaked coconut
Melt butter, sugar and dates in the frying pan. Before it becomes very hot, add the beaten eggs and stir to mix. Now add cream, salt, vanilla and nuts. Cook and stir until it is very hot and bubbling. Keep on cooking. Her recipe says to cook until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. "This is very obvious," mom writes. Hmm--not so obvious to us. It took quite a while--maybe 10-15 minutes--and did become very thick. Be sure you stir and watch at the end so it doesn't burn. Turn off the heat and add the 4 cups of Rice Krispies. Mix completely. As soon as you can stand to touch it, form into little balls with a cookie scoop and roll in the coconut. Lay out on parchment paper to cool. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy.
So, go make a batch of Christmas cookies tonight--if not these--then your own favorites. Watch for Christmas Picks coming to you next week from the Bush. Until then, have a fun, safe week, and watch our web site for our new holiday kits.
Kathy's hat will be perfect on her Santa. Lisa and Cheryl put on finishing touches while Charland works on.