Saturday, November 17, 2007


Sometimes baking, though hard on the waistline, can be comforting. It comforts me because I associate the smell of freshly baked bread or the sweet smell of warm cookies with being at my grandparent's house. A house that raised ten children, and more grandchildren than I can name. It was a home that was always swarming with activity, endless teasing, the sounds of laughter, music, and the smell of Grandma's cooking.

There are a few freak shows here who have their Christmas lights on now, and this does two things to me: it makes me angry (it is the middle of November people! Gawd.) and it makes me lonely for home. We won't be able to get back to the Rock for the holidays this year and I find it very difficult to get through. So I have been a little bit blue the past few days. That might explain why I have been baking up a storm. But not just any recipe; I want to make my Grandma's Jam Jams. I have never known anyone besides Grammy to make it- and they were my favourite treat she baked. She knew it too- one Christmas, she sent myself and Don back to Ontario with a freshly baked load of Jam-Jams in one hand, and a Steak and Kidney Pie in the other.

This was how Grandma said "I love you". And I loved her right back.

I don't have the patience and flair that Pioneer Woman Cooks has, and I don't have the artistic and impressive dishes that Rock Recipes displays, but I do have a damn fine cookie recipe a la Clara M Browne. I hope I do it justice. Here is what you will need.

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar ( I used brown, but I am not sure if that is right or not- I will have to ask my Aunt Catherine and get back to you on that)

3 tblsp molasses

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1/2 cup margarine or shortening

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, measure out your margarine (it is a good idea to let it come to room temperature first) and sugar and dump it in a bowl. Then beat it like it owes you money.

Add molasses, vanilla, salt and soda stir it up so it blends well, and then add 2 cups of flour. Resume the beating. Then, take a break my friend. You have been working hard. This mixture needs to chill now anyway. So put your feet up, have a drink and let this batter cool for at least two hours. When your time is up, take it out of the fridge and prepare your counter top with a light layer of flour. Dump your batter onto the floured surface and flatten it with a rolling pin. Or a can of Mugs Root Beer and wax paper, if you don't have a rolling pin. Just roll it out...

Besides a rolling pin, I also lack cookie cutters. So I just use a glass. I don't have to show you a picture of that do I? Come on, the Mugs Root beer improvisation is embarrassing enough! Once you have cut out your little round circles of dough, line those babies up on a cookie sheet. Now pop 'em into the warm oven. Bake them for 8 to ten minutes- leaning closer to the 8. They might not appear done but unless you have a Holly Hobby Oven they will be done. While they are still warm, you want to add the jam. Now Grammy often used jam she made herself, but we can cheat. Use your favourite kind. Put a little on the bottom side of a cookie, and then top that ooey gooey goodness with another warm cookie, make a little sandwich out of it.

Now here comes the most important part- Share them with someone you love:

And that my friends is the magical Jam-Jam: a traditional Newfoundland cookie. Enjoy.


Karen said...

Jam-jams and a warm blankie by the fireplace, what more could you ask for?

Jo said...

Ooooh. I'll be trying these. Soon. Let me know asap about the sugar!

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WhitbyDude01 said...

Jam Jams..yummm...can't wait for the next recipe post...yumm..

walkergirl said...

They look yummy!!!

I know you are sad about the holidays but hopefully living closer to each other I can help cheer you up. Maybe we should plan to do soemthing together for new years with the kidlets xoxo

Anonymous said...

My mother from Allan, Saskatchewan made Jam Jams her entire life in both Sask and BC where I grew up. They were and still are the most comfortable of comfort foods. If I could ever find one that came close to her perfect Jam Jams I would be amazed and ecstatic. She had never been to NFLD nor knew anyone from there as Jam Jams were passed to her by her mother.