Sunday, January 23, 2011


From the “Friends of the Hitching Post to Benefit Mission of Deeds Cookbook”

When she was little, Allison would look at the front of our neighbor’s house after a snowstorm and ask, “Where does their snow go?” Without fail, after every storm, their sidewalk, stairs, and walk would be clear – and not a snow pile in sight. Meanwhile, the small yard between the Mouse House and the street would be filled with piles of snow from our driveway, front walk, and sidewalk. (And no, he wasn’t piling his snow in our yard….)

Years later this same neighbor bought a snow blower, and began to clear the Mouse House sidewalk in addition to his own driveway, stairs, and sidewalk. And I began to offer baked goods in exchange as well as flowers from the garden in the spring, summer, and fall. Everyone benefits from this arrangement.

Yesterday I planned to make pumpkin bread. The recipe makes three loaves: one for my neighbor, one to bring to my mother today, and one to freeze. Uncharacteristically for me, I decided to be sure I had all the ingredients before starting – only to discover that I had two eggs in the refrigerator, not the three the recipe called for. Time for Plan B. What could I make that was easy to make, made enough to share, and, most important needed no more than two eggs?

The answer? Hermits. Something I love, rarely make, and oh so easy.  Here’s the recipe; let me know what you think.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 4 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup (or more) raisins
  • Egg for wash

  • Mix the first six ingredients together in bowl. Set aside.
  • Beat together the next five ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture and beat well. Add raisins.
  • Lightly flour hands, then roll dough into sausage-like strips. Place on greased cookie sheets, three rolls per sheet.
  • Brush with beaten egg.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Dough will look a bit soft when removed from oven. Cool on rack.
  • Cut strips into slices when slightly cooled.  Store in tightly closed container.

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