Saturday, July 14, 2012

July Christmas Quilt-A-Long Post #2

Hello Everyone,

Christmas is all about traditions.  Establishing and maintaining traditions keeps the family unit strong and connected to the past while looking ahead to future generations.  We honor our loved ones by making their recipes, and using their serving dishes.  Why wait for a special occasion?  Isn't every day of life a day to celebrate?

For the last 40+ years, my sister Gail, has been making batches and batches of short bread for friends and family. The recipe is in our Grandma Ross' beautiful handwriting. (The Palmer Penmanship Method is a lost art.) Now, her recipe calls for butter, and you know me and butter if you follow this blog. This is the only time I will tell you to use margarine....there, I've said it....margarine not butter for this recipe.  I wish I could send all of you a little tin full of shortbread.

Grandma Ross' Short Bread

1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream butter and gradually add the powdered sugar.  Work in the flour. Blend in the walnuts.
Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.  Roll and cut into tiny rounds.

Bake in a 325 degree slow oven between 15 to 25 minutes. (Keep in mind she baked in an old wood stove.)  Bake until faintly light brown. 

While hot, roll in powdered sugar and serve 

(My sister quadruples this recipe!)

My sister said, "I think of Grandma every time I make this and think that she would be really pleased that I carry on her tradition. This is year 43! It brings back all the memories of all the fun times we had with her, not just at Christmas but all during the year." The family cookbook idea was actually started by our mother, Edith Ross Marshall when she gathered all of the family recipes together that had been passed down to her.

This short bread melts in your mouth. Betcha' can't eat just one! I should also tell you that we call them "Polar Bear Farts." Sorry about that and I hope it doesn't ruin it for you, but the little kids love asking if they can have another Polar Bear Fart. Grandma Ross, your baking tradition is alive and well, but I'm not sure if you would approve of your great-great-grandchildren saying the word fart!

We know that you are feasting at a bountiful table while listening to a heavenly choir of angels. We know you brought the short bread!
Check back for more surprises throughout the day.  Make sure you also follow-up with Mr. Linky on my first post of the day and see what everyone else is making today.  Also, those of you that sign up will be entered to win this.........check back to see what you could win!




  1. What lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I also was a student of the Palmer Method and remember well the final exam each year. Our teachers made us write out the composition over and over until our penmanship was perfect.

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I skipped the Palmer Method. My left handed mom taught right handed me. My writing has the left handed slant. I won lots of writing contests but drove my first grade teacher crazy - I already wrote in longhand and refused to write with the chunky pencil and the ugly wide lined brownish paper. My mom said she had an interesting year or two. She was thrilled fourth grade rolled around.

  3. Your Older Sister GailJuly 14, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    Great post, Lynn! Grandma would be really pleased! Now she also made molassas cookies every Christmas but I didn't pick up that tradition. But who knows, I may surprise you this year and give those cookies a try. We were so fortunate to have this wonderful lady in our lives for as long as we did!

  4. Ooohh, these sound yummy. Guess what I'm going to do tomorrow? (I haven't got time to do them today as it's now almost time to go and prepare dinner.)

    I love the pictures, and what a lovely way to remember your grandmother. My grandsons will think the name is great too.

    I've never heard of the Palmer method. Is it like the italic writing I was taught?

  5. Love the name for the cookies, and really margarine, not butter?

  6. Thank you for sharing fond memories.

  7. mmmmm, shortbread is a favorite!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe... and memories of Grandma Ross.

  8. This is almost like my grandmother's shortbread. I'll have to try this version.

  9. I made some yesterday, and they are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the recipe Lynn.