Dig Deeper - Food, Family and Fond Memories

The sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of scenes that had left the conscious mind. – Thalassa Cruso Cassandra Staff Photo.1314

Food is an important part of almost any social gathering whether it's a graduation party, a family reunion, or a simple evening meal.  Many of us associate particular foods, even very specific recipes, with those we love.  I have many fond memories of my grandmother, Leola:  her soft skin that smelled of vanilla when she squeezed me in a gentle hug;  warm, beautiful quilts faded from loving use; and her famous Soft Raisin Cookies.  Every time I visited, even as a married woman, Grandma Lee would always have these cookies ready and waiting for me in a cookie jar shaped like a giant mushroom.  When I first moved out on my own, she gave me the recipe and I've tried several times, but mine are just never quite the same.

The group of people that come together to create a show often become much like a family.  I've very much enjoyed working with the cast, crew and production team for The Red Velvet Cake War.   Although the show is truly a hilariously funny farce, the best kind of comedy comes from a place of truth and love.  The themes of food, love, and family that run throughout the show reminded me of how lucky we all are to have the people we love in our lives.  Thanks, Grandma. - Cassandra Proball

Soft Raisin Cookies (originally by Great-Grandma "Johnny Bull" Dutemple and eventually passed down to me)

1 cup of raisins barely covered with water heated to boiling then cover and removed from heat to cool.

Sift together 4 cup flour 3 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1 1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup shortening (Grandma Lee always used Crisco) - cut into flour mixture with a pastry knife until crumbly

Add 2 eggs that have been slightly beaten

Drain heated raisins (saving water) and add to flour mixture and stir until mixed in

Add 6-7 Tbsp of saved water to make a soft dough

Empty dough onto a floured surface and knead several times until dough holds together

Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut dough out

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes

Let cookies cool and store in an air tight container