Monday, June 19, 2017


The Mile High Warnocks are coming to visit in July, giving us a whole weekend to play with granddaughter Emmy at the farm. I can hardly say that she will experience life as it was back in the day because we are modernized and “connected” here (sort of), but it’s rural and we just don’t “run to town” for everything we might want or need.

Speaking of memories, as I plan for our summer celebrations, I thought about the extended family camping trip my parents sponsored in late July 1960. The original plan had been to rent cabins at Yellow Pine in the central Idaho wilderness, which Mother reserved well in advance. However, the owner refunded her money with the excuse that a large party had trumped her reservation by renting all of the cabins for several weeks. So much for reserving in advanced.

3-year-old Becky at Yellow Pine
My parents were disappointed but undaunted. They decided we would tent camp at a campground in the same area. This was a big production. Besides my parents, Grandpa Portfors, and myself, the party included my four married siblings and their children (a total of five at that time) – 17 in all. I don’t know how long we stayed – seems like it went on forever! And we never did it again. Mother said that my dad made too big a production out of camping – that he was unwilling to go without his creature comforts. I do remember that he actually considered how he might take a refrigerator.

Anyway, speaking of Daddy’s elaborate efforts, I happened to think of Mother baking for that camping trip. Did she make batches of traditional favorites like chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies? No! She made filled cookies – dozens of them. I couldn’t recall that she had ever made these before, so I asked why she would make them now. She said they were a favorite of my brother Charles. (Hmmm. I wonder if he knows that.)

If you’ve never made filled cookies, let me tell you, they’re trouble! First you cook your filling, and I think Mother made raisin and/or date and also a brown sugar filling. Then you mix sugar cookie dough, which you roll and cut into circles and place on your baking sheet. Place a tablespoon or so of your filling on the bottom and then roll dough for the tops. Mother cut a little star shape out of the center of each top before carefully placing it over a prepared bottom and sealing it. Then you bake it.

Can you imagine that?! And she didn’t make just a few either. There were plenty. But even at the tender age of nearly 11, I thought they were rich for casual eating.

Here’s the recipe for filled cookies that I found in her old recipe box:
1 c sugar
¼ c butter
1 egg
1 t vanilla
½ c milk
3 ½ c flour
1 t soda
2 t cream of tartar
Cream butter, add sugar, then well-beaten egg. Add milk, then sift in flour which has been sifted with cream of tartar. Roll and cut with cutter. Place filling between two cookies and bake.
Filling: 1 c chopped raisins, ½ c sugar, ½ c water, 1 T flour. Cook ‘til thickened.


I also found a recipe for filled cookies in Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book, 1950. I didn’t look further. KW


Chuck said...

I don't remember too much about the trip, but I do remember the cookies. They were to die for. Very rich and mighty tasty. I remember a trip I took with your dad through Red River to Darby Montana, and another from Riggins to east of McCall and back. Our camping consisted of sleeping in the back of the pickup with a tarp over a frame. Meals were over a camp stove or fire. Fond memories.

Kathy said...

I remember that you arrived very late -- after dark -- bringing your family in your white Ford. We were waiting for you. Do you remember the cookies from the camping trip, or do you just remember the cookies?

Despite his fastidious nature, Daddy had a venturesome spirit. Neighbor Pete said that Daddy would say, "I want to go . . .," and Pete added that sometimes he went with him.

Hallie said...

Seventeen is a mighty big group for camping. For me, eating well while camping is the hardest part. It's strenuous activity and I can eat a lot. It's hard to pack in enough filling food to satisfy. I guess that's backpacking and not car camping. Maybe you were car camping, but still a lot of work when you're also living out of suitcases.