It's close enough to the holidays - and who cares about the time of the year anyway? - to make gingerbread.
Today I walked by the kitchen while Mom was stirring the dark batter and I knew what she was up to. We had a great lunch, and an even greater dessert.
Mom tops her gingerbread with whipped topping and adds a sprinkling of black walnuts. The walnuts, in fact, we picked up nearby, dried in our garage and cracked here. That makes the dish taste that much better.
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1-1/2 cups white flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1/2 cup boiling water
Cream shortening and sugar. add eggs and molasses; beat. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture alternately with water. Beat thoroughly.
Bake in a greased and lightly floured 8x8" pan. 350 degrees (325 for glass pan) for 35-40 minutes. [Note: We often find this done in 25 minutes.]