Sweet Memories & Ginger Cookies

You've been searching Pinterest and you've found it - the recipe you were looking for. You're feeling pretty jazzed to whip up something delicious. You click through to the site, mixing bowls and spoons at the ready, where you scroll, scroll, scroll, scrooooooll through paragraphs of useless text until finally you hit what you came there for. I'm not into it. Just give me the recipe as promised, without the filler and bio of each ingredient.

Except for this recipe.

For this recipe, the story is as important as the flour or sugar, maybe even more so. Because without the story, the Mrs. Moody's cookie wouldn't exist. And that would be a damn shame.

It was 1966. Mrs. Moody ran a tight ship in the cafeteria of St. Teresa Elementary School in Perrysville, PA. There's not much to be said for the day-to-day fare, but every so often the students would be offered an unexpected cookie confection. Sweet and spiced, with a crackled sugar coating and a perfectly chewy center, Mrs. Moody sure knew her way around a ginger cookie.

A little boy named Ralph loved these cookies dearly and asked his mom to make them for him. So his mother, Florence, requested the recipe from Mrs. Moody, who graciously obliged. Florence was a quick-witted woman and quickly discovered that she needed to adjust the recipe, or else be bound to the kitchen, rolling out 12 dozen cookies. The recipe is written exactly as Florence had modified it.

I became acquainted with the glorious Mrs. Moody's Cookie 16 years ago when Florence, my boyfriend's grandma made them for Christmas. Years later after that boyfriend became my husband, I requested the recipe for myself in hopes of doing it justice. And I'm proud to say, I think I've got it perfected. Sadly, Florence is no longer with us, but every Christmas I'm able to share a sweet memory of Gigi (great-grandma) with my boys as we carefully roll the sticky dough into balls, nudge them around in a bowl of sugar and bake them to perfection. And 55 year later, Mrs. Moody is still treating eager children - and adults - to her incredible ginger cookies.

And so, without further ado...

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