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Do you sometimes crave those simple desserts from your childhood? Like real gingerbread. Not the cookies, but the cakey moist flavorful version, made from scratch.

For me, a few minutes spent sifting through my old recipe cards yielded this oldy but goody.

From the McCalls Recipe Box, which was my husband’s. I had the Betty Crocker box. I was cleaning out some stuff in the bookcase back in the bonus room over our garage I was trying to decide whether it was time to let go of the recipe cards. But they were how I learned, and so did my husband, to cook.

I was looking for comfort food, and gingerbread certainly fits the bill. I made a few adjustments. I went a little heavy on the spices. I used Grandma’s molasses, which I believe is dark molasses. I used the last of the self rising flour from one of my curbside pickups, where it was a substitute when flour was scarce. That meant no baking soda. I used a 10 by 15 pan so my gingerbread wasn’t the same height as the recipe showed.

Still, it is a wonderful trip back to the days of homemade goodies baked by my mom.

I really enjoyed doing this. I will have to dig through the cards and find something else to evoke those memories. Baking from scratch. Nothing from a box even comes close.

Standing in a Crowded Fireplace …

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… and yelling “Theater, Theater!!”. One of my favorite JK Lea quotes. For whatever reason as we approach St. Patrick’s Day, I got to remembering how great JK’s Pub was. How it was our neighborhood bar. How much JK put of himself into making it special.

This triggered the memories. I found my 15th Anniversary mug, and my husband had to have a Guiness to toast the occasion.

For quite a long time it was the place to go after work to relax and meet others. Our next door neighbors met there. Got engaged there. Married there. Quite a number of people did the same. We met a couple at the blogtail party who also married there. And, they knew our neighbors and played darts with their son. The small world of Howard County.

I don’t know if there is any place like it still in Columbia. There are bars, yes, and happy hours, but the old time, every one knows each other, neighborhood bars seem to have disappeared. Or maybe it’s just because I am getting old, and don’t frequent bars like we did when we were young and relatively free to go out many nights.

Other favorites from our past in Howard County —

Roy’s Place Too
Last Chance
The Allview Inn

As for today, it seems to us that Iron Bridge comes close. So does Victoria’s.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!