Chillin’ with Scarlet

news: Chillin’ with Scarlet

THESE HOT lazy days of summer make me think of the era of Scarlet O’Hara and the other southern belles of Charleston, Savannah and the great plantations.They would gather to talk about their beaux and the eligible young men of society, before they got ready for the next debutante ball. They would keep out of the sun and sit in the shade, sipping iced tea and nibbling tiny cookies.

Benne Seed (sesame seed) Cookies

This recipe was given to me by one of my beautiful daughters-in-law, a southern belle herself from Charleston.Benne seeds are more usually known as sesame seeds, and in the Old South are said to bring good luck.

3/4 cup (200 g) butter

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 cups (200 g) flour

1/2 cup (100 g) toasted sesame seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Toast the sesame seeds lightly in a heavy pot over a medium flame until they are golden brown.Shake the pot from time to time to prevent them burning.Cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy.Add the rest of the ingredients in the order given and mix well.Drop with a teaspoon onto waxed paper on a baking sheet, being careful to keep them well spaced because they will spread while baking.Bake in a moderate oven (325½F or 150½C) for 30 minutes. This recipe makes about sixty small cookies.

Special Iced Tea

2 – 3 Earl Grey tea bags

6 leaves fresh mint

2 slices fresh lemon or lime

1 cup fresh orange juice

2 pints (1 l.) boiling water

Put the tea bags, mint and citrus slices in a heat proof jug and pour boiling water on top.When the mix is cool, remove the teabags and mint, add the orange juice and lots of ice cubes.Serve at once, garnished with sprigs of mint.Add some honey if you prefer it sweetened.