Sometimes God puts people in your path that change the course of your life. When I was assigned as Marianna's student teacher in the Spring of 1995, I had no idea how her influence would impact my teaching career as well as my family life forever. I was nervous. She was a formidable English teacher at the public high school and Department Head. She was not easy on her students or student teachers. Marianna had high expectations and something about her mix of kindness and perfectionism made me want to not only meet them but to exceed them.
We became close friends and what I learned in observation of her methods prepared me for my own classroom more than any college course I had ever taken. When she was named Teacher of the Year for the entire state of North Dakota I was hardly surprised. She was truly exceptional at her craft.
Another way in which Marianna changed my life was to introduce me to these cookies. Her delightful husband, Reed, often brought a freshly baked batch of ginger cookies to the Language Department Office for us to sample. He gifted me the recipe and nearly 18 years later I am so happy to pass it on to you. It is a regular in our Christmas celebrations and each time I make them I remember the couple who taught me so much and remain treasured friends to this day. (M and M and M!)
MARIANNA'S GINGER CRINKLES
2/3 cup Crisco
1 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. honey slightly warmed before adding
2 c. flour
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar for rolling before baking
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl beat Crisco, sugar and egg.
3. Add molasses and honey. Blend well.
4. Sift dry ingredients together and add.
5. Using a stainless steel cookie scoop create balls and roll in sugar before placing on baking sheet.
6. Bake 9-12 minutes. Take them out before they look completely done in the center to keep them chewy.
7. Remove from cookie sheet to cool.
8. Store in sealed containers or freeze until needed.