We’ve come a long way

Linda Conway Eriksson - Contributing Columnist

My Mother’s Kitchen is nearly 25 years old.

When I started writing my column, my daughter Heather was, among other things, the food editor of The Madison Press.

“Why don’t you write a food article for The Press, Mom,” Heather said. “You write great letters it’ll be fun!” I thought, “Maybe she’s right it could be fun. And if I mess it up, she’s right there to edit it!”

The first column took about three weeks to produce. All of a sudden, there was The Madison Press, London’s robust two-section daily newspaper, with my name on an article in the food section. It was almost word-for-word what I’d written, along with two of my own recipes. Wow what a rush!

A couple of weeks after that “one-time article,” Heather mentioned that she’d had positive feedback from readers about my writing and the recipes. She asked if I’d write another article when I got around to it. In other words, she played me like the proverbial fiddle! I was hooked.

And so it began in January 1994.

I had one toddler grandchild when I wrote my first column now there are seven. They are all between the ages of 16 and 25, and all more or less know their way around a kitchen, thanks to their mothers.

In this age of technological change, The Press, my column’s home for almost 25 years, has changed hands five times and physical addresses once. Nearly everyone else who was there in the 1990s has moved on. I am nothing if not tenacious.

I’ve shared my grandmother’s stories and recipes, my mother’s, my own, my children’s, and now my grandchildren’s, along with those of several good friends and a handful of perfect strangers. Along the way, I’ve compiled an archive that will tell my descendants something of who their ancestor was and how she thought about things. I like that idea.

At this point in time, I’m happy to share my granddaughter Jacqui’s recipe for Citrus Butter Cookies. They won a first prize at the 2018 Madison County Fair.

And the beat goes on!


For the cookies:

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/3 cups confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons lemon zest

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in zest. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Shape dough into one inch balls. Flatten dough balls slightly onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven 14-16 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

For the icing:

4 cups confectioners sugar

4 teaspoons butter, softened

6-8 teaspoons lemon juice

4-6 drops orange extract

Combine the confectioners sugar, butter and orange extract and enough lemon juice to achieve a spreading consistency. Spread over cookies. Allow to stand until icing is set.

Makes about 30 cookies.


Linda Conway Eriksson

Contributing Columnist

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at lindaconwayeriksson@gmail.com.

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at lindaconwayeriksson@gmail.com.