Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Mother Liked Salt—Sugar, Too

A very warm welcome to our good friend, Janet Bolin. She was kind enough to join us during our Retro Recipe week honoring our mothers. Janet's latest Threadville Mystery, SEVEN THREADLY SINS releases on Tuesday! In addition to sharing a recipe that's hard to resist, Janet is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky person who leaves a comment today!

And now, heeeere's Janet!

My mother was about five when the black and white photo was taken. On the back, many years later, she wrote, “Me, tomato, and salt.”

When I was a kid, we often did what my mother must have done right before her picture was taken. We took a salt shaker and a knife and moseyed into the garden. We each picked a tomato, still warm from the sunshine, and cut out the spot where the stem had been. Passing the salt shaker back and forth, we sprinkled salt on the tomato, took a bite, sprinkled more salt, took another bite, more salt, another bite…

One day, I decided to avoid all this passing of the salt shaker. I simply poured salt into the little funnel-shaped hole at the top of the tomato. I filled the hole completely.

I took a big bite. There was probably a tiny bit of tomato in that bite…

That was the last time I salted a tomato.

However, I was (was?) fond of sugary things. Liking to please us, my mother devised gumdrop cookies. I don’t have her exact recipe, but it went something like this:


Set oven at 375

1 cup sugar
½ cup softened butter

2 eggs, beaten
½ cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon orange juice or ½ teaspoon extract in a flavor that enhances the flavor of the gumdrops you’re using.

Mix well. Sift together
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda

Add to first mixture. Blend. Stir in
1 heaping cup of gumdrops chopped to about the size of chocolate chips, in colors to suit the holiday, the team, or your whim (for spring and Mother’s Day, I opted for green, yellow, and orange.)

Drop by teaspoonfuls on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper about 1 inch apart.
Bake about 10 minutes.

I salute my late mother on Mothers’ Day and wish all mothers a very happy Mother’s Day!

In Janet Bolin’s Threadville Mysteries, Willow Vanderling teaches machine embroidery and solve mysteries in a village of textile arts shops. The fifth book in the series, Seven Threadly Sins, will be on store shelves May 5. Willow and six of her friends are accused of committing sins of fashion, and when their accuser ends up dead, Willow figures it would be a sin not to clear her name.

Seven Threadly Sins can be ordered from your favorite bookstore or from these booksellers.

Janet lives on the shore of Lake Erie with two dogs who resemble Sally-Forth and Tally-Ho in the Threadville Mystery series. 

Visit Janet at Threadville Mysteries, on facebook,  and twitter .

Janet is offering a copy of SEVEN THREADLY SINS to one person who comments below.


  1. My son and I do the same thing with tomatoes. Cucumbers too. Can't wait to try these cookies. :)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing the black and white photo as well as the story behind it. Looking forward to reading this series. This is a new author for me.thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Love the recipe, accompanying backstory; and the book sounds great!

  4. I never thought of using gumdrops in a cookie. Will have to try these.

    Thanks for the giveaway. Reading about it has made me want to embroider something again. I have never done machine embroidery but I still have an old pillowcase my mother taught me to embroider.

  5. Recipe sounds wonderful - but the book sounds even better! Love the series.


  6. Thank you for the recipe to the gumdrop cookies. They look yummy.

    As a child I also ate from the garden (mainly strawberries and tomato's) but I never thought of using salt.

    Seven Threadly Sins sounds like a great book. I am looking forward to reading it. Thank you for a chance to win.

  7. The cookies look good! I never would have thought of putting gumdrops in cookies. Isn't it amazing what our mothers would do for us?

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

  8. The cookies look great! Never thought of using gumdrops in a cookie so thanks! The book looks great!!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. I love both pictures! What a great and lovely memory caught with the tomato and salt shaker...and the cookie with a face!
    I wish you great success with all your work.

  10. That's a lovely book cover, great sounding cookie recipe and terrific dog names, Tally-Ho and Sally-Forth. LOL!!

  11. Lovely story and I still love tomato and salt! I look forward to reading Seven Threadly Sins. patucker54 (at aol dot com)

  12. Oh my goodness! These look so yummy =)
    I am just starting to read mysteries and this book sounds like a good one!
    celticmajic @ hotmail (dot) com

  13. I love the black and white photo. Thanks for the giveaway! dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com

  14. Tomatoes and salt are delectable. Wonderful post and great photo. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  15. An interesting recipe.

  16. what a funny story Janet! I was hankering for that fresh tomato until you described the funnel of salt LOL. thanks for joining us to celebrate retro mother's day! xo Lucy

  17. this recipe looks so good, I will have to make this for my great nieces. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of your book :) darholley1 (at) aol (dot) com

  18. Darling picture of your mom!! Too much salt on a tomato, idk! Very funny! Can't wait for your new book. Love this series!

    Hugs, Daryl / Avery

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. What fun! I am looking forward to adding this series to my reading list. Thank you Daryl/Avery for sending me to this page!

  21. I can't wait to try the cookies! Thanks for the chance to win what sounds like a good book.

  22. The book sounds wonderful and the recipe looks delicious! Thank you for this chance!

  23. That is cuch a cute picture of you when you were a kid! Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

  24. Thanks for the giveaway! Love the recipe for gumdrop cookies!

  25. hadn't read any series about machine embroidery. had thought about getting a machine but never did it. Sounds like an interesting series. Would love to start it.
    The recipe sounds delicious. Mother was a good cook - have to brag and say I was too. Now that I'm along I don't cook much. Might try this recipe thought. Love sweets.

  26. I know the book will be good. The cookies sound as if I should try them. Gumdrops are a favorite junk candy.

  27. Cute story - thanks for sharing. My mother and grandmother also used salt on their tomatoes - I love tomatoes too but without the salt. Can't wait for this latest addition to a great series - sure wish there was a real Threadville.

  28. Sounds like a good cookie recipe to use with my granddaughters.

  29. Sounds like a good cookie recipe to use with my granddaughters.

  30. Looking forward to reading this ASAP!

  31. I think the book sounds great. Keeping my fingers crossed. Have a great day and thanks for the giveaway. kphans08 at

  32. The cookies sound delicious! I've never been a salt person. I remember my mom & grandmother salting watermelon. Never understood it when I was little. Can't wait for the new release! Scouts579 (at) aol (dot) com