Ginger Snaps

Today I dismantled my kitchen.

In retrospect, the vision of me slumped by the stove, face in hands, surrounded by moving boxes and packing peanuts is a touch on the side of overdramatic.

After all, it’s only a kitchen. I’ll get a new one, and will likely have many more before I die, but for some reason, during the act of packing up my mixer and bowls, it finally hit me. My dream’s come true.

I’m moving to Toronto this week – to work for a food magazine. It’s the city, and the job, I’ve been thinking about since I was 14 years old. The city I promised myself that someday I would call home. The city that quite frankly encapsulates everything I’ve been working toward for the past five years. The job I know I am going to love.

And now I’m getting there, finally, and for some reason it’s much harder than I thought.

To say I’d given up on myself would be overdoing it; I guess I was just starting to feel like I was destined to become one of those people who dream big but never follow through. Since I was in high school, I’ve been telling people, and most importantly myself, that when I grow up, I’m going to work for a magazine in Toronto. But when university graduation hit and none of my job applications materialized into so much as an interview, I started to feel like a bit of a failure.

So two weeks after I’d sent in my resume, when an e-mail popped into my inbox from the editor of the magazine, I was utterly and completely floored. A week and a half later, she offered me the job. My life has been a roller coaster ever since, a series of ups and downs, excitement over starting this new life, but sadness over leaving my old one behind.

Like most great things, my leaving is bittersweet. As excited as I am about finally having my dream job, I can’t help but cry when I think of leaving my parents behind, or trading in my gorgeous two-bedroom top floor apartment for a one-bedroom basement in the city.

But it’s a sacrifice, and one I know I need to make for myself.

I realized over this past year since I started this blog that food really is my calling. It was my grandmother’s gift to me, one I never really realized until long after she was gone. When I think of how proud she would be of me, working for a food magazine, it makes me proud – of myself, and of her. If it weren’t for my grandmother, I never would have started cooking. I never would have discovered how much I love it, or how much a part of me it has become. So when I’m sitting on my kitchen floor, tearing up over the stress of moving, I think of her. Because this is just as much for her as it is for me.

This ginger snap recipe is my grandmother’s. These were her staple; at any given time, she would always have a tin of ginger snaps tucked away in her cupboards.


medium saucepan
wooden spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoons
wooden cutting board
rolling pin
cookie cutter
baking pan
wire cooling racks


1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup molasses
2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 1/2 cups flour


Measure all ingredients except flour in a pot. Stir until it just comes to a boil. Add flour in four parts until firm, then transfer to cutting board. Knead slightly. Divide in four parts and roll thinly. Cut out shapes and place on ungreased baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.



4 thoughts on “Ginger Snaps

  1. Wishing you all the best in the big city Gilean! Be careful, stay true to yourself, and do send me a link to your new job, I’m sure it has a website! 🙂

  2. Congratulations Gilean, you will do fine. I’m sending you my own words to live by.
    ” I feel if at the end of the day, or the end of the week or at the end of the year I can be proud of what I’ve done, than I am what I want to be. ”
    On the other hand, ” Will it still be important at the end of the day, or the end of the week or the end of the year, then and only then will I worry”
    Don’t get too busy to enjoy the trip…..
    Marilyn ( Auntie 😀 )

  3. Gilean, wishing you the best of luck with your move and new job in Toronto. Can understand your mixed emotions. This must be so exciting for you moving to a big city and obtaining a job with a food magazine. Will be great to have your aunt and uncle, Mark and Yvonne, nearby.

    Hope you will continue with “Stuck in Thyme” which we enjoy so much and look forward to hearing about your adventures in the big city.

    Your grandmother would be so proud of you and will always be with you in your heart guiding you along life’s way. We miss her so much…… Thanks for sharing her receipe for ginger snaps. Can’t wait to make them. Aunt Sadie always had baked goodies to share with me along with a cup of tea when I went to visit.

    Take care and may God bless.

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