Here are my remarks from Sunday’s Stake Conference in Moses Lake:
Raisin Apple Cookies (Elizabeth Ririe Hogan 1897-1982)
Boil 2 cups of raisins in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes.
Add 1 tsp soda and cool.
Mix 2 cups of sugar with 1 cup Shortening
1 tsp Vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Add raisin mixture
Add 2 cups chopped apple (including peel)
Bake on greased cookie sheet 350 for 10 min.
Makes about 6 doz small cookies
This is the cookie recipe of Pres Baker’s grandmother, Elizabeth Ririe Hogan who was born in 1897. She died in 1982. I’ve been friends with President Baker’s sister, Claire and her daughter, Christine. (Claire added the apples to the recipe.)
A year and a half ago, they loaned me a family history book about their family and the early settlers of Moses Lake. (Pres Baker’s father was a Stake President here, then a Regional Rep.) I learned about the early members (and many of your family members) who settled here and their water projects, dams, irrigation and crops. I began to love you before I ever got here. In that book I read about Elizabeth’s famous raisin cookies and I asked Claire if she had the recipe. She not only brought the recipe to me, she also brought a plate of the delicious cookies.
How shall a man escape his ancestors? –Emerson
A year or so ago, I read a small volume loaned to me by a cousin–an autobiography of a woman named Lucy Hanna White Flake. Lucy Hanna was born in 1849. In the introduction to her life, she began by quoting Emerson:
How shall a man escape his ancestors, or draw off from his veins the black drop which he drew from his father’s or his mother’s life? It often appears in a family as if all the qualities of the progenitors were potted in several jars, –some ruling quality in each son or daughter of the house; and sometimes the unmixed temperament, the rank unmitigated elixir, the family vice is drawn off in a separate individual and the others are proportionally relieved. We sometimes see a change of expression in our companion and say his father or his mother comes to the windows of his eyes, and sometimes a remote relative. In different hours a man represents each of several of his ancestors, as if there were seven or eight of us rolled up in each man’s skin, –seven or eight ancestors at least; and they constitute the variety of notes for that new piece of music which his life is. . . . Men are what their mothers made them.
–From The Spiritual Emerson: Essential Works by Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s an interesting thought. On Halloween I posted a photo of my mother on Facebook, in memory of her death on that day. I was amazed at how many friends and family commented about how much I look like her. I am also amazed when the same comments are made about my daughter, Claire and me. I don’t see the resemblance as much as I feel it.
I sometimes feel my mother in me with a turn of my head, or a sneeze that sounded like hers. I feel my mother in me when I cook, without recipes, feeling what to do next. I feel my father in me as I ponder spiritual things. I look at my large strong hands and see his. I stand by the mirror and see both of my parents in my body shape and size– we all have long skinny legs and short waists. It’s easy to see I am their daughter.
It’s not as easy for me to see in myself the generations who came before my parents. Both of my mother’s parents died before I was a few months old. But I suspect there are parts of me that resemble parts of them.
I wonder if, when we someday meet our ancestors, we will be shown which parts, tendencies, thoughts or expressions have been passed down to us from whom. We are composite beings. We receive from many, and we pass along to a few. . . . . There are things we are because of who came before us, but we have agency to determine which traits we value and which we don’t. We have some say in what we choose to pass along to our children. (Like this raisin cookie recipe that’s been passed down all these generations.) I hope we will choose wisely and equip our children with the best of all traits passed to us from those we love who came before.
Let’s let some of those traits be things like Faith, Kindness, Missionary, Generosity, Honesty, Testimony, and a love for Jesus Christ.