I could write multiple pages about the recipes I’m sharing this week, and I probably will one day. For now, here is just a little taste of delicacies from my past, now made with love for the grandchildren. The soup and bread recipes were handed down to my siblings and I by our mother. The cookies could always be found in my grandmother’s cookie jar; she made them every week without fail.

This hearty stick-to-your-ribs soup is a family staple that features beef and cabbage. It lends itself well to the addition of noodles or barley and freezes wonderfully. The whole thing can be made in the oven in one of those big black oval roasting pans or in a Dutch oven on the stove top. I call it First Soup because I once served it to someone special the first time he came over for an evening meal and the name has stuck.

As for the bread, you’ll be hearing more about it in columns to come. My mom has made this a million times, and it’s the bread my own children grew up on. I made four loaves every week for their sandwiches and toast and used the same recipe for Saturday night pizza. It’s just right for those turkey sandwiches in everyone’s near future and in its toasted form, it makes a tasty platform for a generous spread of peanut butter.

Then there are the cookies, which are really more like a Scottish oat cake or scone. Although our family has always called them cookies, they aren’t sweet. However, they are extremely satisfying, especially when served with a cup of strong builder’s tea. Everyone in our family adores them, but probably not as much as my dear Irish grandpa did. I believe that every day of his married life, he came in from the barn for a morning break that consisted of two cookies, a cup of coffee laced with canned evaporated milk and a pipeful of tobacco.

Those were the days.

First Soup
1 (2-3 lb.) chuck roast

2-3 lbs. beef short ribs, prime rib bones or meaty soup bones

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

3 quarts water

1 large onion, chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 large carrots, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 tsp. thyme

2 tsp. parsley

1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes

1 (16-oz.) can sauerkraut

6 cups cabbage, shredded

4 tsp. beef bouillon granules

3 tbsp. sugar

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce

1 tsp salt

Season roast and ribs with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in a large Dutch oven. Add water, cover and allow to simmer for 2 hours until meat is almost tender. Add all other ingredients and simmer another 1-1/2 hours or until vegetables are tender and meat falls off the bone. Remove meat and bones from soup. Cut meat into bite-size pieces and return to soup. Yield: 8-10 servings

Country Crust Bread
2 (1/4 oz.) envelopes or 4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp. salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

6-6 1/2 cups flour

Softened butter for loaf tops

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sugar, salt, eggs, oil and 2 cups flour. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Mix in remaining flour a cup at a time until dough is easy to handle.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic for 8-10 minutes. Place dough in oiled bowl, then flip dough so oiled side is up. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, for about an hour. The dough is ready if an impression remains.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll each into a rectangle approximately 18 x 9 inches. Roll up, be-ginning at short side. Seal ends, then fold them under to form a loaf. Place seam side down in two buttered 9 x 5 x 3 buttered glass loaf pans. Brush loaves with a bit of oil. Cover with towel and allow to rise until doubled, for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place loaves on lower oven rack so tops of the loaves are at the center of the oven. Bake 30-35 minutes or until the loaves are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans and brush with butter. Allow to cool. Yield: 2 loaves

Grandpa’s Morning Cookies
1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

4 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla and eggs and mix until well blended. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into batter. Add oatmeal one cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until well combined. You may have to use your hands to incorporate it all; the dough will be very stiff.

Roll dough out to 1/2-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 12 minutes. Yield: 18 cookies