This baked catastrophe looked beautiful to my grands.
So, how do YOU handle grief, joy, burdens, and blessings? I tend to approach these disparate feelings in the same way. I cook and especially love to bake or make soup. I garden. Everything about gardening makes me lose myself in the task, whether it is weeding, planting, transplanting, fertilizing, propagating, you name it–if it is outside in the garden, it is a healing salve to my soul.
This is the time of year when I love to work on containers that may be crowded with too many plants. Also, it is a time when I replant many of my pots.
The past couple of weeks have been tough ones. The loss of a friend, another close, close friend in the hospital having a heart procedure, yet another (Virginia, who is often seen in my photos here) in the hospital with a grave problem. Tending to my writing, drawing, cooking, and gardening helps me through the worst times. I feel so lucky to have friends and family who make my heart soar. Thank you for all your e-mails, letters, gifts, and loyalty.
One of the biggest joys in my life is to spend time with my grands. Last night, in celebration of the upcoming holidays, we baked cookies for some teachers. I scanned two of my favorite cookbooks, my dear friend Susan Branch's Christmas cookbook and her Vineyard Seasons. Last year we used Sue's cookie recipe (from her pal Elaine) for our baking. I also considered using Tasha Tudor's sugar cookie recipe, but in the end, I turned to my friends at the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog, which I visit a few times a week, and used their sugar cookie recipe. This was simple, fun, and do-able for children.
Both Sue's and Tasha's books are signed, making them even more treasured. Guess I'll have to have the girls sign their recipe sheet, which I printed off their blog.
We hauled out the trusty Kitchen Aid (I need a fork lift for this) and began our work (play).
Sara (in her magic cloak) checks out the children's baking drawer and finds some cookie cutters and rolling pins.
The "kid drawer."
One for Mo-one for Sara, and, of course, the sprinkles.
Mo at work. He laughed so much we were hysterical too.
Sara chose the smallest cutter, a little gingerbread man with a heart.
The refrigerated dough got warmer and warmer as they worked, played, sculpted, and thrashed through the flour. Our kitchen looked like it had been dusted with snow.
Though they look like mini-disasters, they tasted great.
So I hope Anneliese forgives me for making her recipe look so bad, but they're a cinch to do, and the children in your life will thank you for the fun.
Simple Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, room temp
1 ½ cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
½ tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
Mix butter, icing sugar and egg well in mixer.
Add milk and vanilla, then combined dry ingredients.
Chill in sealed container for a few hours or overnight.
Divide into two or three parts (working with small
amounts of pastry makes rolling out easier).
Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees. I spread our cookies onto cookie sheets lined with parchment and we added sprinkles. We baked them for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Sara said, "These are DIVINE." Mo said, "UMMMMMMMM." Thanks Anneliese. And thank you Kathy at MGCC who wrote these words to me today. "Being a grandma is certainly the icing on the cake of my life." I LOVE that and feel the same way.
Happy gardening and happy baking,
P.S. Won't you join me for a few minutes and listen to a radio program I did this week? The program is about family, friends, and traditions.
This was fun. I was tired and my voice sounded tired, but I enjoyed reminiscing about the holidays. Below is the traditional tray of wheat berry I mention and the chandelier that I always decorate with olive boughs for peace.
|Cheers and Peace!|
Yet ANOTHER P.S.
As we approach the new year...can you believe it will be 2012? (CAN YOU BELIEVE I GOT THE YEAR WRONG? TALK ABOUT AN ALTERED REALITY), I want to offer my followers a well-considered give-away. I love my signed Tasha Tudor cookbook, which she signed for me while we were appearing as speakers at an herb conference. I want to give this book away to anyone who is a follower and who leaves a comment on this or the next posting. All joys to you!