So, what to do with that week between Christmas and New Year’s? Well, at Flowers Proper, the Christmas trees came down and the floor was swept clean of tinsel.
A walk around the gardens and a quick check on the bulbs planted in October netted a promise of Spring. The green tips are emerging from the dormant ground.
In the kitchen, fresh bread came out of the oven. Small round cake pans substituted for bread pans. Pretty, artisan round loaves, smeared with butter and mayhaw jelly. Yum! And We’re almost out of mayhaw jelly. Sigh.
Since I don’t return to work till next week, no wake up alarms are wonderfully absent.
Should New Year’s resolutions be made? Why not rename them as goals? Dropping the holiday pounds, writing another chapter or two or ten, finishing that project started months ago. Making plans for a potager and greenhouse. Do remember: slow progress is still progress. Look back and reflect, but keep moving forward.
October’s cookie of the month took a fantastic turn towards teaching, encouragement and fun. A group of young ladies and their children assembled in the Exile’s Kitchen for Cookie Dough 101. The premise for the get together was to fill the freezer of each family represented with rolls of cookie dough, so Holiday preparations would be easier. To make things light and fun (as if these ladies and girls needed help doing so) we all wore froofroo aprons, with a prize of bakeware for the most June Cleaver-like apron.
The little girls and boy held in there for the first batch of cookie dough making (August Cookie of the Month: Cranberry Pecan Shortbread), but then the front porch and sunshine and woods called them outside, so the mamas finished the other two recipes. The little girls didn’t want cranberries and pecans in their shortbread and opted for sprinkles. They named their creation: Funfetti Shortbread.
The second cookie dough was a Brown Sugar Cookie, which is good base for any add-in you may want. The lone teenager of the class added Heath candy pieces and milk chocolate chips to her bowl, calling her mix up Heath Chocolate Bar Cookies.
The third cookie dough was a basic sugar cookie, rolled up in parchment paper and ready for slicing and baking later in the Holiday season.
Some of the comments today:
“I never think to put on an apron, but I’m digging this.”
“Aprons are handy. They keep your outfit clean and you can dry dishes with it.”
“Is that just a ruffle on yours or pockets too?”
“Yes, pockets. For a recipe card or gathering eggs or holding my loaded pistol..!” Just kidding.
Plans have been made for more gathering in the Exile’s Kitchen for simple beginner classes.
Here’s the Brown Sugar Cookie recipe: cream together 1 cup softened butter and 1 1/2 cups of firmly packed brown sugar. Add 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk, and 1 tablespoon vanilla to butter and sugar. In another bowl, combine 3 cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Then slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture. Then fold in your favorite add-in- chocolate chips, toffee pieces, nuts, whatever, it’s your cookie dough. Bob Ross would agree with me. It Started With A Happy Little Cloud
With a cookie scoop, drop onto parchment lined cookie sheet, two inches apart and bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly on cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Cookie and Froofroo Apron Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.