Friday, December 21, 2012

northern lights and acts of kindness

I made three meals yesterday. I only report this because it's a new land speed record. These were not cheese and cracker meals either. These were hot food of a healthy variety kind of meals. Hurray for me.

This morning for breakfast, I had a piece of lefse with butter and a molasses cookie. If I had pickled herring in the house, I would have had some of that, too. Tis the season.

I made a batch of my favorite molasses cookies. Of course, I got to the point where you add the molasses and I have none. Bless my husband's to the store he goes. Here's the recipe:

Molly's Coffee Molasses Cookies
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 and 1/4 ground cloves
1 and 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 and 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease 2 large baking sheets.
2. In large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon,
3. In another bowl, with a mixer, beat together butter, shortening, and 3 cups sugar until light and fluffy and beat in molasses.
4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
5. Gradually beat in dry ingredients and combine well.
6. In a small shallow bowl, put remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Form dough into 2 inch balls (Don't skimp! Ours were 1.8 ounces each. We weighed them.) and roll in sugar.
7. On baking sheet, arrange balls about 4 inches apart and flatten slightly with bottom of glass dipped in sugar. Everybody used to have a cut glass something or other for this purpose. Don't use a fork...that's for peanut butter cookies.
8. Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven for 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Cookies should be soft. Let them sit on the pan for a few minutes to settle. Transfer to metal rack with spatula to cool.

The recipe says that it originally came from Molly’s Coffee Saloon and Roasting Company in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

I used a whiskey glass with a nice pattern in the bottom. This is what the cookies should look like...big and crackly. The pattern doesn't show up so much...but it's important to use the right thing. No forks! No smooth glass!

There is a movement afoot, originated by Ann Curry, to encourage people to do 26 acts of kindness in memory of the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lovely idea. Wouldn't it be good if this just became what we do instead of something special that we do? Be sure to read Karen's comment about earth angels on my last post.

Mom, loved your comment, too. Being grateful for what we have is important. I learned from you, many times, when things are crappy you just soldier on because things could always be worse. I counted ten friends I wrote Christmas cards to this year, where part of the message was understanding that some tragedy or illness makes it hard to have a happy Christmas. That's a lot of folks suffering.

Regis and I got up in the middle of the night and went out into the back yard to watch the northern lights. If you're not from here, this is a good link to read about them and here is a fairly reasonable picture at our latitude although we didn't see the dramatic colors at the bottom. It's not common to see them here in southern MN so when you read on FB at 2 am that one of your friends says to get out of bed and go outside, you do. It's an amazing thing.

Regis shaved my head again the other day because it wasn't time for my hair to fall out yet and it was starting to, let's say, itch. Last night, I had a glass of pinot noir and modeled my hairless head again, this time with more verve. Mom's friend, Ione, loaned me a bunch of hats from her bout with cancer so I wanted to send a couple photos along with my thank you note. I also got my new red velvet turban in the mail the other day, and my cousin, Christine, sent me a crown. All cause for photos.


Jill said...

As the Queen of Hearts says, "It's good to be Queen" The crown is lovely!

Anonymous said...

dear teresa,

thanks for giving my comment on earth angels a plug.

i so enjoyed the slideshow - your smile is infectious! and boy, oh, boy would i love to reach right into the computer screen and grab one of those molasses cookies! thanks for the recipe. good you had the inspiration (and strength) to make those meals. feels so good when you can enjoy being in the kitchen.

i liked your comments about random acts of kindness. maybe they will help cancel out some of the random rants of the insane words of the NRA talking heads. i was going to call them something else (highly profane) but in the spirit of kindness decided to stifle myself.

love and peace, xoxo

karen, TC