Saturday, December 17, 2011

Molasses cookies

The other day I made my Nanny's recipe for molasses cookies with Naya. I can still remember my little grandmom making them with me when I was little. She made them every year at Christmas. Christmas has a way of making you miss loved ones. It brought me joy though to watch my tiny girl in her slippers and apron carefully rolling the sticky dough. They are delish.
My to-do list has a way of slipping away with Naya around. Something about her boundless energy and sweet brown eyes. She's a tough one to say no to. But we do read lots of books, color, bake and make Harper laugh which is lots more fun anyway.

Nanny's Molasses Cookies
3/4 cups of butter
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of a molasses
1 egg
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon of salt
Melt butter over low heat, let cool, add sugar molasses and egg- beat well.
In a separate bowl sift together flour, soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon and salt- add to the first mix. Mix well and chill the dough for about a 1/2 hour. Form into 1 inch balls and "walk through the snow" or roll them in granulated sugar. Bake on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. I actually bake mine for about 6 minutes since I like them chewy. Enjoy.

what's blooming

reposted Dec 09

Everybody needs a garden. Okay maybe not a garden, but something that has the same effect of slowing your heart rate a little, helping you pause a minute and notice. A place an arms throw from messes that need cleaning and to-do lists, a place to sit for a few minutes with a cup of tea, to wander, to finger soft petals, to clear your head a little, to watch birds. I don't suppose I'm the only one that feels a sense of guilt at times for just sitting still for a few moments. Surely there is something I should be doing, and there always is.

"Is it an ocean of grace? Or an ocean of regrets.
Are we what we do? Or how we feel.
Or something different, something in between, something the size and shape of the perfect smooth rock that you close your hand around, just to feel its weight.

I am learning to be silent, to silence the seething within with patience and gentleness....
Gentleness is a great gift. I will ask for it and wield it in my house, with my family, spread it on my table like a cloth, throw it on the walls like a bucket of water, so it runs down and covers all of our mistakes...

And then I will wrap it around the small stone that I have in my hand, like a blanket."~ Rae

You can read it in its entirety here.I think about things in pictures and I love the way she strings together her thoughts. God is teaching me more about how closely connected love and gentleness are. How very humbling at times.

So back to my garden;I have noticed I find myself there just about every afternoon at about three having a cup of tea (my British daddy would smile). Up until last week I was amazed at the color that was hanging on despite the dropping temperatures and autumn winds... marigolds,zinnias and roses. Their deep pinks and oranges shining bright against a wash of tangled dying vines. And then last weekend, December brought our first snow of the year. A fresh white blanket stilled the landscape thrilling the children and taking with it the last of the blooms. But there are things quietly blooming in our hearts in this precious season of advent. I am seeing the tiny seeds planted slowly and over time starting to sprout. Sometimes in thoughtful questions, sometimes in simple little prayers that make make me catch my breath and bring tears.

Like the other night when Juden's prayer was this,

"Dear Jesus,
Thank you for all you give us. We love you. And someday we won't need the sun and the moon anymore because you will be all of our light. I'm sorry that you had to die on the cross for my sins. We know that you love us.