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Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Clara reminds me of my Granny Sylvia. I wish I had video taped her in the kitchen while she was still with us. Granny loved to serve tea and gingersnaps for company and regularly made bread for daily meals. It might not have been for the love of bread but a habit born out of pure necessity for survival during hard times. Are we any better off in 2014?

This video series is a gem. In some small way I feel connected to my maternal ancestors through the cheerful star of the show. I just want to hug Clara!

And now, I want to bake cookies.

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This is a topic I wasn’t going to discuss openly, yet alone on my blog.  I feel sick, like the way you feel after accidentally overfeeding a goldfish to find it belly up in the morning.  You were just taking care of it, and it died.  You know it wasn’t intentional but feel sick to your stomach anyways.

My goldfish died a year ago.  And when I say goldfish I mean my marriage.

You never know what the future holds, but I was a naive 20-something bound and determined to hold on to a boyfriend.  I had a long-standing semi-long-distance relationship that went nowhere for years and I got out of it.  Since then it’s been like grasping at straws and water running through my fingers, nothing was sticking.  Until I met him, the one who stuck, and ultimately destroyed himself and the goldfish.

I wanted to write about the process, emotionally and whatnot, but it’s still too gripping, a nightmarish flash of the detrimental blow to the fish tank.  All I can say is, I survived and it’s going to be a long road ahead.

That road is full of possibilities, one of which is chocolate.  What do I reach for when dealing with a dead goldfish?  Coffee Crisp.  Chocolate covered strawberries.  Chocolate cake.  Chocolate cakeballs covered in chocolate.  Hot chocolate.  Peanut Butter Cups.  Valentine’s Day was especially hard to hold restraint from diving into the bins of chocolate in the stores.  Now I feel a little pudgy.

Hey Cupcake, Double Chocolate and Sweetberry

Deciding that feeding my emotions was not a healthy response, I backed away from the cupcakes and Girl Scout Thin Mints.  I went for a run (!!!) with my dog and felt like I was going to die, lung and calves burning.  A full-out run in the park should have started with a brisk walk, maybe even a jog.  I used to cross-country ski when I lived in the snow, and swam every morning before class in college.  Life crept in and pushed out the will to exercise, then again, I could blame it on the goldfish.

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I know, my iPhone camera sucks, I’m sorry.  This is the only picture I had time to take before all the Snickerdoodles vanished!

There’s been a tremendous amount of change going on in my life and I’ve had to leave the kitchen to get to know more neighbors.  These cookies were a thank you batch for a neighbor, an in kind trade if you will.  Since school started I’ve been driving from work to the school to pick up Big Brother and drop him off, then returning to work.  All told it’s a 1 hour 20 minute excursion at a minimum.  This was wasting precious fuel, my lunch hour, and my wits.  There is no bus service because we only live 2 miles from the school.  There’s no way in hell he is walking, alone, along a 45 mph road for two freaking miles!  So I made the trip.  I asked a neighbor, who has kids at the same school, if she could lend a hand with pickup.  I offered money for gas and instead she wanted cookies!  Sure, I can pay you in cookies!!!  The Snickerdoodle was the first flavor she said she liked.  Done deal.

I’m grateful for the friends and neighbors that have crossed my path.  It’s difficult to come out of my shell (aka kitchen) especially in turbulent times, but those small steps outside of the comfort of the oven, measuring cups, and stacks of flour are now more powerful than I could have imagined.  It gives me a glimmer of hope that things will get better, one batch of cookies at a time.

Next time you see someone down and out, please bake them some cookies.  It will make them feel warm and fuzzy, even if it’s just during that moment they are presented with those warm chewy delights.  They are a light in their darkness.

Snickerdoodles

The recipe I used was from COOKIES by Martha Stewart Living Magazine.  I found a similar recipe on her website here.  Here are the changes to the online recipe you might want to use:

  • no cream of tartar
  • use 2 tsp baking powder instead of baking soda
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • no vegetable shortening
  • add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • oven at 350ºF

Depending on the size of your dough balls, it may take anywhere from 8 to 14 minutes.  I would go for heaping tablespoon size balls, they result in a chewy center.  The batch made almost 3 dozen regular size cookies (about 3.5 inches in diameter) .  Put a pinch of the cinnamon sugar mix on the balls after you roll them, that way you get extra cinnamon in the middle of the cookie.

We enjoyed these cookies and I hope you will too!

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