Thursday, December 6, 2007

Lucky

Luck is believing you're lucky.
Tennessee Williams

I had a car accident this morning when I swerved to avoid a vehicle heading into my path. Long and short, my car sustained damage when it hit a pole. I think I was lucky, it could have been worse. I'm okay and my car can be fixed. Tomorrow I'll have a rental, be back to work and I'll keep going with the holiday spirit.

I shot this picture in Arizona. It reminds me of a southwestern Picassoesque Rudolph. It's probably like a Rorschach test. Not everyone may see it. But it still is a great version of a Christmas cactus. I really enjoyed the time with my Mom while we went through the Botanical Gardens in Tempe where I found it.

It's raining, cold/damp and I'm cozy inside, wrapped in a warm blanket looking at cookie recipes. A hot cup of chai tea is sitting at my side. Bella is snoozing and Brian is watching some news programs. I'm getting ready to do a cookie bake this weekend with a friend. Of course we have to do a gingerbread cookie, so I found this one:

Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies

5 to 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium until smooth. Add the molasses and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture 1 cup at a time, blending until smooth. The dough should gather into a semifirm mass. (If it's not firm, add another ¼ to ½ cup flour, but not enough to make it crumbly.) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Flatten into disks and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 week. Preheat oven to 350° F. On a floured surface, roll each disk to 1/8 inch thick. Use gingerbread-man cutters to make shapes. Transfer them to a large, parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Decorate, if desired. Bake until firm to the touch, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly before transferring to a rack

Yield: Makes 3 dozen medium gingerbread cookies.

Carney and Wendy Wilson, "Hey Santa":


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