This is about what it has been looking like around here, Grey sky, sullen river. But today, the sun is lighting up the trees and sparkling on the snow.
I have been noticing that our local grocery stores have been making more of an effort to stock locally grown and produced products. More fruits and veggies, even canned ones like pumpkin and tomatoes and meat, poultry and eggs. Now it is our responsibility to buy them, even if they're not a famous brand.
Our deer herd has been eating the bird seed that gets dropped, but they don't try to eat out of the feeders, even though one would be easy for them to use. For some reason the birds have all stopped coming to eat. Every last one of them.
Yesterday was a good day. I made 3 batches of bread for gifts - cherry and marzipan, chocolate chip and cherry and cheddar walnut, I have to confess I saved one of the cheese loaves for us, because I really love it. The first 2 I got out of Totally Tea Breads, which is a very small book loaded with great recipes, not only for tea breads, but spreads as well.
Ma's Molasses Cookies.
I have no idea where she got this recipe
In 35 minutes, you can have fresh cookies that are super. 325 degree oven
Using a large mixer, mix in order:
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup molasses
Mix together and add
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
mix in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
the grated peel of one orange or orange oil or 11/2 teaspoon orange extract.
Dump out on floured board and knead about 1 minute, form into 2 long loaves
that fit on a cookie sheet, make them a little taller than wide and bake about 25-30 minutes.
If your kitchen is warm or just because, and the loaves are a bit soft, put the cookie pan with them in the fridge for 1/2 hour and then right into the oven.
You can slice these or just break them off and eat them. You can double the recipe with no problem. You can not add nuts, but I think the orange flavor is essential, whatever it comes from. My kids and everyone else I have ever served these to has loved them. If you make the loves small, you can slice them and add them to your next tea party. They don't keep forever and I would store them in a tightly covered tin with an orange or pieces of apple. They are wonderful with Keemun tea.