“The Drinking of Tea” Wednesday, Feb 18 2009 

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“In the kitchen at the back of the house there was a packet of green beans that needed to be washed and chopped. There was a pumpkin that was not going to cook itself. There were onions to be put in a pan of boiling water and cooked until soft. That was part of being a woman, she thought; one never reached the end. Even if one could sit down and drink a cup of bush tea, or even two cups, one always knew that at the end of the tea somebody was waiting for something. Children or men were waiting to be fed; a dirty floor cried out to be washed; a crumpled shirt called for the iron. And so it would continue. Tea was just a temporary solution to the cares of the world, although it certainly helped. . . . Most problems could be diminished by the drinking of tea and the thinking through of things that could be done while tea was being drunk. And even if that did not solve problems, at least it could put them off for a little while, which we sometimes needed to do, we really did.”

~ Mma. Precious Ramotswe (Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith)

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Winter Storm ’09 Sunday, Feb 1 2009 

Kentucky experienced a harsh winter storm this past week. Thankfully, we never lost our power as so many others did. I had 4 days off school, and Jeff had no classes and a reduced work schedule — it felt like a mini winter vacation!

Here are some photos I took on a walk — thanks to Dustin for snapping the picture of us! Check out Dustin’s website for some more artistic photos of Frankfort Avenue covered in snow!

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The view from our porch

The view from our porch

Another view from our porch

Another view from our porch

Crescent Avenue

Crescent Avenue

A beautiful home near our apartment complex

A beautiful home near our apartment complex

St. Mark's

Stone cross at St. Mark's, Frankfort Avenue

Snickerdoodles Sunday, Feb 1 2009 

ms-cookiesI recently purchased Martha Stewart’s Cookies, a cookbook devoted entirely to cookies. I have made only a few of the recipes so far, but the easiest and most delicious has been the recipe for snickerdoodles.

I don’t know that I would have listed snickerdoodles as a favorite cookie before trying this recipe, but I would now. These cookies have consistently turned out fabulously. I also like that the ingredients are normal, everyday ingredients that you most likely have in your pantry.

Snickerdoodles

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. sugar and 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, mix butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture.

Stir together 2 tbsp. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl. Shape dough into balls (I use a cookie scoop). Roll in cinnamon-sugar. Space 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 12-15 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

Notes: The recipe says it makes about 20 cookies, but those must be some big cookies! I usually get about 3 dozen; also, the parchment paper is key — I forgot it once and the cookies were jagged on the bottom. They turn out much better with parchment paper, and clean-up is easy!