Sheared Bliss

Ride ’em, Cowgirl!
December 20, 2009, 11:19 pm
Filed under: Baking, Food | Tags: , , ,

Cowgirl Cookies*

  • 1 1/3 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°.

Put all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.  Add egg, vanilla, and butter and stir to combine.  Scoop out generous teaspoon-fulls and shape into balls.  Place a couple of inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 11 minutes.  Cool briefly before removing to a rack to finish cooling.

These are a great cookie to turn into one of those mason jar cookie mixes since they don’t need any fancy creaming of butter and sugar and you don’t need to worry about adding ingredients in any particular order.  Just mix up all of the dry ingredients and put them in a mason jar (you’ll have to really shove to get it all in, but it should fit).  Don’t forget to add a tag explaining how to mix them up and bake them.

*Why Cowgirl Cookies?  Well, it’s based on a recipe for “Cowboy Cookies,” but I replaced the nuts with dried cranberries.  They can’t be cowboys if they don’t have nuts, now can they? 😉


Here’s Mud in Your Pie
December 18, 2009, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Food | Tags: , , ,

Mud Pies

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Combine milk, butter, sugars, cocoa, and salt in a large saucepan.  Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until boiling.  Add oats, coconut, and walnuts and mix well.  Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet (line with parchment paper or waxed paper for easy cleanup).  Chill in the refrigerator until set.

Happy (belated) St. Lucia Day!
December 15, 2009, 11:56 pm
Filed under: History, Museum | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

This past weekend was Holiday’s Eve, the museum’s annual Christmas event.  Since it happened to fall on December 13th, we used it as an excuse to celebrate St. Lucia Day – mmm . . . Lucia buns . . .

Early in the planning stages for this event, there was some talk of me portraying Lucia because I happen to own an authentic Swedish Lucia dress.  I perceived a number of problems with this plan:

  • I am not young enough or blond enough to play Lucia.
  • Despite being a dancer, I am not what you would call a graceful person.  I run into things.  Wearing candles on my head would be a bad idea.
  • The Lucia dress is thin cotton and it is coooold here.

It was wisely decided that we would simply lay out the Lucia dress and crown next to a smorgasbord of Swedish Christmas foods because the event was at night and (obviously) Lucia had already come that morning.  That left me with the challenge of dressing as warmly as possible while remaining historically accurate and not looking like a sausage.  I wore:

  • 2 pairs of stockings
  • 1 pair of boots
  • 1 pair of drawers
  • 1 chemise
  • 1 corset
  • 3 petticoats
  • And the Best Dress Ever

Seriously, look at this thing:

PioneerJ has started referring to it as the bumble-bee dress.  NurseK says it makes her think of traffic lights.  Leslie pointed out that it’s the MacLeod tartan (appropriately known as the “loud” MacLeod tartan).  I don’t care.  It’s wool and that’s all that matters.  It was gloriously warm.  Plus, the plaid kind of grows on you, doesn’t it?  Or maybe that’s just a sign that it’s starting to damage your retinas . . .

Happy Birthday, Emily
December 10, 2009, 4:10 pm
Filed under: Fiber Arts, History, Randomness | Tags: , ,


Autumn—overlooked my Knitting—
Dyes—said He—have I—
Could disparage a Flamingo—
Show Me them—said I—

Cochineal—I chose—for deeming
It resemble Thee—
And the little Border—Dusker—
For resembling Me—

Emily Dickinson

One maid a milking
December 6, 2009, 12:48 pm
Filed under: Food, History, Museum | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Guess what I learned to do this weekend?  Thanks to PioneerT and PioneerA for teaching me and to Millie for being very patient with me.  Milking is something I’ve always wanted to learn how to do, but haven’t had a chance until now.  It’s very warm and peaceful and warm and meditative and warm and did I mention it’s warm.  Can you tell it’s been cold here lately?

We made candy at the museum this weekend too.

Put one cup of molasses, one cup of sugar, and two teaspoons of vinegar in a pot and cook until it reaches the hard ball stage.  Add two tablespoons of butter and continue to cook until it reaches the crack stage.  Pour it onto a buttered plate and stir gently until it’s cool enough to touch.  Butter your hands liberally, take a portion of the candy, and pull for all you’re worth until it lightens in color and you can’t pull it any more.  Roll it into a snake, cut into bite sized pieces, and eat or wrap in paper to save for later.

You can use the same recipe to make popcorn balls.  Put some plain popcorn in the buttered plate and pour the molten candy over it.  Stir it around until it’s cool enough to touch.  Butter your hands liberally and shape the popcorn into balls.  These can also be wrapped in paper and saved for later, but they’re really good warm.

We did all of this over a fire using a glass of cold water instead of a thermometer, but you can make your life easier by obtaining a good candy thermometer and doing it on the stove in a heavy bottomed pot.  Just be prepared for everything in your kitchen to get sticky and greasy.  Fun!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
December 3, 2009, 12:33 am
Filed under: Home | Tags: , ,

Things have been pretty quiet around here since we got back from spending Thanksgiving with CodeMonkey’s parents.  We did get our Christmas tree put up.  It’s the first full sized one we’ve had – until now we’ve only had room for a tiny table-top tree in the various apartments we’ve lived in.  So, since I have nothing interesting to say, I’m going to distract you with sparkly things.  Ooh, shiny!