So much has happened since my last post. Last week my evenings were filled with the RNC as I chopped and sauteed dinner. And this week it is the DNC accompanying me at the dinner table. Currently, I am anticipating Bill Clinton’s speech tonight. Did/Do you listen/watch? Do you love or hate politics? What do you think of the conventions? Yes, they are full of hype and character references, but they are thrilling, too. And, all those brass-y preludes to the political events!
I love politics and wish I were more involved. Isn’t it amazing that we are all able to participate in the government of our nation? It feels like a privilege rather than obligation, yet it is more pressing than a privilege. Too many of us are apathetic and uninvolved. If voting is our only political involvement, I think we need to be doing more. I have a somewhat secret desire to be involved in local government. This preceded “Parks and Recreation,” but the show has done nothing but deepen my desire to run for some sort of office. How great would it be to be part of the decision-making process in your community? Listening to the concerns and innovations of your neighbors and working toward implementing solutions. Sounds great to me! Are you or anyone you know a member of local, state, or national government? What do they say about it? Recently, the extent of my government involvement has been this bicycle ride with my sis. (Kidding…mostly)
Sandwiched between the conventions, I spent the weekend in North Carolina. I need not rehearse my love for this state – I think we all know where I stand there. It was a dreamy weekend of relaxation, conversation, and determination. As I recently mentioned it has been a very stressful past month. So, after a cozy few days at home and lounging on the beach despite some light sprinkles, we discussed and encouraged each other at length. My man and I decided enough is enough. We have had it with the long-distance. So, after December, I am packing up in Washington and heading back to Chapel Hill! The discussions about this were long not because it was a hard topic, it was really an easy decision to make, but we are trying to be practical about it, too. I don’t have a job lined up, but we decided it was worth it to us to make the change. Life is short. Choose happiness. (bumper sticker material, right?!)
Before the rain:
During the drizzle:
And, the sweet ending. Over the lazy labor day weekend, I felt the baking itch. This usually happens, oh, daily. But, I’ve been storing up some baking mojo while in DC. I just don’t have the same urge to bake for myself. One reason: if I bake a cake and a few days later it is gone, I have to face the fact that, yeps, I ate that whole cake. Oof. So, I prefer to bake when there is someone other than me involved. Another reason: isn’t it so warming to share something you’ve made with another person? So, I made one of my favorite cookie recipes: ginger snaps from the most recent edition of the “Joy of Cooking” affectionately referred to as simply, “the Joy” in our house. This cookie recipe is super easy and has a delightful surprise ingredient : lemon! Below is the unaltered recipe from the Joy. These cookies are so good with Earl Grey tea, milk, or just straight from the cookie tin.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line 2 cookie sheets.
Whisk together in a medium bowl: 1 1/4 C flour, 3/4 t baking powder, 1/4 t salt, 2 1/2 t ground ginger, 1 t ground cinnamon, 1/8 t ground cloves
Beat in large bowl until fluffy: 1 1/2 stick (6 T) unsalted butter, softened, 3/4 C sugar
Add and beat until well combined: 1 egg, 1/4 C dark molasses, 1/4 t lemon zest, 1 t lemon juice
Stir in the flour mixture until blended. Form the dough into 3/4 inch balls and arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, about 12 minutes. The cookies will flatten and develop a crinkled surface as they bake. Let stand briefly, then remove to a rack to cool. For crunchy cookies, overbake slightly, for more tender ones, underbake by a minute or two.
Seriously. So. So. Good. And the lemon is life-changing! Let me know what you think when you bake them at your home!