Sunday, December 27, 2009


Cookies are for anytime. They are not to be saved for just celebrations, but they can make a celebration grand. They can invoke memories in our past and they can cause a euphoria to make us dream beautiful dreams. The cookie recipe I am going to share with you is this kind of cookie. It is one once you have tasted it that will make you wish the cookie jar was always full of them.

This cookie lives up to its name, "MY FAVORITE COOKIE". It is a refrigerator cookie. The cookies on the cookie plate in the front center are these. Sorry I don't have a better picture. If you click on the picture it will enlarge and give you a better view of the cookies.

I came upon this recipe in a cook book from 1974. "The American Family Cookbook". It is written by "Culinary Arts Institute, Chicago". I have used several recipes from this book and recommend highly everyone scrounging through the used book stores for an edition of it. (I have found several hard to find older editions of several cookbooks on ebay.)

December 3, 2011, Hints:
I have been baking some of the cookies and it occurred to me to pass on some hints which I have remembered during this endeavor. 
If you have a convection oven and are using it in convections mode lower you temps 25 degrees.
Turn your pans at least once during the baking and exchange the shelves they are on.


1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs well beaten
1 teas baking soda
1 teas salt
1 teas vanilla
4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 cups broken pecans
1. Soften butter, add sugars gradually, beating until fluffy. Blend in eggs, baking soda, salt and vanilla.
2. Stir in flour till thoroughly mixed.
3. Fold in pecans. When you are chopping up the nuts do not chop fine. you only want them in pieces. I cut the halves in half and then those pieces in thirds. (when you get to the point you slice the cookies you will see why you don't want the pieces fine.)
4. Tear off 6 pieces of waxed paper, appx 11"x12" (I use the sandwich sheets of waxed paper. They are just the right size and are already precut.) Divide the dough into 8 portions: Shape each portion int a 1 1/2 inch in diameter roll. Wrap in the sheets. (I use the sheet to make the roll so my hands don't get sticky.)
5. Twist the ends of the rolls and chill until firm. I have found chilling most cookie doughs results in a better shaped cookie.
6. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cookie sheets. (I use parchment paper on my sheets you can also use waxed paper.) When you use parchment you can slide the cookies off the sheet onto the cookie rack, no need for a spatula and the extra handling. The parchment papers can be reused several times during this baking. I always mix several different batches of cookies on the same day and then spend the next day baking them off. Slice each roll into thin cookies (about 1/8 inch thick if you made your nuts smaller this is where they would be dust by the time they baked). They don't spread much so can be placed 1/2 inch apart.
7. Bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes until light brown. (if you use a convetion oven the time will be less and you will have to watch the top and bottom shelf...uneven baking can happen). When done just slide the paper onto the cooling rack removing them when they are cooled.

For more cookie recipes:

 New Article on my blog: 
A mystery quilt designed with the novice in mind
First Clue to be presented October 16.
Other blog sites by me:
Where I have stories of my cats and other pets
a blog about my courtship with my husband,
and a blog about my most embarrassing moment.
A "Soap box" blog where I do air my opinions.
blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures
Blog about an endangered beneficial beetle
New Blog:
All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own.
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .
Please do not copy without

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I have just returned from a visit to my grandchildren in Florida. When I arrived there was the usual expected excitement. They had to accompany me to my room with the suitcases. (They know something is always in there for them.) When I unzipped the cases to unload the clothes, my granddaughter immediately grabs my Jammie's and gives them a sniff. A long deep sniff. I asked her if they were okay. She said, "I just had to smell them, they smell like your house."

Through the next days I noticed something else, everything she picked up she looked for a label. Reading the label she would say, "China" or "India" or whatever country's name was there. I didn't mention she is just six. She is very preoccupied with reading labels.

On the third day I was there She and her brother, who was eight years old yesterday, came in with horribly filthy hands. I said, "Where are you going?" as they ran by they hollered over their shoulder, "To wash our hands".

A few minutes later they asked if they could play next door. I said it was fine if their friends mom said it was okay. About 30 minutes later they ran in the front door with the 3 brothers from next door in tow.

"Baba, can we play here?" I said, "Sure, where's the fire?" my grandson replied, "Oh Baba, There's no fire, We are going to dig to China." (Baba is Grandmother in Russian)

"Where do you think you are going to dig."

"We already have a hole started".

"Show me where and I will tell you if it's okay."

They marched me outside and showed me where they had started digging. They had started a hole right in the middle of the drive way. I told them to fill it in and they could dig in the garden where the flowers had died. I also had the fore thought to tell them they couldn't put the dirt on the patio and it had to stay in a nice pile next to the hole. I figured two shovels and 5 kids under
Eight years old couldn't do too much damage. WRONG.

A few minutes later one of the boys came running in and headed to the play room, clods of dirt dropping off his jeans and shoes. (Dirt in Florida is black and almost all sand). I hollered, "Slow up, what do you need in here, there's no coming in with the dirt on you." He looked down at his feet and mumbled, "We need a ruler." I told him no problem but to come to the door and ask and I would get them what they needed. For the next two hours I heard only happy voices discussing the construction of a tunnel and how long it would take them to get there.

I went out the middle of the afternoon with two buckets of warm water, a bar of soap, a kitchen scrubby sponge and a towel. I set the buckets on the ice chest sitting on the porch, called the kids. They came over wondering what the buckets were for. I told them they were for hand washing for kids that wanted a Popsicle. They needed to line up with the person who had the cleanest hands first. I used one bucket to wash in and the other to dry in. The scrubby pad to scrub the ground in dirt off. Half way through, the middle child from next door says, "Is that how you did it in the olden days?"

I stifled a choking laugh and said, "Nope that's how I do it in these days when I don't want five sets of muddy shoes and hands running in to the bath room to wash." I was answered with a chorus of 5 "Oh yeah."

While they were consuming their treats they drug me over to the construction site, proudly showing me a hole that was 3 feet deep and 18 inches wide. The littlest one who is 4 asked me if I thought they would be to China by tomorrow.

Later on that night I told my grands that their Mom had tried to dig to china under my back porch. I had tried to dig to China in my sand box when I was 6. Their grandfather and his friends dug a hole so deep their moms couldn't see them from their windows. Their Great grandfather, who is still living. When He and his friends were 10 they went to a vacant lot and dug tunnels all one summer to take them to china. My grand son said, "No Way, he's too old"

I wonder how many tunnels were excavated by girls and boys for their dreams to travel through

Thursday, January 29, 2009


"Another cow, is that what we need?" This was the question hunny responded with when I mentioned it. It was more of an exclamation than a question. I gave him the run down of why we had Misty. We needed the milk to feed the baby goats and we were used to the butter, yogurt and homemade cheese. Misty was due to "dry up" soon. She was to freshen in three months. He said he could see my logic but what, where were we going to house another cow. I mentioned it was nice weather and we could build a lean-to large enough for the two of them till we could make better accommodations. He consented reluctantly.

I don't think he thought I would find a cow so quickly but only two days passed and the feed store called and said a customer that lived just a mile away had a milk cow available. I called and we went to look at "Lizzy". Mind you we were used to our wonderful demure Jersey. Lizzy was an eye opener. Her back was taller than I stood. If I reached up I could barely rest my arm on her back. She was looking at us, her eyes were wild. the owners said she wasn't used to strangers. I asked if I could try to milk her. They said sure and proceeded to put out grain for her and gave me a bucket to sit on and a bucket to milk into. Lizzy had only been fresh a few days and her bag was very full and tight. I was afraid she wasn't going to let me milk her, but that wasn't the case. She acted relieved at the prospect. She was easy to milk the people said don't milk too much leave some for the calf. Mentally I was thinking you haven't milked this cow enough she is too bagged up. The calf wasn't consuming as much milk as she was giving.

I was pleased with the cow and asked if they could deliver her the next day. (mentally I was afraid the poor cow would get mastitis if she stayed as bagged up as she was.) The poor calf, I had no idea what was going to happen to him. They said he had already been sold. They said no problem she'd be there tomorrow afternoon.

The afternoon arrived and the neighbor pulled up with the cow. He was in a baby blue pick up with stock sides on the bed. Finding a place to back the truck up to to unload Lizzy proved to be something we hadn't thought about. I forgot to mention, Our other cow misty had the run of the place. She was so placid and never bothered anything, didn't even try to go out of the gate when it was open. We had never had to make a fence to keep her in. She was surveying the truck scene and acting weird about the truck backing up to the terrace. All of a sudden Misty takes off and rams the truck. When she backed off there was a noticeable dent in the side. (I haven't mentioned, Misty has horns). I ran up to grab her halter and pull her back. This is easier said than done. She may be a Jersey and smaller than the normal Holstein, but she was still close to 1000 lbs. She is a very well fed Jersey.
Lizzy, gave Misty the eye and proceeded to act wilder than when she met us. We wondered if she had ever seen another cow. We put her in the pen and she proceeded to test the electric fence. I was happy she had had the experience of an electric fence before she came to live with us.
As Lizzy is making the trek around the pen she comes to the side that is a wooden fence. It separates her and misty from our pigs pen. We only have one occupant in the pen. He is being raised for dinner. "Porky" came to the fence to sniff the new neighbor. She did not like that at all and started bawling. Porky turned around and went back to his mud puddle. Lizzy didn't calm down until she found the bin filled with alfalfa hay. She started munching like she hadn't had a meal in months. when Misty came up to see what she was doing Lizzy turned and gave her a big push. Our gentle little Misty looked back at us as if to say, "what do I do now?" i went and got her a flake of hay. I put it in on the other side of the pen and pushy miss Lizzy came running over to take possession. Misty, not one for confrontation, headed for the Hay feeder and was very content to eat the remaining hay.
I wish this was the end of Lizzy story, but she continued to make trouble of the worst kind for us. Wasn't the cow who knocked over the lantern and was responsible for the Chicago fire named Lizzy(Or was it the lady's name)?

Saturday, January 17, 2009


On an Internet group I am on we've been discussing the cold, and more cold. How much we hate it. We've also been reminiscing about things that happened in the cold. This brought to mind all my farm experiences which I can say are excruciating in the cold. I have written about some of my chicken stories. Hopefully my reminisces will be enjoyed by you.

This is the first of many cow ownership stories:

Years ago when our son was almost six and our daughter was four and half we acquired our first cow. Her name was Misty. She was a gorgeous Golden Jersey.

Friends, we’d met through buying a goat had come upon hard times and needed to sell her. She had been hand raised on the bottle. The market for live stock was really down and for milking cows was nil. They didn’t want to sell her for meat and couldn’t stand the idea to butcher her for their own use. She was their baby. We had the space and we had the pasture so we agreed to purchase her from them for what they would get if they had to sell her for "beef on the hoof".

Misty arrived late in the evening after she had been milked by her "mom". (It’s not good to transport a cow with a full udder. If she would fall she could damage her udder.) She was put in her stall and given the nicest alfalfa hay we had and a 5 gallon pail of cold well water. We knew she would have to be stalled for at least a week until she got used to her new surroundings and new owners. We didn’t want her out until she recognized our voices and we knew she would come when we called.

The next morning everyone was up early. This is not normal, usually it is only me that gets up early to do the chores. The kids were excited they wanted to see me milk the cow. Why this was cause for excitement I had no idea. We get down to the barn and put the harness on Misty and lead her out of her stall. While I was tying her up to milk, Hunny was in cleaning up the stall and giving her clean water and hay. I pulled up a plastic box container, the kind milk is delivered in and turned it upside down. Our son says, “What’s that for?” I told him it was to sit on so I could milk. We had goats, the goats climbed up on the stanchion to be milked and I sat down beside them to milk. The kids had not realized the cow just stands there.

I sit down, grab the five gallon bucket and start milking. Milking the cow is no different than milking a goat except the teats are a little larger, so you have a bigger handful. I was real lucky; Misty was an extremely easy cow to milk. It was like turning on a faucet. You hardly had to squeeze at all.

I was getting nervous; our son was walking back and forth behind the cow while I was milking. I knew Misty was very gentle but didn’t know how nervous she would be with the new surroundings (with a different set of hands on her private parts). I kept telling him to get away (when a cow kicks backwards there is no warning they just kick and their accuracy is phenomenal). All of a sudden I holler, “What is your problem why do you keep walking behind the cow, bending over and looking under her?”

“I’m thinking.” Then he says. “I am trying to figure out what you’re going to do with the other two.”