Sunday, January 3, 2010

Moving Forward by Looking Back

Christmas Sugar Cookies
Many many years ago, just a few weeks after my little sister finally moved out of our room into her own we got into one of those pointless, nonsensical fights which involve lots of yelling, but lose wind almost immediately and, since it's been many many years since it happened and since no one remembers what it was about anymore, I can finally admit that it was probably my fault. I don't remember what I was doing right after the "slamming of the doors", but I must have been puttering around my room for a while fuming when my sister came in and put a sheet of paper on my desk and walked out.

Today, I am trying to bring a sense of order to my house after a hectic holiday season and while clearing out some shelves in my overstuffed and scary closet I ran across that sheet of paper. The slightly torn paper that I saved because it makes me smile every time I see it and I asked her permission to share the poem that was on that paper with you. On top of the page she wrote "Anna - here have a poem! Critisize it all you like!" I'm going to leave punctuation and spelling exactly as she had it because that makes me smile too...though for probably the same reasons as the ones that caused that long ago fight. So without any further ado, a poem from my little sister to me written in a fit of anger:

What the hell?
Whats that smell?
Oh it just my sister Anna
She smells like a ripe banana
It's not that bad
But she does get mad
When I say that
And give her arm a pat
She wants a cat
A pretty little black one
Light as a feather
Not heavy like a ton
One that you feed buns
But we cant get it
As much as we may beg & hit
Daddy just tells us to sit
Or go try to get fit
Which Anna don't know how to do
Ask anyone, she knows its true
Going to the fitness center rarely
Doing very little excersize - barely
She's still a cool sister
So don't say it's not so mister
She's one of the best
Not like any of the rest

Who ever said that writing things down isn't therapeutic? She started out mad, then got carried away by her need to rhyme, remembered she was mad again, and then decided that she loves me after all. She can't stay mad at me for long even now...and I'm still hoping to try and get the whole exercise thing off the ground this year.

Raspberry Marshmellows
I'm sharing this because it makes me happy and because I ran across it as I was cleaning and I decided to clear a few other things too. I have been baking, shopping, wrapping, crafting just like everyone else these past few weeks and I was planning on cheating and stretching out the pictures I have been taking over the next few days, letting myself get lazy, but still turn out posts. As I was cleaning though, I decided that I want every post that I will write to be "fresh off the presses", and while I didn't really have time to take too many pictures, what with the late nights and all, I am putting the good ones into this post. A few festive sugar cookies, some homemade raspberry marshmallows and these:

Cocoa Meringue Cookies
Because I made these crispy meringue cookies between my first and second shifts at work, implying that anyone with 5 minutes and an idle oven can do it, I'm sharing the recipe with you.

Cocoa Meringues
Adapted from Death by Chocolate Cake by Marcel Desaulniers

4 egg whites
⅛ tsp cream of tartar
⅛ tsp salt
1¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa; sifted
1 tbsp cornstarch

- Preheat the oven to 225F.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper or a silpat onto a baking sheet.
- Place 4 egg whites, the cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whip and whisk on high until soft peaks form, about a minute.
- Gradually add 1 cup sugar while continuing to whisk on high until stiff, about 1 1/2 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in and thoroughly combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa and the cornstarch.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with the cocoa meringue and pipe swirls onto the parchment as small or big as you like, as close as you want making sure that they don't touch.
- Place the meringue in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 200F and bake for 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 45 minutes before handling.
- Enjoy with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, or share with a friend

You can also melt some chocolate and dip these in it if you want, but I was tired. Maybe next time.

I'm going back to cleaning for now, but I hope to have another year full of successful kitchen experiments to share with you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I made this today and they turned out delicious! I didn't have a proper bag so I improvised by cutting a hole in a ziplock. They aren't as pretty, but they taste great!

Thank you, and I love your blog!