There is Death and There is Laundry


“There is love, there is death and there is laundry, and that’s..all there really is…” – Chris Chandler

So, if you are receiving this blog today it’s because you are still on my email list. “Why?” you ask…because I chose to decide who will still receive this blog by simply picking a number and then choosing names from a hat. Remember, this is an experiment, so I need some random sample, right? And some people simply asked to stay or subscribe. But I did one other thing, I added some people I don’t usually include. People I think of from time to time and wonder why I don’t see them more, talk with them more or contact them more.

I’ve also decided that this little technology reprieve I’m on will last until the 16th of November. After all, this is a food blog, and Thanksgiving is the mother of all American food holidays. And I intend to mix it up this year….but we will discuss that soon enough.

Let’s focus on the present – today is Halloween. The day that makes time seem to stand still for children. Waiting, waiting, waiting…is it time yet? Which is appropriate because the mythological basis of this holiday is  a concept of time it’s self. It is to remind us, like many holidays, of the cycle. The limitations of our time here. Of the moment we are in.

My first lesson from this little social experiment of mine was in the form of an email I received from a friend about my check-out. As a mother of two little girls time is on her mind. She said, “Time is so rare in the season of life I’m in, as I’m sure it is for most of us…. I know one is supposed to carve out some time for yourself, for your girlfriends, for more people than there is ever actually time for, but when?!  The fact that I can write this brief message to you now is so rare..I’m told it gets easier, and I don’t want to wish these early years away as I know they will go by too quickly already…”

She reminded me of just one of the reasons that keep people so busy that they loose touch with each other. Responsibilities. I thought about this a lot and I think that when a person decides to embark on friendships with others they are taking on a certain amount of social responsibility. A commitment, of sorts, to another person saying that you intend to treat them with kindness, respect them as part of your community, and to reach out to them in good times or bad. This means not just waiting around to see who misses my blogs. I sometimes forget what a luxury time is if you have it. What a great gift it is to someone as it is our most valued possession.

I took her note as incentive for me to reach out. And I’m going to encourage you to do the same. Because that thing, that connection, that timeless moment we all seek, that “experience of eternity in the hear an now” (as Joseph Campbell says) could be in plain site just waiting for you to act. Maybe you think you are too busy, maybe you are uncomfortable, maybe you are unsure. It doesn’t matter. Time waits for no one and we regret more often the things we didn’t do rather than the things we did, when time finally catches up with us.

So I have made a commitment to my friend and I’ve time-boxed it. In the next three weeks we will see each other in person. Even if it is just to sit around after her kids go to bed and fold laundry together. If I have time, I’ll make cookies to bring.

Hitchcock Cookies (from Camille Styles)

  • 1 cup butter – room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder (optional)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and cream and mix until smooth. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and add to liquid mixture. Mix just until well incorporated. Don’t over mix. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness between two pieces of parchment paper. Refrigerate flattened dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°. Peel parchment off of top side. Flip and peel off other parchment sheet. Cut into shapes and place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes until bottoms and edges are light brown. Cool. Decorate with royal icing. Makes approximately 36 medium size cookies.

Icing

With a hand or stand mixer, combine 1 lb confectioner’s sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder (I use Wilton’s brand) on low speed. Increase the speed to medium, and add 1/2 cup water. Increase speed to medium-high, and mix for 2 minutes. Icing will thicken.

For tips on decorating these, check out the link below:

http://camillestyles.com/halloween/tuesday-tastings-the-birds-cookies/

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