And for all that I whined while I was working that I never had time to keep my house clean, I have certainly squandered my time at home of late. This makes me doubly ashamed because now I know that it isn't my schedule that keeps me from being a good housekeeper. I'm just a slob.
Adding to my worries about my job, I have problems with my teeth. It hardly motivates one to cook when one cannot chew. I've limited myself to soft foods, mostly pasta and potato dishes, cutting out anything that requires the use of ones molars. Every night when dinner comes around I virtually cringe at the thought of yet another meal without fully functioning teeth.
One consolation in all this is that it is now my favorite time of the rolling year - when we lift our thoughts to more important things: faith, love, family. I have loved decorating this year, as it has taken my mind off of all the things that are weighing heavily on my thoughts.
Every year, my mother-in-law's family does a "Pie Night". Each family brings a pie (or other treat) to share, and we gather to eat and enjoy one another's company. That's where we're headed tonight.
Since I haven't had my usual zeal for cooking, I thought I would limit this years contribution to some cookies. I made these for the first time last year, and they are wonderful! I love their spiciness, mingled with that sparkle of sugar on the outside. They stay soft for a few days, if they last that long...
2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ginger
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. margarine (Yes, margarine. This will probably be the only time I recommend that you not use butter)
1 c. white sugar
1 Tbsp. orange juice (or water)
1/4 c. molasses
extra white sugar for rolling
In a medium bowl, mix or sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream together margarine and sugar. Beat in egg, then orange juice (or water) and molasses. Gradually stir in dry ingredients.
Let mixture refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. (I usually refrigerate overnight.)
When chilled, form into walnut-sized balls (1 - 1 1/2" balls) and roll in extra white sugar to coat. (I use a cookie scoop and drop dough directly into sugar - the dough is very sticky.) Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 8 - 10 minutes.
Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.