Wednesday, December 16, 2009

cookies and UFOs (long)

Almost as good as ironing: 24 hours of baking and mindless sewing. the cookies. I baked half of them last night and since I had eaten almost all of these little morsels by today, I baked the other half of the dough which was, as per instructions, sitting in the fridge till I felt like baking again. While others bake Christmas cookies, in the spirit of Chanukah I got out my little six-pointed cookie cutter and went to work. Like much of what I make, these came out somewhat lopsided and random. But these don't have to be juried in, so I'm not concerned. They actually look more like sheriff's badges than Chanukah cookies but they taste wonderful and are easy enough for a child to make. The round ones were cut with a Yahrtzeit glass, which was not only my grandmother's cookie cutter, it was her measuring cup (6 oz liquid or 3/4 cup flour or sugar) and the glass from which she and grandpa drank their tea. "Yahrtzeit" means "a year's time" and it is customary to light a candle each year on the eve of the anniversary of a close relative's death (usually a spouse, parent, child, grandparent, or sibling). The candle burns for 24 hours. Because the candle comes in a glass, you can imagine that we acquired quite a few of them over the years; we used them as drinking glasses when I was growing up. I use them now as orange juice glasses. But just for the heck of it, I used one to cut out a few cookies tonight -- a nod to my Nanny. Her cookies, I am sorry to say, were never this good. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brown Sugar Shortbread 1 cup soft butter 1/2 cup brown sugar (recipe calls for light, I always use dark) 2-1/2 c. sifted flour (I used white whole wheat flour) Beat butter & sugar till fluffy, stir in flour till smooth. Divide dough in half and refrigerate till ready to roll out. Roll out first half of dough on floured surface till thin, cut w/ cookie cutter. Bake 15-20 min at 300 (or 325) or till light golden. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- the UFO This afternoon, I was in the studio, determined make this into something I could bear to look at. All that sweetness!! Since I needed to sew, I moved my machine to a table near where I was cutting and ironing and all of a sudden, I was comfortable sewing there, as well as at home. Duh. I got quite a bit accomplished and then brought it home to work on after I baked tonight. The first challenge was how to minimize the pink without ripping it out. I stuck the block on the wall and auditioned a few colors as antidotes. Better, but not good. This is what I brought home with me today and tonight I cut it into pieces. That was the easy part. Now comes the work. I am in the process of therapy-sewing some strips together and fishing around for some scraps so I can create some new things to combine with the PINK. You already know my process.This piece has a long way to go and will probably end up looking completely different, but in the meantime, it is keeping me occupied. Anybody want to join me?

6 comments:

Colleen Kole said...

Love it - am thinking of your class in Sept - what fun to watch your process...

tiedyejudy said...

I am enthralled by your process, and wish you would write a book about how you do it! I have sooooo many scraps, and would love to be able to use them up!

Diane Wright said...

Yes, I'm going to "join" you in my studio. I finished a piece yesterday and wondered what I would do today. Start one of the new pieces that are in my head, tackle the bear on my design wall or what? Certainly not clean my studio.....I hear some ufo's calling out.

Thanks, again, for the inspiration.

Gerrie said...

I'm having fun watching you work/play with that block.

Judy said...

You continue to totally amaze me Rayna! ;-)
and thank you for the cookie recipe. I've been craving some shortbread, and I may just have to make these....but after Christmas! I'll bet they'd be mighty tasty with a cup of tea.

xo

Diane M. Seamans said...

I made the shortbread cookies yesterday and drizzled melted chocolate chips across them. They really didn't need it and were delicious as is, but I'm a chocolate lover! I'm making my second batch today. Thanks Rayna for a new "traditional holiday cookie" to add to my list.
Happy Holidays to you.

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