A random babbling on creative spirits-

Random babbling on the creative spirit~painting, sewing, baking, boys, an irresistable God and the next 200 feet~

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

where I am at

This week is filled with many commitments, deadlines, 'To Do's' and 'must take care ofs'. I am tackling them all, one by one, a little bit here, a little bit there. I have pleasingly found my way around multitasking; even when my list for the week takes up two pages, I can walk into it calmly and with assurance that the final bullet point will receive a definitive line through it by the end of day on Friday. I think this calm comes with age-read 'maturity', and a gentler sense of what is necessary and pressing in a day. It comes with age, and perhaps being a woman-or more precisely, a mother! Hang ups over undone laundry, dusty coffee tables and muddy footprints on the entry rug just don't matter the way they did when I was a new cohabitant in a household sharing relationship. So what have I been up to? Where am I at in this week of doing and taking care of? Yes, baking cookies sits squarely on the 'to do' list. Maybe not a priority in your household, Keebler does a fine fudge stick after all, but here, with the teenage boys who can eat a package of Girl Scout cookies single handedly before their brothers come home to find evidence of their existence, I bake cookies. Cost effective, makes the house smell outrageous, and dang, they taste so good! Nothing like a homemade chocolate chip cookie. And a bonus; if you haven't gathered this fact yet, more than half the 'yum' for me happens in the making of what is needed or desired-Gotta bake! Gotta paint! Gotta garden! And even, gotta clean those windows! Sick, I know. Back to those cookies....
The cookie jar sat gaping open, it's interior filled with the hollow space of emptiness as I came through the door from a weekend away in Portland. It sat as simple proof that should I turn to open the frig, I would see a full pan of lasagna left sadly untouched on the center shelf. Cookies are so much more convenient, tasty, and do not require a plate or reheating in the microwave. Unless of coarse you desire that gooey, melty chocolate chip bite of cookie goodness....I digress. I knew cookie baking was on the top of my list for the first of the week. Pulling out the favorite recipe first thing Monday morning, I created the delectable morsels featured above. If your taste buds scream for a thin, chewy, gooey chocolate chip cookie, read on and set your oven to 300 degrees. These, quite simply, rock.
Gooey Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 c margarine
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 t vanilla
1 c flour
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c chocolate chip cookies
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. If you have them, I recommend using silicone baking sheets; everything just bakes better on them! Otherwise, lightly spray two baking sheets in preparation for the dough. Melt the margarine and allow it to cool slightly. Add the sugars and vanilla and blend well. Add the flour, soda and salt, blend again. Dump the chips into the batter, incorporate and grab two cereal spoons. Place level spoonfuls onto baking sheets-I make a dozen/sheet. This recipe makes a mere 18-24 cookies depending on how large your spoonfuls are, so you may want to double the recipe! They are so easy to make that I stick with a single batch so they are just so yummy fresh with great regularity! Bake at 300 degrees for 14 minutes (yes, 14. really) and remove to a cooling rack. If you are using silicone sheets, slip the sheet onto the rack and allow to cool off the the cookie sheet to ensure no more baking happens. Enjoy! (note: the recipe does not have eggs. What does this mean you ask?! The batter can be eaten before baking without fear of any strange illnesses taking over your digestive system....mmmmm)
This is the way the recipe is made when the boys are consuming. I have made them for a dinner party-cookies never go out of style, and used 1/2 white whole wheat flour and 1/2 AP flour, a hunk of Valharone dark chocolate chopped into tasty hunks instead of the chips, and threw in a handful of dried cherries. OMG, try it....
Cookie baking ceremoniously crossed off the list....
Next, while not on the weekly list, always on the life list; painting.
I have been jazzed in the studio. No other way of putting it. Geeked. Jazzed. Thrilled. Impassioned. Maybe crazy even! Define it how you will, I can't get enough right now, thank the gods. Beginning in frustration, trying to move from my proverbial bright, multicolored blending of wax, my Karon suggested I hold myself to two colors. Gasp! Just two?! So it was with trepidation that I removed all colors from my palette, picked through my blocks of encaustic, set up four sets of 'only two!' and began. The first week, diazinone purple and celadon green. The second week, kings blue and raw umber. This week, I've allowed leeway; okay, I'm cheating! artistic license-I'm working in colored papers and burnt umber. And, I am stuck there. Well, not stuck, but loving what is happening! Freaking over the results that just two colors can produce. Next in the lineup? sap green and quinacridone magenta then dianthus pink and neutral while-it wont happen this week-I have more to do with the raw and king!-but it will come, and I'll show you their results as well!

Okay,cookies and art-moving through the list quite swiftly! Need it be added that the laundry, dusting and cleaning of the fingerprinted appliances has happened in the in between of all the rest?! Three more lines crossed out....
I moved into this house one year ago today. I sold my big house on the hill, tossed stuff, packed, found this house, went through the paperwork hoops and moved in in three weeks. A crazy, frantic, tear spilling three weeks. One year ago now. I am amazed at the time that has passed and the place I've come to. So good, so rich and so grounding. The universe works in mysterious ways...
But where is this little ditty on my 'to do' list you ask?! Part of the list is left in my head. The part that reads-'count your blessings', 'thank you lucky stars' and 'don't forget what your knees are for chicka'! This little musing is on that list. Settling in was a very important issue for me one year ago. I wanted a foundation of calm for myself as much as for the boys. With boxes shoulder high through the entire house, we were cutting sideways glides down the hallways to reach bathroom, bedroom and frig. Blessed with a few days of time to focus on the task at hand without distractions of job, other 'to dos' or even the boys underfoot (they returned to the final month of school after the frantic day and a half moving process), I began unpacking the packed. Not until I reached the box containing my cars did I smile and breath a calming sigh. It wasn't the cars in and of themselves, as much as the sense of place they allowed. For some reason the pulling of them from the box and establishing their spot in the new kitchen (they'd sat on the island just above the stove top in the other home) settled the frantic and solidified the sense of place that has stayed with me since that day. A tiny, $.99 collection of blessings. There for me daily as a reminder of the simple, good, peaceful tidbits in life.

And while all this doing is happening? Never forgetting the eating. Eating, sleeping, painting, writing...life! My lunch yesterday; everything come from my CSA(community supported agriculture) box! Can't beat that! Have you ever tried avocado with mango? Or, mango with tomato? Wow. Again, a simple delight. The sun helped; I ate on the deck...
A messy, huge salad, but oh so satisfying-no, I didn't share with the rooster! He's awfully cute though isn't he?!
Today? More painting. I have some rare ironing to tackle, and I promised Patrick I'd finish our game of Risk. He's wiping me off the map....in love. trish.

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