Brown Sugar Cookies

When I think of Brown Sugar Cookies, I think of thunder storms.

I grew up on the edge of tornado alley.  So, when we had inclement weather the power would most likely go out and, when I was a kid, it would usually stay out for a while.  I don’t ever remember being scared of thunder storms.  Even BIG thunder storms.  They could boom and roar outside.  The house would shake and shudder.  Our eyes would get big, but then we would smile. My brother and I were hoping the electricity would go out, because if it did…  COOKIES!!

Mom would grab candles, Jason and I would grab flashlights, and we would all head to the kitchen.  We would light up the gas oven and gather all the ingredients.  Within thirty minutes we would have a warm, candle-lit kitchen that smelled wonderful.  Not long after, we were tasting and nibbling as many as we could before Mom would say, “That’s enough.”

Later the power would come back on and we would go about our regular business… usually bedtime at that point.  But I always loved knowing – even when things were dark and scary there was still good in the world.

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16:11

I love this verse.  The Psalmist tells us when we are in God’s presence we will have fullness of joy.  It’s like eating Brown Sugar Cookies in a warm, wonderfully smelling kitchen.  It’s comfortable and calm and makes you happy.  No matter what is going on in the world around us, we are safe and happy in the presence of God.

Brown Sugar Cookies (A.K.A. Power Outage Cookies)

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups sifted flour

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

Cream together the sugars and butter.  Blend in the egg and vanilla.  Add everything else and mix well.  Shape the dough into balls about the size of quarters and roll them in granulated sugar.  Place the sugared balls on a cookie sheet and press them flat (about ¼ inch thick) with the bottom of a cup.  Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes.

Minestrone Life…

I want a Minestrone Life!

I bet no one has ever said that to you before, so I guess I should explain…

The story goes that the ministers in Italy would travel around the countryside giving sermons and helping to feed the poor and sick wherever they could.  The ministers would use whatever was available in that particular season along with some salt and pepper to make soup and, voila!, much less starvation. This hodgepodge soup was cheap, filling, and good.  The people who benefitted from this soup started calling it minestrone for the ministers and thus you have the story of Minestrone.

Now for a little more research based information….

Minestrone is a wonderful tomato based soup.  It was originally a very humble dish made with leftovers or just whatever was on hand at the time.  It was intended for everyday consumption with the idea of being (like it says above) cheap, filling, and good.  In Italy it is part of what is known as “cusina povera” – literally “poor kitchen,” meaning poorer people’s cuisine.  The name minestrone came to mean, “that which is served.”  In modern Italian it is also used to mean a hodgepodge of things.

I, personally, like the first story.  And, just so you know, the second explanation doesn’t totally negate the first…  they could both be true.  I just didn’t find a whole lot about it on the internet.

Anyway, back to why I want a Minestrone Life.

First of all, I LOVE FOOD!  Yes, I am yelling that sentence.  Go back and read it again in a yell if you must.  Food is one of my favorite things. (And now I’m singing…)  Sunday dinners at Grama’s house, baking cookies in a gas oven on a stormy night by candle light when the power is out, Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas ham, hor d’oeuvres on New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day and any other occasion on which I could possibly have hor d’oeuvres, and then there’s BBQ on the 4th of July, not-to-mention get-togethers at church and family reunions!!!  Oh my goodness, I’m so excited!!  (And I’m singing again…)

So, uh, I like food….  and music…

Second, I tend toward chaos.  I have a whole lot of small pieces of big things in little places in closed drawers on tall shelves in my room on the third level in my apartment.  Yup…  That’s what I said.  So, using whatever is available, using what is on hand, that’s kind of my style.  And so much fun!!

Lastly – but definitely not least, I want to be a ministering spirit.  I want to help others when I can.  I want to encourage people to live well and love always.  And, more than anything, I want to help others learn about God and the wonderful relationship we can have with Him here on this planet and for eternity.

Well, that is what I mean when I say I want a Minestrone Life.  It is very simple, but very rewarding.  I hope that you will join me as I explore God’s word and new recipes and the chaos of my craft closet drawer shelf cabinet box.