A Few Precautionary Measures
January 28, 2008
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. The last week or so wasn't bad, either, but it wasn't all that great. It's the time of year when it's pretty gray out all day and evening, and when the sun does come out it does something to the snow so if you're blue-eyed like me you've got to find your sunglasses or resign to squinting in order to get from here to there. "The Doldrums" my grandmother called it. For a long time there I thought "The Doldrums" were big gray buzzard-like birds who showed up on cold winter days. Now I know better.
I'd like to say I'm not prone to feeling down for no particular reason, but I am. The blessing is that it doesn't happen all that often, and most times I can see it coming like a thunderstorm in June. I find a few precautionary measures can sure take the edge off, so I do a lot of whistling and singing around this time of year. I made it through all of "Amazing Grace" the other day, bellering it out as if I'd lived a life of anguish, while I made dinner. I turned on the radio full blast while I was in the shower the other night and did my own little workout to the music of one "Billy Idol." And I find garnishing hotdishes and meatloaves and pizzas and oatmeal with smiley faces can be a real lift. I use whatever ingredients are in the dish itself to make the faces and sometimes I end up with a real humdinger. Last week's meatloaf resembled the Queen of England, and the kids thought the sliced red peppers and pepperoni on the pizza hotdish looked a bit like Satan.
Unfortunately, the things I do to give myself a lift are often a source of annoyance for others. When Mr. Sundberg had some firewood delivered the other day, I thought it would be fun to stack it in the shape of his initials. Anyone flying over our house will see, clear as day, the initials "B.S." Well, he didn't take to that, and I guess I don't blame him. He's always prided himself on wood stacked with neatness and precision. The kids have about had it with my playing the Body Rockers' "I Like the Way You Move" over and over and over again. (I tried to make my own dance video but the phone kept ringing and then Sandy Johnson stopped by to show me her pictures from her trip to Italy, the one she took after her husband left, this time for good.) And I think the neighbors are glad I ran out of sparklers. I'd found a box up in the cupboard from last July with over 200 sparklers. So every evening as the darkness rolls in, I've been lighting 'em up out in the yard. What amazes me is how those things stay lit, even when you run fast, through the snow, arms high in the air.
I've taken it upon myself to substitute oatmeal for nuts in the traditional Russian Teacake recipe. The result is a nearly-identical cookie, but nut-hater friendly and still quite nutritious.
1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 t salt
3/4 cup oatmeal
Mix and chill. Roll dough into balls. Bake at 400 on ungreased
cookie sheet for 10-12 min. Roll in powdered sugar. Twice.
Makes about 4 doz.