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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

Time for "Plan B"

March 4, 2008

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Those Boys of the Lough are something else. That music makes its way under my skin and crackles and leaps and I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. So I laugh and it feels good and I wish the show would go on all night. But it doesn't and neither does the laughter. It's been a bit of a trip lately with the weather and all, and people being a bit prickly. Not that we aren't all entitled to occasional bouts of sadness or ire or general grouchiness. Especially in March, of all months.

I've been feeling a bit down myself and sitting under all those fluorescent lamps Mr. Sundberg bought for me isn't doing the trick. I did try standing them on end in the master bathroom and doing a bit of a nude yoga/dance combo in front of them, but the doorbell kept ringing and the kids kept wanting in to discuss their issues. Plus, there just wasn't enough room in there to properly stretch and lunge, and after mild head wound number three, it was time for "Plan B." Which, at this time next year, will be regarded as "Plan A."

On Sunday afternoon, I pulled the van up to the front of the house and hollered for the kids, who came running to the door. Get your jackets, I told them. We're going for a drive. Fifteen minutes later, we'd arrived. We sat there in the car at the edge of the lake — vast and smooth and white, and cleared just last week of icehouses. Nothing at all between us and pure joy. Ladies and Gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts, I hollered, and hit the gas pedal and off we went. We circled the entire lake three times. We spun out once or twice and hit a few drifts and the kids whooped and hollered and held on for dear life. There was snow flying and wind blowing and the houses along the shoreline were nothing but a blur. For a while there, we were airborne, I'm convinced of it, and that's where the laughter started, and it didn't stop until we did.

We weren't out there long, but long enough to do the trick. We stopped for ice cream on the way home, and during the silence that followed I peeked at the kids in the rear view mirror. They were eating their ice cream, each of them, and staring out the car window. Their cheeks were red and their noses running, and when they saw me in the mirror, they smiled. "Thanks, Mom," they said. "That sure was fun."

Yup, it sure was.

Time to whip up something with a little sunshine in it. This recipe is from a friend of mine who has the most radiant smile of anyone I've ever met. She calls them "Lemon Cornmeal Cookies" which works fine, but I've tweaked the name a bit just for the heck of it.

Lemony Sunshine Cornmeal Cookies

1 ½ cups flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 T finely grated lemon zest

1/2 t salt

12 T (1.5 sticks) butter, unsalted and soft

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, lemon zest and salt in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar and egg until combined.

Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until moistened.

Pinch off dough and roll into balls, equal to about 1 1/2 T each.

Place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart and

flatten balls with your fingers to about 3/4" thickness.

Bake until lightly browned around edges at 350, about 20-25 minutes.


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