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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

Think I'll Find me a Tree to Climb

September 2, 2008

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Mr. Keillor and everyone were all at the state fair and I could have worked up a little pity part for myself because I wasn't there but what's the point? A person just can't do every single thing that comes along. That's one of the great things about life. You have to pick and choose. Sure, we could all have gone to the state fair on Saturday. But then we would have missed out on everything we did do that we wouldn't have had we gone to the fair.

So what was it that I did do that was so darn important? Let's see. I straightened up the house Saturday. I managed to sort through all the photos I've been meaning to get to, and I cleaned out the file cabinet with all the bills and receipts in it. I know that doesn't sound like much but it took a few hours and it feels so good to have all of it in order. I washed a few windows and cleaned the pantry and did quite a lot of baking, more than usual. I made bread and a pan of bars, and I made pork chops with wild rice and a crock pot full of shredded beef. I wrote three letters by hand and turned the calendar over to September for a good look ahead, and I baked, after thinking about it a while, a chocolate cherry cake.

Now the kids were outside all this time and when the cake was done I went out to the porch to join them. We sat together awhile on the swing and talked about school starting up and how fast summer went on by. The kids are a bit nervous about school. I told them it's like that for everyone to some degree, and that's a good thing. If everything were easy, we wouldn't have that wonderful feeling of relief after making it through the day. They all rolled their eyes and said they'd rather have it just be easy. We swung for awhile and the chains creaked and I said, You want to know the truth about something? (I didn't wait for an answer.) The best things in my life, the very best and most precious to me, were the most difficult to come by. Not the most expensive, necessarily. But they took the most patience, or the most work, and some of those best things I'm still working toward. If a thing is easy, you might want to ask yourself if you're doing it right. And if you are, double-check and make sure it's a thing you want to be doing.

An hour later, the kids were all up in a tree. That's where I'd be, too, I guess, if I had only 56 hours until school started. Seems as good a place as any to take a person's doubts and fears. Something to lean on, and closer to the sky. Think I'll find me a tree to climb.

These are, by far, the kids' favorite after school cookie.


1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Mix shortening (butter works fine, too), sugar, and eggs thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients; mix well.
Shape dough in 1" balls. Roll in 1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 T cinnamon.
Place 2" apart on greased baking sheet. (Or on foil-lined sheet, which you don't have to grease - just slide off and replace with another sheet.) Bake 8-10 minutes. The cookies will puff up a bit then flatten. Makes about
6 dozen.

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