Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fletch, Fire, & Cookies

Fletch under the covers recovering on Saturday.
That black blob at the bottom of the picture is Sammi.

He does feel much better, but he's still more tired than normal.
  
We heard a fire truck come blazing into town on Sunday.
We couldn't see any fire at the time because it was too foggy,
but this is the remains of it on Monday afternoon.

Luckily it was just a couple of outbuildings and they were able to contain the fire only feet from several homes. It's amazing that it didn't spread out of control to those homes. Much of this town has burned several times in its history. It takes FOREVER to get help out here. It's an all-volunteer fire dept for this little town, which takes more time to dispatch than if there were firefighters on duty round the clock. I know it's a big concern for a lot of people here. 

Our house seems to be a little more sheltered from other homes in case of a fire because we don't live in the heart of town and are not surrounded by other houses. We do have one neighbor only about 50 yards away from one side of our house. Their house burned back in 1984 because of a grease fire in the kitchen. Their pug died in that fire, but they did get themselves and their children out, thank goodness. 

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I made a batch of my favorite sugar cookies last night.
I put chocolate chips in 1 1/2 dozen of them for Ken.
They have a sandy texture that we really love.
It's an unusual recipe.
I'm sure I've posted it before, but here it is again if you'd like to try it.


White Cookies

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt

Beat oil and butter with an electric mixer until well-combined.  Add powdered sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix well.  In a separate medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.  Stir, by hand, into creamed mixture until mixed well.  Chill at least two hours.  (I've skipped this part and they turned out just fine.)  Roll into balls and place onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Flatten cookies slightly with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar *.  Don't flatten too thin.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 11-12 minutes. Let cookies stand for two minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

*I cover the bottom of a glass with a slightly-dampened paper towl and hold it in place with a rubberband, dip the glass into some sugar you've put on a small plate, and press the cookie down slightly.  The cookie dough should still be about 1/4" thick.  Re-dip your glass for each cookie.

You can add chocolate chips to this dough if you want. They're really good with the mint-chocolate chips you can get around Christmastime too.

FYI...these are not good for decorating because they're not sturdy enough. I tried it one year and it just didn't work. They are delicate cookies and don't travel well either...HOWEVER, Ken's mom used to mail us some of these every year packed in a coffee can. I loved eating the crumbled cookies out of the bottom of the can with a spoon! It's a holiday memory I always think about when I make these. The crumbly-texture of these is why I love them. I have halved this recipe and it works well, but I'm always mad that I didn't make the whole thing! You've been warned.

Yep, he feels much better.
He's trying to look as sweet as he can so maybe I'll give him a bite of my sandwich.
What a baby-face!