Saturday, December 23, 2017

Maggies Cookies, Chapter Two

I suppose I could take the time to figure out Blogger and how to place pictures, but after trying ALL of the menu links, it wasn't obvious, so I'm taking the lazy way. The recipe for the dough is in the last post.  Once the dough has been refrigerated, the fun part begins:
Dredge a large cutting board with powdered sugar and roll the dough multiple times until it is flat and less than 1/16th inch thick.  The more you roll powdered sugar into the dough, the flakier your cookies will be.
I use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares.  Then put about a teaspoonful of pineapple preserves and about a teaspoonful of chopped walnuts on each square.  (Note:  Pineapple preserves are hard to find so I make my own using 2 cans of crushed pineapple and 4 cups of sugar and one package of pectin - I make it ahead so it's ready when I make the cookies).

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
To be clear, these are NOT diet cookies, and not easy to make, but they are well worth the effort in my opinion.  I thought I had better share this recipe while I still can so the tradition can continue. 
Link to a short story about my recent spa experience.

Maggie's Cookies

 Every family has traditions.  Sixty-five years ago, a beautiful lady where we bought chickens and eggs, gave my Mom a cookie at Christmas when she made her weekly chicken trip.  The cookie was so good, that my Mom asked for the recipe, and the kind lady shared.  So Maggie's Cookies have become a family tradition.  Not a great great grandmother kind of thing, but a special tradition and a favorite Christmas cookie for my family.
To start, in a medium size mixing bowl, place 3 cups of flour, one tablespoon of dry yeast (original recipe calls for a yeast cake, but those are nearly impossible to find these days) and a pound of butter.
Work as for pie dough, until butter is in pea-size or smaller bits.
Crack 3 eggs into a measuring cup, and add enough milk to fill to the one cup line.  Add that to the flour mix, and mix well.


Cover and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.  (Can be stored in the fridge for several days).  Dough is ready -I'm going to have to do a new post for the actual cookie making as I can't seem to get Blogger to put the pictures in the right place - to be continued!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

All Better!

Look at that beautiful blue sky!  A rarity in December, we lucked out and were able to complete our roof repair while the sun was shining!
Having great supply people, and a wonderful contractor, took most of the anxiety out of the job.  Good weather really was a blessing! The day after they buttoned it all up, it started pouring rain again!
We had frost every morning, and I asked Keith, our roofer, "Which is worse, rain or frost?"  He said "Definitely rain! Especially on a metal roof!"

We still have a tiny bit of painting to do where the eave on the office broke. Repair is done and cleanup complete. So we start our new year with a new roof, and a new attitude - looking forward to good things in 2018!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wind Storm at our House in the Forest

When we built our house two years ago, we debated taking out more trees.  I posed the question on Facebook about whether we should take out enough trees to make a good solar site for our south facing roof, and the tree huggers came out of the woodwork.  Partly because of that reaction from the general public, we left more trees than was prudent.  Last night we paid the price for that decision!
When we returned through a ferocious wind storm last night from an evening of playing cards with friends in Mt Vernon, we were happy when our motion sensor light came on and we knew we had power.  Then we noticed the tree that had fallen on the house.
As soon as it got light this morning, I went out and took pictures, and it didn't look much better in the light of day, but at least it hadn't leaked overnight.
The tree broke when it hit the house, and the top landed on the back side of the house.  At least it missed all three of our skylights!
A friend recommended Chad White, Evolution Tree Experts LLC,  (425 754-4196) and they were able to get out today to deal with the tree.  Chad arrived with a crew of five men, the sharpest chainsaws I have ever seen, a bucket truck, a chipper, and a powerful blower.  We can highly recommend this company!  They did a super job of getting all the branches, the tree itself, and all the debris removed without further harming the roof.  They even put a tarp over the four puncture holes that we discovered when the tree and debris were removed.
We ended up with a pile of firewood and a pile of woodchips that I will use to mulch my flower beds.
We have the Wayne Perrigoue, our builder, coming out in the morning to assess the structural and roof damage, so hopefully, it will soon be "like it never happened".

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Nurse Logs on My Morning Walk

When I went out on my walk today, I started to notice all the nurse logs and stumps and just how beautiful they are.
It makes me wonder what this area looked like to the original explorers who saw these massive trees before they became nurse stumps.
A long time ago I read that when Lewis and Clark saw the huge trees in the Pacific Northwest they assumed that the soil was very rich.  As you can see from the roots on this tree, they can cling to nearly anything and thrive.
As the stump rots, all kinds of little nooks and crannies are created to make habitat for little wild critters.
Eventually, the old tree is completely gone, and only the above ground roots show that it ever existed.
All the nurse logs, are also great for providing fun places for children to explore, play hide-n-seek,  and build forts.

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Visit to Key Peninsula

My sister and her husband have a new place on Key Peninsula, and we haven't seen them or my step-father, Dick, for a couple of years, so today we took a pleasant trip in the fall sunshine down to visit.
We decided to try to avoid the traffic mess of Seattle and Tacoma by taking the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, and then following Hwy 16 down to Purdy, where we turned onto Key Peninsula.
It took nearly three hours to go from our house to theirs, but it was a very pleasant drive.
There's nothing prettier than Puget Sound on a pretty day.  We saw the sailboats, ferries, container ships, and beautiful fall colors everywhere.
Mt. Rainier was out in all her glory on the south, and Mt Baker was shining white on the north, as we headed toward the Olympic Mountains to the West.
My ageless sister had a serious painting project in work.
Dick is looking great at 91, and Scott was as entertaining as always when we went out for lunch.
We went home via the Tacoma Narrows bridge,
where we got the very best view of Mt Rainier.  It was another picture perfect fall day and ideal for a nice jaunt around the Pacific Northwest at its prettiest.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Signs of Fall

The leaves have been vibrant this year.  The oak trees that have been planted in rows everywhere are pink, red, and orange.
Vine maple vividly displays orange and yellow.
My row of blueberries is mostly red, with some bushes turning mostly yellow.
We are savoring this time of colorful beauty, knowing that we are about one wind storm away from bare trees.
Our first wind storm yesterday left our driveway littered with needles and leaves from the Cedar and Maple trees that line our driveway.
It's been a banner year for pumpkin and squash.
Oh oh, what's that I see on the tree next to the bird feeders?
I guess it's not only people who are storing up for winter.