Deep Winter reading
Winter’s cold, wet and sometimes snowy environment is cave like in its nurturing depths. This can be healing as the coldness makes for a gathering time. You can form community, as human beings have throughout the ages by building fires, lighting candles, playing music and telling stories. You will be moved by the warmth of firelight and storytelling to be more socially connected. In the creative company of others you learn to how to stay healthy and happy in this environment. Gather those friends, neighbors and family around you to share stories, games and music. As you listen to the histories of others, you will learn through them more about your own past and bring their stories into the wholeness of you. This companionship will remedy any loneliness that can naturally happen in the earlier darkness and colder days. As you gather with people start to notice the stories that need to be preserved either in song or in writing. There will be one we guarantee that resonates with you. So be a little brave, invite someone new into your circle to tell their stories and share time with you. This will bring the light to your heart and soul that is needed now.
An effective affirmation for this gathering time of year is: I listen and learn from the knowledge of others. Practicing in front of a mirror and looking into your own eyes helps your soul connect with what your are affirming.
The winter's holiday festivities mean that no matter what our individual beliefs about spirit and celebration we will inevitably need to take a treat to some kind of gathering. The cookies pictured above are a family favorite and were passed down to me from my much loved mother-in-law and gourmet cook, Yolanda Rudiger. Yollie as she was known, was generous with all she had, but particularly with her baked goods. I make this cookies only at Christmas time but they would be good any time of year at any celebration. The recipe is simple, only a few ingredients and the dough freezes well. Enjoy!
These cookies are simple to make and if they last that long will keep several weeks in a tightly closed tin or plastic container. I make one batch for Christmas, we eat them up as soon as I make them and I start over again hoping to have a few left to serve my guests. This is a good recipe for cooking with children. Preheat Oven to 325 degrees.
½ cup sugar
2 sticks butter
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, or rum flavoring or rum
1 cup toasted and finely chopped almonds, pecans or hazelnuts
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
***1 tsp of grated lemon rind is also very delicious.
Beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, add vanilla extract. Sift together flour and baking powder. Combine with sugar/butter mixture. Slowly add nuts. The batter will be very stiff. Roll a tablespoon of cookie dough into a crescent shape, or small ball if you prefer. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place cookies on sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Do not over cook! While the cookies are still warm roll in confectioner’s sugar.