Community in my kitchen
I could fill several blog entries talking about all the places I have experienced community in 2011 – online, offline and even overseas – but for this Reverb11 post I’m going to expound upon the sense of family I’ve enjoyed right in my very own kitchen.
My husband has two grown kids, and one of the ways I have gotten to feel like part of the family is through time spent cooking together at our house. I love it!
This Thanksgiving, for instance, we assembled and decorated a gingerbread village with them while the turkey roasted. We were playful and silly (my specialties) and had a great time.
Last week, we had a blast decorating sugar cookies which we’ve sent off as Christmas gifts for our friends and family. We frosted a LOT of cookies. By the time we ran out, we were getting pretty creative, as you can see by these photos.
It may not sound like much, but working on projects like these is much more relaxed than sitting around the living room trying to keep a conversation going. It really takes the pressure off. No one expects you to say anything unless you feel inspired to do so. As a result, the conversation flows easily and no one feels “on the spot.”
Our holiday tradition
Actually this whole “sugar cookie thing” has become a holiday tradition for me and my man. It started on Christmas Eve of last year, when my then-fiance and I listened to my eclectic collection of Christmas music (everything from Elvis, The Nutcracker and the Partridge Family, to a guy who uses power tools as instruments) while baking sugar cookies using a fantastic recipe I found online.
This particular sugar cookie recipe comes from the blog of someone who goes by the name of Not Hannah, who – like me – had been on the quest for the ultimate sugar cookie recipe. As she put it:
“…for the past couple of years, I’ve been trying to find THE perfect sugar cookie recipe. The recipe I have in mind yields a soft cookie, slightly cakey, crisp around the edges, sweet (but not too sweet to take a good butter cream-ish icing.)”
Not Hannah, I think it’s time to shout, “Eureka!” because you, my dear, have found it.
Serendipity leads to the best sugar cookie recipe
Yes, choosing Not Hannah’s fabulous sugar cookie recipe out of the thousands which Google offered was a wise decision indeed, because the cookies it produces taste freaking awesome. What really clinches it, however, entailed a bit of serendipity on our end.
We were out of regular salt, you see, so we substituted coarse grain sea salt. I was worried that our cookies would taste salty, but au contraire! That coarse sea salt sent people’s palates over the edge. Everyone we sent them to raved about how well the surprising touch of salt complemented the sweetness in these cookies. Phew!
So, thanks to Not Hannah, our Christmas Eve dinner last year consisted of warm-from-the-oven cookies and red wine as we basked in the glow of our newly-purchased fiber optic Christmas tree. Very festive.
Today’s #Reverb11 – #Resound11 writing prompts
The #Reverb11 writing prompt I chose for this post came from GeekinHard:
A Community I Love – Online & IRL we’re all part of a multitude of communities. Tell us about one that moves you.
The #Resound11 writing prompt I combined it with comes from Jaemie Gyurik
Traditions – This is the time of year when families are upholding decades old traditions and working to create new ones. It doesn’t matter what you celebrate (or don’t) … please share with us your December traditions: how they got started, why you continue them, and why they are special to you.
What is #Reverb11?
#Reverb11, #Resound11 and #Relish11 are just a few names for a fun end of the year project that mindful bloggers all over the world are participating in. Each day in December, folks choose a prompt from one of several lists, then use that as a launchpad to express themselves on their blog. The prompts are especially geared towards reflecting back on 2011 and paving the way towards a better 2012.
Everyone is welcome to join in. If you don’t have a blog, respond to the prompts offline through journaling, painting or whatever direction your inspiration takes you!