Sometimes...most times...the enjoyment of doing something is sharing in it with others. In this case, it's was with my granddaughter. 6 year old, Quinn, tried her hand at decorating her own 2 layer cake a few days ago. The fun (and challenge sometimes) was listening to her ideas for what that cake should look like when completed and in 'coaching' her in how to hold the bag, how to push out the frosting, how to set a leaf in place and not pull it away too fast and to let her do "her own thing!" I remember as a child the feeling of accomplishment when I could do my own thing...and it got pleasing looks from the adults in my life! It's hard not to just take over for them or to tell them how it "has" to be but we all need to remember that's it's MUCH more satisfying to your "helper" if we just step back and trust in them! And you know what else? They're ALWAYS much more capable than we give them credit for!! Quinn squirted out those flower stems and leaves with calculated thought and precision (the real fun is watching her work!). She had her own ideas of where those leaves needed to be on those stems. She didn't need me to instruct her in where to put them. I look back at this picture and get a little teary eyed...thinking with satisfaction that it was time well spent together and that she got some memorable feelings from it that will always stick with her!
In 1985 I compiled a collection of our favorite family recipes as a Christmas gift to my Gramma Peggy. Family members were generous in sending along their favs as well as some family notes regarding the recipes as well. One recipe included was that of my sister's, Lisa, which she named "Chocolate Chippers." It is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe! While making a batch last night while in the company of my daughter and daughter-in-law, they said, "Why don't you put THIS recipe on your blog, Mom?!"
3/4 c. shortening
1 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1-6 oz pkg. chocolate chips
Cream shortening, sugars, eggs, and vanilla til fluffy (my sister says this ALWAYS has to be done by hand but I have to confess my KitchenAid mixer says, nope!). Sift together dry ingredients (I just toss 'em in, no sifting!). Stir into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips (or 'bits' as they are called in the original recipe). Drop onto greased cookie sheet (I use parchment, no 'grease'). Bake at 350 for 10-12 min.
Lisa's notes - "These cookies do a lot of traveling. They're in my recipe box everytime I move! The good ole fashion choc. chip cookie everyone loves!"
A couple of years ago, Lisa's town was hit by a wicked tornado, destroying homes including Lisa's. Everyone was safe, including my mom who was visiting at the time. But, the recipe box with this recipe cardshe eludes to in her note is long gone with the wind. Who knows where this Chocolate Chipper recipe card is hanging out now!
Here are some links to videos and other resources that show how to make Artisan bread using the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day method...
Creating Artisan bread shapes