I picked up a box of these cookies from one of my favourite Italian bakeries. Their faces made me smile. What could be better on a rainy Tuesday afternoon in October, than a jack-o-lantern cookie? As I lick the crumbs from my lips, I can’t actually think of anything, except maybe being able to share one with someone else.
As I sat down at the kitchen table today to work on writing out our Christmas cards, I noticed sugar cookie crumbs everywhere. I couldn’t figure out where they had come from. I brushed them off and carried on going through my card list.
But my mind kept turning over and over where those golden little crumbs had come from. Maybe Mr. Michie munched on a few cookies last night while working and I didn’t see him? Maybe some crumbs whisked off my dessert plate as I took it back into the kitchen to tidy up?
I got my answer this afternoon. While making a cup of tea, I heard a tiny giggle and the rustling of branches. I got out of the kitchen door just in time, to see my pixie girl nestling down in her little spot with a star shaped sugar cookie tucked into the folds of her skirt.
Now, I know where those crumbs came from! I don’t mind. You have to look after your house pixies, especially this time of year as they are reporting back to Santa, himself! And, I for one, would like a good report!
There was a heavy drizzle my entire walk this morning, it started as I walked out the door. The morning was quiet, I only passed a few other people. The overcast day and the rain put me in a baking mood, so I decided to roll out a batch of sugar cookies. They will be the perfect dessert tonight. I might have snuck one or two already, but that was just for the purpose of quality control!
Last night I worked on packing up a few Christmas goodies for work and snapped this pic on Mr. Michie’s phone (sorry for the grainy pic, I was doing this by the glow of twinkle lights). I found some adorable red and white polka dot bags and these very cute cupcake boxes, which I thought would perfectly hold my cookies and it worked!
I filled each bag with a jar of homemade apple butter and a box of snowballs. Today I shall deliver them to their intended recipients.
The snowballs were made from a recipe by the lovely Serena Thompson of The Farm Chicks. I started making them 2 years ago and they have become a tried and tested favorite in the Michie household, perfect for gift giving and eating with a cup of tea.
We tried a new pizza place down the street on Friday night, it was delicious! A great date night treat! Stone baked pizzas, that were fresh, with homemade, locally sourced and organic ingredients and some items imported directly from Italy.
The dough was so thin and crispy, it was the perfect size! It was so good that after a full day on Saturday, getting up before 6am and running around all day and doing some serious gardening we went back for dinner. Mr. Michie picked up a pizza for himself and some lasagna and a salad for me.
We planted flowers this weekend, washed the outside windows and cleaned everything up. I am trying to fight off a bad sinus infection, so Mr. Michie took care of me for the better part of the weekend. We made a pot roast with lots of veggies and served it over a saffron infused risotto for Sunday dinner, it was heavenly.
We also made some snickerdoodles to snack on. Happiness is a snickerdoodle!
This will be a post in two parts today since I just have so much to say! Firstly, today we walk into the first day of Lent. I know that this is a period of reflection and abstaining. I have spoken about this before and I shall speak about it again this year.
In my family we had the tradition of adding something to our daily lives, instead of subtracting it. We still gave up things (and if you chose to give up chocolate, what a blessed morning Easter Sunday was because it meant you could finally touch it again and oh boy did you hope that the Easter Bunny left you plenty in your basket!), but my parents always made sure that we added something to our daily/weekly lives that would be to the benefit of others.
I am going to get on my soap box for a moment here and say that I have always felt it is wonderful to give of oneself; it is marvelous that Church organizations and charity organizations help so many people around the world. I grew up in the South and I was always amazed at how many churches in my town took trips to Mexico, South America, Haiti, Cuba and Africa. Those were extremely valuable trips for all involved, but I think it is just as important to know where we are from, to teach your children and others what is around them as well.
You don’t have to go far to help someone in need. Not only were there people who needed help within my own community, you only had to drive a few hours into the mountains and there were families that would have benefited from a little extra help as well. Start in your own backyard, so to speak and branch out.
I had the great fortune to meet Mother Teresa when I was in High School and I read an article recently that quoted her; it sums up my thoughts, better than I could:
“Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right there where you are — in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. … You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society — completely forgotten, completely left alone.”
I want to make it clear now that I am in no way demeaning the work that others do, to give of your heart and of yourself in any capacity is a wonderful act. I just think that sometimes we might need to be reminded we can still make a difference just where we are right now, we can make a difference in the place that we call HOME.
Secondly, we sit on the Eve of St. Valentine’s Day today and I thought I would do a last minute Valentine’s round-up. I have breakfast planned for Mr. Michie, I will be making homemade doughnuts tonight and working on my dessert for our Valentine’s dinner, but I will share more of that later.
In case you need a few last minute ideas, this is for you:
These cookies from the lovely Sweetopia Blog are just too SWEET! Learn how to make them here:
For those classroom Valentine’s where teachers won’t let you give out candy, Inchmark has come up with adorable bookmarks instead: