Monday, December 3, 2007

Snow, Friends and Cookies

OK I'm not going to say it--you know about time flying past swifter than a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. But I did just type in November and had to go back and correct it. What a fun and wild week this has been. Judy Bielic from Mosey 'n Me came on Friday to teach her needle felting class and everyone had a great time. The projects turned out perfectly, and it was great to see how each student added her own twist and style. I think we have pictures up after this blog so you can see what they did. Unfortunately the weather man must have heard last week's whine about the warm, dry weather, so of course we were blessed with a lovely snow fall on Friday and Saturday making the drive to the class quite a challenge for many. In my maturing age, I have discovered that I appreciate the concept of snow a lot more that the thing itself. The upside--Judy was thrilled with the snow and the beautiful views especially on Sunday Morning as the sun hit the top of Mt. Ben Lomond. Charland and Sydney traveled from Toronto to take the class and just hang out, and we did a lot of both--but not a lot of sleeping, well at least not in a bed for me. It is hard to send them home again. We are sisters you know--just separated at birth. We have been together a lot this past year, and so it makes it even harder to let them go back home. We tried to get them to stay--but they are in the air even as I write.

I'm sorry this is a little disjointed, but I am feeling sleep-deprived as well as despondent. I know that I promised you Shepherd's Picks this week, but we will all have to wait for next week. Don't worry it is coming. Instead I shall entertain you with a recipe since Teri left it taped to the computer. Believe it or not, we had 2 date trees in our back yard when we were growing up, and every year it was our job to pick the dates while dodging biting horses. My mom had this great recipe which she would make out of the precious fruit every Christmas, and which I never liked until I was long grown up. We haven't made them for years--maybe Teri and I have never actually made them--but for some reason she was compelled to make them Thursday night at midnight after dragging Sydney and Char all over Salt Lake City and 3 trips to Smiths for supplies. Anyway, all of us were half asleep at the table, but Teri never seemed to notice as she cooked and yakked on into the morning hours. The odd thing is that you make these cookies in an electric frying pan which the Charlands thought was very strange, and then Teri began a weekend-long frenzy of cooking her entire repertoire of electric frying pan recipes. It was a little embarrassing. As they drove away this morning she was still trying to entice them to stay another night with yet 1 more recipe. They didn't look back as they sped over the viaduct. Well anyway, everyone loved the cookies, and so many people have asked me for the recipe--here it is. It is very odd--but don't be scared, it really works and they are very good.

Sophie's Date Balls
Plug in your electric frying pan at a medium hot temperature--maybe 350.
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups chopped dates--we just used 1 package. Not actually growing them anymore.
2 well-beaten eggs
2 T. cream
1 t. salt
2 t. vanilla--Madagascar Bourbon vanilla from Williams-Sonoma is quite fine
1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds crushed up a bit
4 cups Rice Krispies
1 package of flaked coconut
Melt butter, sugar and dates in the frying pan. Before it becomes very hot, add the beaten eggs and stir to mix. Now add cream, salt, vanilla and nuts. Cook and stir until it is very hot and bubbling. Keep on cooking. Her recipe says to cook until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. "This is very obvious," mom writes. Hmm--not so obvious to us. It took quite a while--maybe 10-15 minutes--and did become very thick. Be sure you stir and watch at the end so it doesn't burn. Turn off the heat and add the 4 cups of Rice Krispies. Mix completely. As soon as you can stand to touch it, form into little balls with a cookie scoop and roll in the coconut. Lay out on parchment paper to cool. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy.

So, go make a batch of Christmas cookies tonight--if not these--then your own favorites. Watch for Christmas Picks coming to you next week from the Bush. Until then, have a fun, safe week, and watch our web site for our new holiday kits.


The Friday night class was making snowmen. It snowed in honor of our class!

Judy Bielec shows Lisa and Cheryl Jolley how to shape the head.

Linda, Loree and Judy show off their heads. YIKES ae the making ET? Nancy works on.

"OUCH" those needles are sharp!!

Kathy's hat will be perfect on her Santa. Lisa and Cheryl put on finishing touches while Charland works on.

Nancy and Diane finish up.

Allison and Dixie show off darling Santas.

Lynne and Anne are finished with their Santas.

Judy and Linda with her Santa.

Loree Clark's Santa is darling!

Charland and Sydney finish up their Santas.

This was a great day's work! Thank you Judy!!