As you may know, my son Ted just returned from Bahrain, where he spent the last 9 months. He is moving to Washington D.C. and when I asked him what he would like for dinner his last night at home, he replied
AN ALL AMERICAN COOKOUT!
Apparently, he became a little tired of falafel during his stint in the Middle East.
Along with burgers on the grill, corn on the cob, and potato salad, we topped off the meal with a cherry pie.
Cherry pie is a once a summer event here, because I loathe pitting cherries. I also loathe cherry pie filling out of a can, so pitting is the lesser of two evils.
I pitted, mixed, and rolled the once a year treat.
I always add some almond extract to the cherries because it greatly enhances the flavor. With every pie I make, I brush the top with cream and sprinkle with sugar to make a nice brown shiny crust.
Ever wonder what happens when you mix psoriatic arthritis and cherry juice?
I hobbled my way into the kitchen this weekend for a couple of baking sessions. The cookies above are for my dear friend Mary, who is going to be attending a reunion at the television station where she worked right after college.
We were room mates at the University of Iowa, best buddies, and partners in crime extraordinaire.
In case any of my five children are reading this, Mary and I never hit the bars and we spent every waking second studying.
In other news, I made chocolate chip cookies. It might sound kind of ordinary, but I realized that since I began decorating sugar cookies, I hadn't made them in about a year and a half.
And now on a totally different subject, I want to share a lovely combo that is showing off in my garden.
All of my Asiatic lilies are enormous this year. Like taller than me taking flower steroids enormous. Even the Easter lilies that I replant in the garden each spring, look like they are about to devour the house.
I happen to have a case and a half of Blue Moon ale sitting in my garage fridge. Living in good old Pennsylvania, we have to purchase beer by the case at the beer distributor. Mr. Enchanted likes a Blue once in a great while, and it takes FOREVER to get through a case. When I opened my fridge (which is usually a nasty surprise of food that I have forgotten about putting in there), and saw it sitting there, I thought about a recipe for Blue Moon cupcakes that I found on Pinterest.
Now, I am not a beer/ale fan as the result of an unfortunate experience in college that involved a little toddy called "strip and go naked". The drink was made in a clean (I think) garbage can and was composed the cheapest beer that could be purchased, vodka, and lemonade. In the spirit of conviviality, I drank my fair share, and not surprisingly, ended up in the 3rd floor girl's bathroom in Stanley Hall at the University of Iowa
TURNING INSIDE OUT.
Moving right along...,
The minor adjustments I made to the recipe was to add orange emulsion instead of peel (because I didn't have any oranges), and I made a glaze instead of frosting. The glaze was a simple mix of powdered sugar, a little more orange emulsion, a dribble of vanilla, a pinch of salt, about a tablespoon of Blue Moon, and enough milk to make it a runny glaze. I popped a few blueberries on top for style.
Lord have mercy on my soul - THESE ARE DELICIOUS!
Tastes a bit like beer bread, but with a lot more swag.
I'm not sure what got into me, but I then made a crockpot chicken that used with one can of beer, garlic, onion powder, and Italian seasoning. The chicken fell off the bone, and was declared delicious by one and all.
As you can probably imagine, doing detailed cookie decorating has become difficult. On the down side, I am starting meds that have potential for scary side effects, the joint pain is a constant, my cookie decorating has suffered, and in general it is just a royal pain in the patooty.
On the up side, I have been using my free time for drawing and painting. It is not nearly as hard on the hands, plus, you can easily put it down when you get fatigued, and there is no epic icing cleanup. It is something I haven't done in quite a while, and it has been fun to get back into it.
While it hasn't been a party to deal with all this, I try to always remember that it could be something much worse.
I am blessed beyond words in so many ways.
So with that being said, I will still be doing cookies from time to time, baking summer pies (yay!), puttering in my garden, and if I am feeling brave, perhaps sharing some of my art here.