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Feb. 7th, 2016


Back From Imbolc, Magic Crackers, Yankee Dry Rub, and Naked Pandas.

I had a lovely weekend. I brought lots of Vit C and zinc to help people keep well. It is the season for giving each other cold viruses and I just got over one.

I did a pretty good job of not over planning. Although a did not do such a good job of not over feeding.

I made a lot of "Magic Crackers". I cut back on the cayenne pepper and the red pepper flakes and I still call these "Red Hot Crackers of DOOM!". But the version with my Yankee Dry Rub (instead of garlic, cayenne, and red pepper flakes) was very popular. And the version with lemon pepper and dill (instead of garlic, cayenne, and red pepper flakes) was very popular. And the sweet version with cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and agave (instead of all the original spices) tasted like cinnamon buns.

The rye and pumpernickel assortment was a hit.

And I got a lot of praise for my pork roast crusted with Yankee Dry Rub.

3 part Paprika
3 parts Onion granules
2 parts Salt
1 part Ground Black Pepper
1 part Garlic granules
1 part Mustard powder

It is parts by volume (teaspoons, tables spoons, quarter cups, half cups, cups) not weight (the salt weighs more than the other ingredients). I use granules instead of powder for the onion and garlic because they pour better. The powders tend to clump.

For the pork roast I had the butcher cut a pork shoulder (Boston Butt) into four 2 in roasts. One side of the roast has a thick layer of fat so I take a sharp knife and cut the fat into thin strips (still attached to the roast). Then I pat the roast dry with a paper towel and generously crust it with the Yankee Dry Rub. I put it in the oven at 350F for about an hour. You can cook it at 300F but it will take longer. When it is cooked and the outside is getting crispy take it out and let it rest for 10-15 minutes, then serve. Pork shoulder is a fatty piece of meat so it benefits from a long slow cooking process. But Yankee Dry Rub goes with any meat and most vegetables.

I had hoped to do some bread baking with Jude. But there just didn't seem to be enough time. I really needed to nap and there were so many cool people there to hang out with.

I love being pagan. Barb has a lot of beds in her house but also a lot of house guests so I had to share. The nice young lady who shared my bed wore panda pajamas the first night (so I went around telling people I had slept with a panda :). The second night she took off the pajamas and cuddled with me. There may be other religions where you get to cuddle with attractive naked women on your religious retreat, but I don't know of any. She really is a very nice young lady.

It was a lovely weekend. I brought my anti-anxiety meds in case I needed them but I really felt fine and didn't take any. It was nice to have two young people there to fetch and carry for me, so I didn't overtax myself.

I'm getting much better about letting go of my need to control what happens.

Feb. 4th, 2016


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Feb. 3rd, 2016


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Jan. 30th, 2016


Feeling better...mostly

My cold has turned into a sore throat and a cough. But I feel much better. I went out and bought some lozenges today.

I finished the aprons I was making for "Le Zisse Kücherhexen". I have dropped them with my friend, Prima Diana, for the custom embrodery. She has one of those fancy machines that you can program to embroider fonts and pictures.

I watched the first two episodes of the new X-Files. It seems to be just like the old series. I never was fond of the conspiracy theories. I like monster of the week better.

I watched the pilot episode of Lucifer. It is clever and funny. I loved it. Lucifer Morningstar is no better than he aught to be. But he has a bit of an obsession with punishing people who do bad things. Probably just a habit after 6000 years of ruling hell.

A while ago IDK and I watched "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". It was as good as I had hoped from watching the trailer. Surprisingly historically accurate. I mean, except for the vampires, there are a lot of real historical people in the movie doing what they historically are known to have done. The production values were high. The fight scenes were epic. There is one fight scene that takes place in a herd of stampeding horses and the vampire throws a horse and Abe. EPIC!!! I recommend it if you like fun action movies. Lots of epic fight scenes, not much blood, not very scary.

Jan. 27th, 2016


Still sick

I hope this is the worst of it.

It's not too bad, I've been sicker. I'm just tired and congested really. If I had a job I would have gone to work today. But when I had a job I would only stay home if I was in danger of soiling myself. I didn't want people to think I was a slacker who would choose to stay home if I just had a little sniffle. But I'm glad I was able to stay home and sleep today. I have had little appetite. I made myself some noodle soup and toast. I seem to be craving carbs and citrus. But nothing else.

Anyway. I hope I feel better tomorrow.

My tweets


Jan. 25th, 2016


Health Update: i hab a code im by noze

I plan on getting lots of rest and drinking lots of hot fluids.

The cats are sticking close to me. Because they love me.

In other news. I love grits. They are similar to polenta but you don't get pellagra if you try to live on them. (This brand it fortified with extra niacin, but it is hominy grits so it didn't need to be.) How poor do you have to be to live on nothing but corn meal! I should not be eating grits, they are too high carb for my diet. But they are so comforting on a cold winter day.

I see the moon The moon sees me
Under the shade of the old oak tree
Please let the light that shines on me
Shine on the ones I love.

Over the mountains Over the sea
Back where my heart is longing to be
Please let the light that shines on me
Shine on the ones I love.

Jan. 24th, 2016


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Jan. 23rd, 2016

Make Magic

Cooking: Pears and Yankee Dry Rub

I'm making another batch of my Yankee Dry Rub. Let me know if you want a bottle. If you don't know, I was reading a meat cookbook (thanks J!) that had lots of different spicy dry rubs and it occurred to me that what I needed was a nice flavorful spice mix that wasn't to picanté for delicate northern palates. So I mixed up my own special blend of Yankee spices: Paprika, Onion granules, Salt, Garlic granules, Mustard powder, and ground Black Pepper. It is probably very similar to commercial seasoned salt, except it doesn't have as much salt in it. I have crusted roasts with this and not over salted them. Although some people didn't like that much seasoning on their meat. This is mild enough that I have never found it to be too much. I put it on beef, pork, chicken, and fish. It also works well on roasted vegetables or in soups.

While I was down in Binghamton I had a craving for fresh fruit and bought a bag of pears (there is not much fresh fruit this time of year). I bought a bag that had pears that were beginning to bruise because I wanted ripe pears, and with pears if they aren't easily bruised they aren't ripe. Unfortunately, these pears were both easily bruised and hard. I made some of them into a pear upside down cake (using the plum upside down cake recipe from the family cookbook). And today I poached the rest of them in red wine. Pears poached in wine are very tasty.

I soaked some kidney beans yesterday, and today I cooked them. My chili is well on it's way. I just have to brown the ground beef and chop up the bell pepper, onion, and garlic. I use canned tomatoes with "zesty peppers".

In cat news: my cats had still not realized that Callie was gone this morning. So I picked Ninshubur up and brought her to the bathroom with me. She was suspicious. It was fun watching her cautiously checking out the hall, looking for Callie. I can see her dilemma. She can't see or hear Callie but that just means Callie might be sleeping in some corner. It has been several hours now and since Callie has not appeared to defend her territory Ninshubur has joined me in the living room. Now we just have to see how long it takes Daisy to follow suit.

Jan. 22nd, 2016


No Worries Here

We are not expecting much snow this far north. So we are not participating in the Snowpocalypse.

I'm planning on making a big pot of chili anyway. Because chili is always nice on a cold winter day.

Marilyn came by and picked up Callie. I'm waiting to see how long it takes for my kitties to realize she is gone.

Marilyn brought me some presents from Greece. Trahana, a type of couscous made with yogurt. And two bottles of food grade flower essence. Rose water and some unidentified flowers. The labels are in Greek so I have no idea. They are spray bottles so I have no idea how they are used in Greece. Marilyn assures me that her daughter bought them in the grocery store and they are edible. Marilyn also bought me some Mastic (plant resin) She hasn't unpacked it yet. But I'm curious to try it.

Jan. 21st, 2016


IDK's Birthday

I went down to Binghamton last night for IDK's birthday. He asked me for a hood for his coat. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I was able to sew buttons onto the collar of his coat to attach it.

We had pizza for dinner again. He likes Hawaiian pizza (pineapple and ham). The cake I made over the weekend was almost gone so I made a pan of brownies.

Now I'm home. Snow is falling. It's light and fluffy. But I'm glad to be home. I have a lot of projects to work on.

There were crows in the driveway when I got home. I threw out some seeds for them.

Jan. 20th, 2016


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Jan. 17th, 2016


Weekend in Binghamton

After lunch with B I drove down to Binghamton. Song is having her front stairs fixed and it didn't occur to me that I wouldn't be able to get in the driveway until they left. Bu now that there is a handrail I can use the front door! (I didn't. But I can now.)

We had pizza for diner because of IDK birthday.
I used the dining room table to do some cutting for some projects. I'm making a hood for IDK jacket. It is what he asked me for, for his birthday. Now I need to do the sewing.

Saturday Song went grocery shopping. She picked up some nice Tuna fillets, some fresh baby spinach, a bag of assorted root veggies, and 15 little perch fillets.

We baked the tuna, and Song sauteed the spinach with garlic. I should have taken a picture. It was glorious.

For dinner, I chopped up the root veggies and we roasted them. Song fried the fish and we had some rice as well. It reminded me of dinners I used to have at home.

This morning I go up early and made a chocolate cake for IDK. It was the one that Gina submitted to the Family cookbook. It is very rich and we filled it with cherry preserves, which goes very well with it.

Now I'm home.

Jan. 13th, 2016


Therapy Day: Doing OK Actually

I've been feeling pretty good. I've been going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting up around sunrise. I've been reading and cooking and doing crafts. I made a diagram of the moon phases.

I was thinking the quote "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." - John Lennon. Neither my therapist nor I were able to define what "life" means in that context. What does it mean to live your life? What am I doing if not living? My therapist offered that "being authentic" was the important thing. That is a bit "new age" for me. But I think I'm pretty "authentic".

I found a small loom in the free bucket outside Sew Green. It's got a project on it so I can see how it works. I might try to finish it. But is not a very creative project.

I'm still feeling productive.

Jan. 11th, 2016


Out and About

It's Monday so I went grocery shopping and dropped off some recycling.

I think sunny days are more productive for me. Too bad I live in Ithaca.

I have been drawing, moon phases. Not very imaginative, but still creative,

My LED lights arrived So I can get working on those projects. I need to find my notes. I think I have all the materils I need for the LED projects.

Over the weekend I made Char Siu Bao and Stuffeed Pork Chops. I think I will make Peanutbutter Noodles and Cashew Chicken next.

I finished reading "Newton's Wake" so I'm ready for Book Group this evening.

R.I.P David Bowie. I was a huge Bowie fan in high school. He really let his freak flag fly, and I really needed that. He was there for me when I needed him.

Jan. 9th, 2016


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Jan. 8th, 2016


Yet Another Productive Day

I wish I knew why I'm so productive right now, so I could be this way all the time.

I used an electric cart from Tops to go into Michael's. They are very expensive! And they don't carry fabric. I just bought one spool of tatting thread.

Made Thai red curry for dinner.

Read and wrote.

Still feel good.

Typing this on tablet because laptop not getting WiFi.

Typing on tablet sucks!

Jan. 6th, 2016


Another Productive Day

Yesterday I did pick up a foam mattress topper. The springs may eat through it in a few months but last night was the most comfortable night's sleep I have had in months. Next month I need to buy a replacement mattress cover. The one I have is falling apart.

Today I had my monthly lunch with Anne at the Spring Buffet. Then I picked up my prescriptions at Wegmans, then I saw my therapist (I just caught him up on my holiday. I'm feeling pretty chipper.) then I met my egg dealer and picked up some eggs.

The internet has been working this evening so I was able to catch up on some internet things.

And I may actually make progress on an Apron Project I started several years ago. I will have to see what happens tomorrow.

I do really feel like I'm getting things done.

Jan. 5th, 2016


I've been very productive.

Yesterday, I went out to the Ithaca Generator and consulted with B about some of my projects. I have 2 projects that involve LED lights and one that involves collapsible wings. I came away from the meeting with good plans for all of them and lists of materials I need.

Unfortunately when I went to fill up the car with gas the latch that opens the gas door was stuck. The guys at the station said it was probably frozen and I should come back once the sun came up.

This morning I went to the back to get quarter, then I took some recyclables to the recycling center, then I tried the gas latch again. It still wouldn't work and my low fuel light was on, so I went to Hunts. They pulled out the cable for me. Now the little door won't close all the way, because it doesn't latch. But at least I can get gas.

I went to Walmart and got some bits and pieces for my craft projects. Then I went grocery shopping at Wegmans.

Wegmans has whole boneless pork loin for $1.69/lb that is less than the skinless boneless chicken breasts.

I tried to pick up this month's prescriptions but Wegmans Pharmacy seems to have mislaid them. They called me to say they were there on Saturday. But four people dug through the cabinets and couldn't find them. I was going to have to come back tomorrow anyway for another prescription that wasn't ready yet. So I will just pick up everything tomorrow.

I'm feeling very productive. Tomorrow I have lunch with Anne, then pick up prescriptions, then therapy, then I hope to meet with my egg dealer. I'm really busy.

Jan. 3rd, 2016

pirate baby

New Level of Anxiety

I think I'm overwhelming myself with obligations. I have that huge list of things I want to do. (Don't tell me not to make lists, lists are good for me, without lists I'm constantly afraid I've forgotten something.)

The problem is that when I go to do things on the list I just want them to be over with so I can move on to the next thing. I feel anxious and jittery.

Being goal oriented is making me lose the pleasure of the process. This is particularly bad for my writing. I don't express myself well when I'm impatient and if I just want the piece to be done I have no patience at all. It is also bad for reading. I can't enjoy a story if I just want to check the book off my list.

I need to focus on enjoying the process.
Dr Who

Projects and other lists

I checked back in my posts to see what projects are still pending. It turns out all of them are. I haven't finished any of the projects I listed in May of 2015.

Although I have worked on some of them. I did manage to squeak in 50 books in 2015. But I have signed up for another 50 in 2016 and I really want fewer of them to be children's books this year. And the Sci-Fi book group is ongoing.

I do have a couple of new project ideas. I would like to make a candle crown with led candles. And I have an idea for a hair decoration that involves braiding led lights into hair.

I need a new mattress. My current mattress is so worn the springs are poking me. It is very uncomfortable. Mattresses cost a couple of hundred dollars, so I was thinking of just getting a mattress pad. But I might have to replace the pad if the broken springs eat through it. It's a problem for the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.
"But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet."

I also need a new Mac Laptop because I'm rapidly losing functionality. And an iPod since I can't find mine.

Another really expensive thing I want to get someday is a mobility scooter. My insurance won't pay for one unless I need it inside my apartment. I don't have room for a mobility scooter inside my apartment. And I don't want to lie about it because if I get caught lying I would lose my insurance and I can't afford that. So I am scrupulously honest about my mobility issues. BTW both my PCP and my therapist agree that I need a mobility scooter. It's only the insurance that thinks I don't.

I might spring for another grabber this month. They are really helpful for short people.

I think that is everything.

An Attitude of Gratitude.

I have been feeling very blessed lately.

I am very blessed to have the generous loving friends and family who do so much for me.

Jan. 2nd, 2016


Back From New Year's with Friends and Family

I went down to Binghamton on Wednesday. Song ordered Chinese food and then I made Sugar Cookies with the kids.

Thursday morning we decorated the cookies before Song and I met Gaby and Richard at the new Plaza Restaurant in Vestal. After lunch we met a couple in the parking lot who needed a ride to Endicott, it was a cold day so we gave them a lift. Then we went shopping and got home before Craig and Tracy showed up.

Tracy went right to work making a fabulous dinner. She made a magnificent Prime Rib Roast with Potatoes Fondant and roasted Brussels sprouts. As midnight approached she put out some cheese and crackers, shrimp cocktail, and pears poached in wine and wrapped in prosciutto and Gorgonzola. The kids stayed up and we watched the ball drop. Then we all went to sleep.

In the morning Tracy made a huge breakfast of bacon, french toast (out of challah bread), and home fries. It was all delicious.

Then I went to my parent's house where we had a huge New Year's Day dinner of pork roasted in sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and salad.

My nephews climbed all over me. I made crocheted beards for them. And we all sang some carols.

I am thoroughly stuffed! My knees hurt and I want to sleep for a week. But I'm looking forward to the new year. Despite not making any resolutions, as such, I have hopes of getting things done this year. There is so much to do. After I sleep for a few days.

Dec. 29th, 2015


Winter Weather

There is snow on the ground. Not a lot, but it looks white-ish out there.

I have been hearing sand trucks (or plows) drive by all night. And people chipping at the ice. It doesn't look like enough to shovel or plow, but sounded like sleet so it is going to take a lot of chipping and salt.

A good day to stay inside. Lucky for me that is what I'm planning to do.

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Plugging along

I've been cooking since I came home. But not marathon cookie baking anymore. I made some Spaghetti Bolognese, a pork roast, and a cheese and scallion quiche, I will probably make some cashew chicken as well.

Today I checked my mailbox and found out that B had sent me a book on tatting for Yule. That was very kind of him. I'm sure I can find my tatting shuttles around here somewhere. This looks like a very helpful book.

There is another package in my mailbox but it is wedged in there so tight I couldn't get it out. I asked Brandan downstairs to see if he can get it out for me. He will check tomorrow. There is no hurry.

I've been catching up on my sleep and looking forward to the new year.

I finished another crocheting project! It's a surprise I will post pictures later.

Dec. 25th, 2015


Christmas Eve With Family

That went rather well.

Maria and Tom were in charge of dinner. I think it started off as a seafood dinner (In deference to mom's Catholic upbringing.) but then they went to Sharkey's and got carried away with local cuisine. They made crab cakes themselves, and a smoked salmon and cream cheese spread with a sliced baguette, and a green salad with clementines and fennel, and mini hot dogs for my nephews. From Sharkey's they got Pierogies, fried clams, and city chicken. That was quite a dinner. I haven't had city chicken in years. And I don't get pierogies very often either.

Everyone liked the cookies I made. I gave my nephews a stack of Neil Gaiman's children's books: "Crazy Hair", "Wolves in the Walls", "The Day I Traded My Dad For Two Goldfish", "Instructions", and "Fortunately, the Milk..."

I gave my mom a set of baking pans for the toaster oven, so she doesn't have to heat up the big oven when she wants to cook for just her and dad. I was worried that she wouldn't like them, because she really doesn't like to cook. But she did like them. She didn't know they made pans for toaster ovens. And this will make cooking easier for her. Which is what I want for her.

Gina and Dave gave me "What if?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions." by Randell Munroe (the creator of XKCD). This was a very good choice. I'm not an easy person to buy books for. But I didn't have this one. And it is something I am interested in.

We lit the candles on the tree and sang some carols. (I will post pictures later to prove that we actually do this in my parent's home.) I tried to help Forrest with his new Rainbow rubber band loom. We had tea and homemade cookies. Gina had made some too. And then I came home.

The sky was cloudless with a full moon, and air was warm. It was a beautiful drive. I saw one deer by the side of the road, but it didn't run out in front of me so that was OK.

Dec. 24th, 2015


This Year's Cookie Marathon!

I spent Friday and Saturday nights making cookie dough. Sunday I drove down to Binghamton and Spent the night making more dough.

Monday Song ordered Chinese food for dinner. But she also found some fresh smelt and fresh eel at the grocery store when she was out buying more flour and butter. She made fried smelt for herself and I had Chow Fun, Ribs, and Dumplings. Panda III makes the best dumplings.

While I was waiting for Song to get home from work I made Marzipan Pigs! I love marzipan, but I have never made marzipan pigs before.

We made Poppy Seed Rugelach. I have never made them before.
Poppy Seed Rugelach

We made Date Nut Pinwheels
Date Nut Pinwheels

We made Thumbprint Cookies
Thumbprint Cookies

We made Springerle

We made Nutmeg Cookies. I had never made these before. The icing didn't turn out the way it should have. :(
Nutmeg Cookies

We made Linzer Cookies. Another new one for me. The recipe only made 10 cookies. It might have made more if I had rolled them thinner. But this is more of a cookie for a fancy tea party than a large batch cookie like the others. I have to make a Lizer Torte someday and see how it compares.
Linzer Cookies

We made Gingerbread. I made 2 Gingerbread houses! See them there?
Song made her Gingerbears with cinnamon hearts.

We made Speculoos. I have never done this one before either.

We made Cocoa Crinkle Cookies. I put extra four in the dough because it looked too thin to roll into balls. So they didn't spread as much ash they should have. And they turned out more cakey than chewy. But they are still delicious. And they look beautiful.
Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

We made Russian Teacakes. Song doesn't like walnuts do I used hazelnuts instead. Her family made them with a single whole hazelnut in each one. But I prefer chopped nuts throughout.
Russian Teacakes

We rolled out the dough for the Pfeffernüsse. But we ran out of energy before we got around to baking them

By the time the sun came up we were sore and exhausted. Song sent the kids off to school and we both went to sleep. When she got home I made some teriyaki sauce and we had broiled eel for dinner. Ona Stick!
Roast Eel

We never even touched the Buttermilk Sugar Cookie Dough. That will have to wait for next week.

Song wearing the hat I crocheted and cuddling on the couch with Jazz Cat.
Song with Jazz

Dec. 19th, 2015

cheeze burger

Meat Cake!

I finally made the Halupki I have been meaning to make. Unfortunately the cabbage I got was too small and mostly stem so I ran out of leaves before I ran out of meat. It's hard to judge these things before hand. The leaves were so small they were more like meatballs than rolls anyway.

So, I used kale leave as well. The kale was so curly I just filled the center of each leaf with a flat layer of meat and rolled it up. They look beautiful. I should probably take some pictures.

That still didn't use up all the meat so I made the rest into a loaf, or more of a flat cake, and baked that in the toaster oven.

So the meat is taken care of.

Now, I just really need to make cookies!

In the meantime I have almost finished my purple witch's hat.

Dec. 18th, 2015

Make Magic

This Year's Dwarf Bread

Thursday I went over to B's house and made my Dwarf Bread. He was kind enough to document the process this year.

The Ingredients
2.5 lbs Flour (my recipe says whole wheat, but any kind of flour will do)
1 lb Sugar
2 Tbs Baking Powder
1 tsp Allspice
1 tsp Cardamom
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Coriander
1/2 tsp Cloves
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 8oz pkg dried Dates
2 5oz pkg dried Blueberries
1 lb chopped Walnuts
1 lb chopped Hazelnuts
2 lb Honey

See the pretty olive wood spoon my mom gave me?
The Ingredients

Put everything except the honey in the biggest bowl you have.
Everything in the bowl

Mix it all together. I use this time to break up the bigger walnut and date pieces and make sure all the nuts and fruit are covered with flour. Make sure everything is thoroughly mixed before you add the honey. Because the honey is going to be difficult.
Mix everything together

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
Make a well in the center

Put the honey in a pan that looks much bigger than you need. Really. B thought a small sauce pan would do but I talked him into using a large soup pot. The honey doubles in volume suddenly when it comes to a boil and if your pan is too small it will boil over onto your stove and make a mess.

It only took a couple of minutes to bring the honey to a boil. Then B poured it into the dry ingredients for me. The foam on the top of the honey makes it look a lot lighter than it was. I was using some raw wild honey my mom gave me. It was very dark.

Use a spoon to mix the honey into the dry ingredients. Boiling hot honey will take off your skin if you touch it.
Pour in the Boiling Honey

I was hoping he would get a shot of how dark the liquid honey was. But this is just me mixing the flour into the honey, with a spoon.
Mix the flour into the honey with a spoon

After a few minutes the flour, and time, have cooled the honey down enough for me to use my hands. Which is a good thing because this is too thick to mix with a spoon.
After a while it cools enough to use your hands

You really have to get in there and make sure all the flour in mixed in. I kept finding hidden dry pockets at the bottom of the bowl.
Really mix it in

This amount of dough should fill two standard cookie sheets (.5x10x15).
I love Parchment Paper! It makes baking so much easier. I use it for almost everything.
Divide the dough between the pans

The dough just fills both pans. I make an effort to fill the corners so they aren't thin.
I had to use a baker's Half Sheet pan one year and it only filled one pan and the cookies were too thick. They should be .5x10x15
Pound the dough into the pans

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 325F on the top two racks of the oven. Switch them half way through.

Fresh out of the oven. You can see that they are a little brown around the edges.
You have to cut them while they are still warm. When they cool they set up and crystallize. This batch was so soft out of the oven I was worried they wouldn't set up correctly, but they did. I cut them by halving the pan with the big vegetable knife you can see on the top right. Then halving the halves (2,4,8). That gives me 8 pieces per side, for 64 pieces per tray. If you wanted to you could put a lemon glaze on them at this point. I never do. But it is traditional.
Fresh out of the oven

B bagged them up for me the next day after they had cooled.
Bagged cookies

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