Horse 97 Dusk, Abstract Horse Painting AND FOOD!
Not entirely sure, but think this one is related to all the chocolate I have eaten this season. AND all the sugar cookies Lady L and I made the day before Christmas. Horse 97 is entitled DUSK because it reminds me of late evening and you can almost imagine the sun setting up in the top left corner. There is strength in the repeated layer patterns of the palette knife. and a touch of bold blue and red.
Lets do FOOD now: The day before Christmas Lady L and I embarked on a baking journey. First we made Sugar Cookies. Using the recipe of a girl scout mom I knew thirty years ago, we just made a single batch together.
We made sure we refrigerated the dough. Seems to work better when you roll it out and cut the cookies. We had put together our basic sweet dough recipe as well when we began. We were using Lady L's great great grandmother's recipe from Germany.... my grandmother. This is where you make a big batch of yeast dough and then divide it up into several recipes. That dough was covered with a clean kitchen towel and in front of the fireplace rising while we cut out our sugar cookies. What she is learning is how to use the surface of the dough wisely and not waste it. Learning to put the cookie cutter down and use the existing surface not to have wasted space. She was pretty good at that!
After about two trays full she became a pro at cutting out on the edges and loading the trays. She was excited with every cut and transfer to the cookie sheet, anticipating yummy cookies. The Airplane was for her Bampa, the trees were her favorite and then she did bells, stars and candy canes.
The trays were popping in and out of the oven and cookies were piling on the racks when we began to plan our icing. She was still cutting and I was busy pulling out powdered sugar and butter and it was then I realized... I HAD NO FOOD COLORING. Reason is simple, too many dyes cause cancer.
We made a mad dash across the street to her house and napped her mothers dyes and were sad to find only green, blue and yellow.
While Lady L iced the sugar cookies I through together some gingerbread dough for gingerbread men and women. I was beginning to tire out as we were heading into our third hour of baking and making! The gingerbread men popped out pretty fast and she was able to ice them as well.
I am proud we only ate two cookies as we finished the clean up. Lady L knows how important clean up is in painting, so she jumped in to help prepare the counter clean to work with our Basic Sweet dough.
Once the dough had risen, we brought it out to the kitchen counter and I punched it gently down and explained to Lady L that we were going to do two recipes so I had to divide the one into two pieces. (Yes we have to tie in our math as we go!) So once it was in two pieces we just one half of it to make the cinnamon rolls and the other half we divided differently as we used it. Keep reading to find out more.
In this picture Lady L is using a brush to spread out melted butter. We have to forget over this holiday that we are vegans... it is rare and only once a year that I use butter and it is for baking. I cannot imagine Christmas without sugar cookies and my grandmother's cinnamon rolls. Lady L did a fabulous job spreading the butter. The blue blur is her brush in action...too fast for my camera!
We are working on a Tupperware pad that is as old as the hills. Has to be from 1975. That is about forty years old. Hoping it lasts my lifetime!
After the butter was spread evenly, Lady L distributed raisins and a solid layer of cinnamon followed by a thin layer of brown sugar. YUM...the good smell of yeast and all those spices was about to send me into a coma of goodness! We had originally worked on rolling out the dough to be more horizontal than vertical... using both math and art principles. Always teaching.
The cool part is next. We have to roll this up and then slice it into the individual cinnamon rolls. Is it too early to drool?
Once it was sliced and placed in a pan, it was covered to rise a second time and after that baked to goodness... and flipped out to ice with buttery icing. No...we did not get to taste test these right away. BUT it was time to quickly use the second half of the dough... and we had to take the half of dough and split it into 16 pieces. Lady L is starting multiplication next week so this was perfect. How much is half of 16? And I tore the remaining dough in half. Then I ask her how much have of 8 was... and I tore those both in half and we continued down until we got to 16 pieces.
She had so much fun rolling those into balls... and yes they had to rise again. Once puffy, she punched down the centers and we loaded them with cherry pie filling, blueberry pie filling and cream cheese filling (Cream cheese and powdered sugar mixed). The cinnamon rolls were done so now we could back the Kolaches.
Baking together for six or seven hours made me weary but so emotionally moved that my granddaughter at age five was making the same recipes my mom and I had made together with her. Nanie died in 1975 before my first child was born. I do miss her and wish I could have had her around a bit longer to learn more. I want these traditions to carry on in my family. Lady L will be the baker of the Christmas Cinnamon rolls... may have to make them at Easter, Mother's Day, Fathers Day and the Fourth of July.
Hope this leaves you hungry - I am sitting here eating a cinnamon roll right now!