For my Thursday Thirteen I present…
THIRTEEN THINGS I’D LIKE TO DO THIS WINTER
13. More bubble baths, with candles, bath fizzies and soft music.
12. Take the kids sledding at a park with a big hill. (If we get any snow, that is! We don’t get much snow in Portland, Ore.)
11. Go out for sushi dates with at least ten of my in-town girlfriends.
10. Take the kids to Seattle to visit our friends who keep asking when we’re going to visit. (As a native Portlander, I am not really allowed to go to Seattle. They made me sign a thing at the hospital when I was born, swearing my loyalty to Seattle’s little sister here on the river. I’m hoping if I cheat, no one will find out. Shhh.)
9. Drink more hot cocoa and bake about fifty kinds of Christmas cookies (and give most of them away). Here are my 13 favorites (ooooh, a list within a list! I know you love that): 1) Chocolate crinkles 2) Mexican wedding cakes with Hershey kisses tucked inside 3) gingerbread men 4) soft molasses cookies 5) sugar cookies shaped like reindeer and snowmen 6) spritz cookies 7) chocolate chip-oatmeal cookies 8) these crazy rainbow cookies my mom used to make when I was a kid — if I can find the recipe I’ll run it 9) thumbprint cookies with jam 10) candy cane cookies 11) toffee squares 12) brownies 13) lemon crinkles.
Oh dammit! Now I’m distracted. OK, from the Betty Crocker Cooky Cookbook, my all-time favorite, we have a recipe that last recipe from one Mrs. Alfred T. Neilsen of Council Bluffs, Iowa, who prefers “simple and easy recipes that leave her time for her hobby of making hats.” We love you, Mrs. Neilsen! And your hat collection!
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
about 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger
plus granulated sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix shortening, sugar and egg thoroughly; blend in lemon rind. Blend dry ingredients; stir into sugar mixture. Roll in 1-inch balls; dip tops in sugar. Bake on ungreased baking sheet 10 to 12 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Note: Mrs. Neilsen would like you to know that if you use self-rising flour, you should omit soda and salt.
Now, back to the other list…
8. Love on my husband more instead of being grouchy and tired because it’s wintertime. And raining. And the dog is drenched. Etc. More lovin’, less grousin’.
7. One word: Lotsofbackrubs.
6. Go to Disneyland. (Ha! I wish. We have done that twice for Christmas in the past, though, and I highly recommend it.)
5. Keep exercising.
3. Take the Cinnamon Bear cruise on the Portland Spirit. (We did this last year and it was a blast. The kids have already requested it again.) Do you know about the Cinnamon Bear? Old-fashioned and hokey, but really fun.
2. Buy fewer gifts; give more handmade gifts.
1. Keep believing in Santa Claus.