Blessings & Gingersnaps

Summer Kitchen is Closed for the SeasonIn the spirit of Thanksgiving, I have been reflecting on my life with much and absolute gratitude.  As the snow begins to fall in Northern Mn., a mama begins to turn inward as the outside weather turns cold; activity begins to slow after harvest, and in the lull before winter, my heart begins to turn toward the blessings so poured out on me and my family.  Simply put, each and every day is blessed.

I look out the window toward the chicken coop this morning on a snow globe scene of absolute and pure beauty.  There is only one brave hen, checking out the snow this morning!! She and I are alone in the stillness of morning, and the beauty of the moment.  Over coffee we meditate on the joy of living.  My brave hen and I are so glad for all of life’s blessings.Really, it's winter?!

The blessings that come with the rain, (or snow), are not to be discounted.  Without them we could not completely embrace the beauty of the storm.  If this day presents to you some challenges, know that you are not alone.  Part of the beauty and the deep joy that comes in living, lies in the process.  Embrace it, breathe deeply, and move boldly forward with the best of intentions.  Be present in the process, be present in the moment, and look at it with gratitude to learn, to love, and to live your best life.

Today I am filled with gratitude for my loving husband, my beautiful children, my warm and cozy home nestled up amongst the trees, and the glorious smell of gingersnaps baking in the oven.

Glorious Gingersnaps

1c. packed brown sugar

3/4c. butter

1/4c. blackstrap molasses

1 egg

2 1/4c. all-purpose flour

2t. baking soda

1t. ground cinnamon

1t. ground ginger

1/2t. ground cloves

1/4 to 1/2t. fresh ground black pepper

1/4t. salt

Granulated sugar, or raw honey

***A few side notes…I use all organic herbs and spices in my kitchen, and I also grind my grain for fresh flour.  If you are grinding your grain feel free to use what you normally do. Today I used half soft white wheat, and half hard red spring wheat, because it is what I have on hand.  I find that I need to add a bit more fresh ground flour to get the right consistency.  Please feel free to adjust the recipe for your needs 🙂  I also use organic evaporated cane juice, and other natural sweeteners.  I use farm fresh eggs from our beautiful hens, and have tried to convert our diet into as many whole, beautiful, and nutritious foods as possible.  Have fun with it!!!!!mmmmm....

Mix brown sugar, butter, molasses, and egg.  Stir in flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.  Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter cookie sheet very lightly. (I like to use the wrappers off of the stick of butter, if it is store-bought, to grease my pans….. A little tip for the frugal mama!)

Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. Dip tops in sugar, or leave plain, and brush with a little raw honey when you take them out of the oven.  Place balls sugared sides up, if you are sugaring them, spacing evenly on the cookie sheet. 

Be sure to leave room for them to spread as they bake! Bake 10-12 min. or till they are just set & let cool slightly. If you haven’t dipped your tops in sugar, brush some honey on the warm cookies then remove from the cookie sheet onto cooling racks, or a flour sack towel to finish cooling,  let cool completely, or just till you can’t stand it any longer, and eat with abandon before the kids get home from school!!!! Ha, Ha, Ha….Enjoy & remember to share 🙂