I’m trying to explore my creative side more. I know it’s there, along with the desire for expression. Just I’ve generally been so bogged down in feeling awkward, I haven’t had time to investigate whether there is anything worthy of cultivating. I’m also attempting to stockpile some good nature-activities for the kids for our upcoming vacation. I found a blog, one of those waldorf mamas, that had some interesting activities. I was particularly interested in the willow branch woven basket she described. We were at a local pond with friends the other day and given that I’m still so body focused and uncomfortable, of course I opted out of a bathing suit and swimming. I remained back at the blanket with the 5 month old. While arguing with my disparaging inner voices, I noticed that we were surrounded by willow trees. So, ignoring the criticisms in my head, and avoiding the lifeguards’ gaze, I started breaking off some of the wispier branches.
I wish I’d gotten a better picture of it. At any rate, here it is. It really came out quite sweet and wasn’t at all difficult to do. Of course I’ll need more practice, but it was relatively fun and relaxing. Would it be so for the kids or will they still be fighting and complaining of boredom while I weave away by myself?
I’ve also been exploring my kitchen creativity. The King Arthur Flour website continues to provide plenty of ideas. With just pictures for options, Nina chose a simple chocolate cookie.
They were fun to make. The “dough” took all of 3 minutes to mix and then there was rolling them into balls and… Nina’s favorite… squishing them (or hammering them, whichever you prefer) flat. We played with a variety of kitchen utensils to achieve interesting, fun character. I considered using Lego’s, but the thought of cleaning greasy cookie dough out from between the grooves didn’t thrill me. Truthfully, they looked better than they tasted. A friend of mine suggested that chocolate and cookie were really incompatible, as chocolate goes with chewy, as in brownie, rather than crunchy, as in cookie. I have to say, I agree. Still, fun to make.
The recipe for King Arthur Flour Chocolate Dreams:
- 1 cup butter
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa
Preheat the oven to 300. Break off pieces of dough about the size of a grape and roll the pieces into balls. Space them on baking sheets, leaving 1 ½” between them.
Flatten the balls to about 3/8″ thick. You can really use just about anything – such as a slotted spoon or a potato masher, to give different imprints.
Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes, until the fragrance of chocolate begins to fill the kitchen. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.