Monday, July 26, 2010

Fence Painting and Baking


A bit of the fence, painted "Salamander" green

On Saturday we finally finished painting the picket fence around our pond. It took five hours in some truly brutal heat, but we got it done and it looks beautiful! To pass the time as we worked, Rob gave me a detailed summary of the plot of Highlander, a 1986 fantasy action film starring Sean Connery as an immortal Egyptian swordsman. The movie sounded terrible, but Rob said he really enjoyed it.

“Hmmm, what about it did you enjoy?” I said. “I mean, specifically. Tell me one thing.” I was getting a little crabby because I had a cramp in my back.

So, yes, I was a little bit bad toward the end of the painting, but the point is we finished and we were able to move on to other, more fun projects, like planting a new little crop of tomatoes! We planted a Roma, a Better Boy, a Husky Cherry, and a Talladega, mixing into the planting holes a little Black Hen and some rich, nutritious “worm juice” from our worm bin.

That night we made vegan butterscotch cookies, and I made popcorn too, so we could eat while we were baking. (We were starving.) The cookie recipe is one we got from Rob’s mom and veganized. We make it all the time because it’s so easy and only calls for very basic ingredients that we always have around. The cookies come out perfect every time—partly because the recipe is so good and partly because Rob is an excellent baker. He’s very methodical and careful with everything he does, which can be annoying sometimes but really comes in handy when we’re baking. I tend to be half-assed with measuring (and lots of other things) and to say, “Well, close enough,” but Rob is very precise—hence the great cookies.

While we baked, the cats entertained us. June Baxter was chasing a tiny pebble around, and she had her tail all puffed up--as if the pebble presented a real threat. Then she chased her tail, perhaps discovering it to be a traitor. Next, she wrestled her sister, Softee, who is a big baby and usually cries when anyone tries to play-fight with her. But Softee was very brave this time as she grappled with busy, tough June Bee. Softee is chubby and white with black spots and kind of reminds me of a bunny—or a small Holstein. June Bee is thin and wiry and “always up to some kind of business,” as Rob says.

It was so nice baking cookies, eating popcorn, and giggling at cat antics. I had no complaints. After all, it was Saturday, the best day of the week!

Vegan Butterscotch Cookies

Ingredients:

¼ cup vegan “butter” (Earth Balance . . . )
¼ cup shortening
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 “egg” (use egg substitute)
1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup chopped walnuts
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Melt butter and shortening together. Add sugars; mix well. Add “egg”; beat till light colored. Sift flour with baking soda; stir into egg mixture. Add vanilla. Add walnuts. Chill.

Roll into small balls. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet (parchment paper works well) at 385 degrees for 11 minutes. Remove at once. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


We doubled the recipe and ended up with a pleasantly huge mound of cookies. Here are three of them.

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