Thinking of travel.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Time for Cookies

I consider myself to be very lucky to have had the opportunity to spend thirteen years of my military career as a cook. One of the positions that I held, when I served at a base near the North Pole, was that of baker. I remember the times when the weather was stormy, and the temperature was freezing I would hide in my bake shop and make bread. The smells of the yeast, and the warmth from the ovens were most gratifying.
Some of my friends have often said that I went into pottery so that I could have decent dishes to serve my meals upon. I think they are right. I get a great deal of pleasure of serving food in my bowls and off my platters.

The years have passed, but my memories of the time spent in Canada’s north have not faded. The item that I enjoyed baking was cookies. The cookie method that I used came from "The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes,” published by Derksen Printers Ltd, Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada, 1962 printing." The recipe was for Dad’s Oatmeal Cookies. I still refer to this book. It is tired, tattered and starting to lose it's strength; nevertheless I continue to use the recipe whenever I get the urge to make these tasty delights.

I thought it would be nice to share this recipe with everyone who might like to try this delicacy.
Dad’s Oatmeal Cookies
It is a good idea to use a counter top mixer for this recipe as the hand held mixer will overheat.  One can also mix it by hand using a wooden spoon.  It just takes a bit of muscle power.
Add ingredients in the order that they appear.
·         1 cup butter
·         2 cups brown sugar
·         2 eggs
·         1 cup coconut
·         2 cups oatmeal, large flakes
·         2 cups flour
·         ½ tsp. baking soda
·         1 tsp. vanilla
·         2 tsp. baking powder
·         Pinch of salt
I usually cream my butter until soft. I also prefer to add my salt, baking powder and baking soda into the flour, but it is not necessary to do so. There was one time I forgot to add the second cup of brown sugar. The cookies were still delicious.
I use a heaping table spoon of the mix for each cookie. I roll it into a ball. Place the ball on a lightly greased cookie sheet. You then flatten it with a fork that is dipped in flour.
I bake in the center of the oven at 350deg. F. for 12 to 13 minutes or until brown.
Leave the cookies set in the pan for a few minutes before removing them with a spatula.
When they first come out of the oven they are soft, but they will become nice and crispy when they cool.
I make a cookie at a size that gives about 25 servings of two each.
I enjoy two cookies with my after dinner tea.   Of course, I use mugs that I create for my tea.

   Some of these items are for sale on
I also have some work on:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This duck led me down the garden path

archaicdesign Equals  

Susan, I just wanted you to know that I followed this little duck and it led me down a lush covered garden path, past the pond were many other ducks were frolicking in the water, and led me into your Etsy shop.
What a pleasant surprise.  What a great collection of Jewelry. I am very partial to your metal jewelry.  The hammered metal objects in your collection really excited my sculptural sentiments.
handmade necklace with embossed flowers on oxidized sterling silver     Exquisite Bottle Vase
I don’t create jewelry but I look at it as I would look at a Henry Moore.  What are the surface lines telling me?  How does the pattern renew its self and how does the application of the patina bring out the flow of the surface lines?  These are the questions I always ask myself when I study sculpture.  I asked the same when I browsed your shop.
sterling silver heart necklace with amethyst and garnet     Salad Bowl - Gift for the Salad Lover
Your metal earrings encouraged me ask another question.  Was the artist influenced by the Ming and Qing decorative patterns of the swirls of vines and small flower buds?  I see something here that I really like.

Rio earrings embossed flowing water on oxidized sterling silver     Classic porcelain vase
There are pieces in you collection that would touch the heart strings of many a beautiful woman.  When I look at your creations with my artist eye, I can see countless design elements that inspire me to work with surface carvings in my pottery.  At present I paint my swirls, curves and flower buds using Chinese brushes and the famous blue cobalt pigments employed by the ancient Ming potters of Jingdezhen China. However your surface textures make me want to carve into my clay thus creating textural patterns that I could apply patinas to bring out the embellishments.
citrine earrings. hand forged sterling silver and faceted citrine. solstice earrings by archaicdesign      Porcelain Vase Swirls and Buds
I am partial to swirls, curves and little flowers serving as design elements. It is this imagery that I see in your work that drives me back to my studio and inspires me to pick up my brush and fly free.
Yes, this duck knew how to stir my artistic blood.  For that, I thank you.