Attitude of gratitude

 This weeks theme at IHCC is "Attitude of gratitude...."

I was watching a TV show on the  Cassowary bird the other night... I can't stand commercials (really who can?) and being my Papa's Granddaughter, I flip channels like a pro. If he could be alive today to have a remote with a "last channel" button, he wouldn't know what to do with himself.

Anyway, during a commercial break from the Cassowary bird program, I saw a few minutes of Oprah's new show, life class. She often has a good point or two to make, but the one she was making in those few minutes I watched it really hit home... It was about being in the moment, even while doing the most ordinary tasks... washing dishes, cleaning house, etc. And remembering to notice the "blessings in the ordinary." She was right about that. I thought of how often I rush through things, chores, laundry, cleaning, general things I do every single day, things I take for granted that I'm doing. And I rush for no real reason... It's not like I have a deadline or if I don't hurry the world will come to a sudden, horrible end. 

So I've been trying to do better at taking my time with most things (I'm having a hard time finding any kind of blessing in doing laundry, but I'm trying). I've been trying to take the pressure of myself. How often do we forget to just be present in our lives and what we are doing, and grateful we are doing it? What if our lives were different and we were in a different place? I don't know about anyone else, but I'm guilty of this. Sometimes we just forget and that can't be helped, I think it's darned near impossible not to take routine chores for granted, but as long as we remember sometimes to just be thankful for the things that are less obvious than the big things, like family, friends, our home, our animals being well fed and happy, etc.

When I think of something I'm grateful for in cooking, it would be bread. All the ingredients, the yeast, the flour... the sugar... and also the result of the work that goes into making something so beautiful and nourishing.

However, this week, I decided to make cookies. These beautiful S shaped cookies from Venice, with simple, honest, ingredients. And besides that, how can you not be grateful for something that puts a smile on peoples faces? (and in their tummies...)

These cookies were delightful with coffee this morning. I think they'd be even better with some almond extract in them, but the lemon smells delicious in these even on it's own.

from Venezia by Tessa Kiros

1 stick & 1 tablespoon cold, unsalted butter, chopped
2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons of milk*

This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of milk, I have to say, I used a lot more than that in order to make dough, about 1/2 cup. 

Mix the butter with the flour and sugar until it resembles bread crumbs. Combine the egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest, and milk in a bowl. Pour the crumb mixture into it and mix it until comes together. I would suggest slowly adding the milk, until you have just as much as you need for a soft dough.

Put your dough onto some plastic wrap and shape into an 8 inch long log. Put in the fridge for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You will need a lightly floured surface and flour for your hands. Keep half the dough in the fridge to keep it cool while you work with the other half. Cut slices at 1/4 inch thick along the long and roll each slices out to a 3 inch rope. Form each one into an S shape. Put each "S" shape onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until pale but golden here and there. They shouldn't be too hard as they will harden once out of the oven.

*my cookies took 20 minutes to be lightly golden at this temperature.

IHCC Tessa Kiros Button


...and I was eyeing this recipe ;) They remind me of taralli pugliesi which I adore!
K-Koira said…
What to be thankful about with laundry: That you don't have to haul it to a laundromat and spend ten bucks of quarters to get it done. Or that you even have access to a washer and dryer. When I was in Mexico, even though we had a washer, we line dried everything. And my mom stayed in a small house just down the road for a month where she had to use a wash board in the yard to do all her laundry (yes, we got pictures!).

And, you could be thankful for the smells of the clean laundry. If you aren't, try going to the store and getting a new, wonderful smelling detergent.
luckybunny said…
Very good point K-Koira! I never thought about how I am thankful for clean sheets and the smell of them. Or not having to go to the laundry mat - yikes to the washboard! I've often thought about that, what it would be like to do laundry the old fashioned way without our machines. Sometimes, I'd rather not think about it!
MM said…
You're right! These cookies did put a smile on my face the second I saw your first picture. Nice post.
Lovely post. I think that learning the "attitude of gratitude" can significantly enhance a life. I try to practice it.
It would be a lot easier for me to practice if I had some of those cookies right now ;) teehee!
Ah yes - now that K mentions it - I remember the old days of hauling the trundle buggy for blocks on end - and I lived at the top of a steep hill!
I'm definitely grateful for having machines in my basement - even though they are older than me and only clean so-so. Still better than the alternative!
Love the simple ingredient S-shaped cookies. Anything that makes someone smile is just perfect.
Anne Kimball said…
You know, I was just thinking about that this morning. I was in the barn doing chores, and I decided to spend a few extra minutes picking burrs out of my horses' manes. At first I was frustrated at having one more thing on my to-do list, but then I relaxed into it and soaked up the moment: the smell of my horses, the feel of their fuzzy coats coming in, the warmth of the sunshine. In the end, I was glad for this little part of my life. Thanks for pointing it out so clearly!
Misty Meadows said…
I wish it was summer, and I wouldn't have to haul water to do the laundry.I am thankful for a washing machine that works. Which I don't currently have. It is being temperamental. I also remember the days, of using a washboard to do laundry on. So with that said, I guess I am thankful for the washing machine that only wants to work when it decides too!!!
Kim said…
I think you highlighted a wonderful point in your post about being thankful and finding joy in all things, including our chores.

These cookies are so much fun! I love their unique shape and could really see myself having fun eating them.
Deb in Hawaii said…
Such a great post--I know I need to remember to be present in each moment too.

The cookies look wonderful--love their curvy little shapes. ;-)
I might have to try them with the almond extract. I luv that stuff.
Dreaming said…
Thanks for making me think this morning! You (and Oprah) are so right about being in the moment. There is just too much life - so we gotta live every bit to the fullest extent.
I'm wishing I could pick one of those cookies up and hang it on the edge of my coffee cup... right this minute!
Love the new look of the blog! It looks great! :) Yes, giving gratitude does help, especially during challenging times...
luckybunny said…
Thank you so much everyone!
Misty - yikes about your washing machine, not a time of year to have it cause trouble, in the cold you are having!
Thanks Jenn, I appreciate that, I was hoping it's just easier to view and work with :) Thanks so much for all the comments everyone. In the past few days, twice I was grateful for laundry! Clean sheets and clean towels, so I learned something :)

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