A Postcard from Mrs. Sundberg

Archived | July 15, 2010 | By

Listened to the show last week and it was not bad. It’s been one of those weeks that, at times, felt straight from you-know-where. I’ve been on an expedition of sorts, an adventure if you want to call it that, a real trip. The Kitchen Cabinets. Yes. From start to finish, it was nearly a week, and it began with taking off the doors and drawers and hardware. Then there was sanding ’em all down (blessed old red oil paint dust all the heck over) and then there was wiping them with tack cloths. I covered the garage floor with cardboard and used landscaping rocks to set the doors on, and then the first coat of “White Dove” — a creamy white that’s easy on the eyes. It all had to dry overnight, and then another round of sanding, and then wiping down, and a second coat of paint. There was dust to contend with, and humidity, and brush hairs and a moment or two of lightheadedness, and matching up the hardware and doors and tightening screws and oh, gosh. And then the cleaning up — paint thinner rules, vacuuming up the dust, cleaning the brushes. But it’s done. Done. I’ve White Dove paint in my hair and a bit of a sore back, but those cabinets, let me tell you, are a glory to behold. I think I’ll let them sit there empty awhile, and take my time filling ’em up again with all the things cabinets can hold. In the meantime, my thought is that summer is the time for such an adventure. Seems nearly impossible at the start, but — Lord Almighty — patience and endeavor go hand in hand. A glass of wine in the evening helps, too. You’ll be tempted to drink from a tumbler or even a Styrofoam cup. Don’t. Dig out a real wine glass, one of the good ones. After a hard day’s work, you deserve something of luxury. Even if it’s a wine glass with streaks. It’s something.
Almond-Apricot Biscotti
Here’s another one from Judy in Missouri, a real treat if you’re a biscotti person like I am. I use white chocolate morsels and, let me tell you, the kids eat this one up. Goes well with coffee or for a break while out biking.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
3 1/2 ounces imported white chocolate (or white chocolate morsels)
1 2/3 cups almonds, toasted
2 large eggs
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon apricot-flavored brandy
2 tsp almond extract
1 6-oz pkg dried apricots, diced
Line 18″ x 12″ x 1″-inch cookie sheet with foil. Butter and flour foil.
Combine first 6 ingredients. Mix with pastry cutter until fine meal forms.
Add white chocolate and process until finely chopped.
Add toasted almonds and chop coarsely.
Beat eggs, brandy, and extract in large bowl; add flour mixture and apricots and stir until moist dough forms.
Drop dough by spoonful in three 12-inch-long strips on prepared sheet, spacing evenly. Moisten fingertips and shape each dough strip into 2-inch-wide log. Refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350; bake until logs are golden, about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool thoroughly. Reduce heat to 300.
Cut logs from sides of pan, if necessary.
Cut logs crosswise into 3/4-inch wide slices.
Arrange on cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes longer.