You Need Your Wits About You

Archived | January 16, 2014 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It’s been an interesting stretch of weeks with the weather as it is — big sky dumps one week, polar chills the next — and I’m hanging in there where my wits are concerned, but it is a challenge some days. There are moments when I feel an insane impulse, and I know I’m not alone. Feel like hauling off and hollering, or running out into the snow and through the fields and just running and running to feel motion and aliveness, or quadrupling my lasagna recipe just for the heck of it. It’s rough on the human spirit to be cooped up, sheltered from the elements, and I am not ashamed to admit I get cabin fevery now and then.
But I don’t let it take me down. Nope. Because nothing lasts forever. The line at the grocery store, adolescence, the wait for the bus, Minnesota winters, life itself. Everything comes to an end. However, there’s the meantime, and when you’re in it, and waiting, it helps to have one thing, even if it’s small, to look forward to each day. Today I’m looking forward to the Novocain wearing off my face, as I had a crown prep this afternoon and I’m having a few drool issues at the moment. I’m looking forward to the kids having a day off from school tomorrow, and to the younger daughter’s play Saturday, and to driving the older daughter back to college on Sunday. Looking forward to hearing from the colleges our son is applying to, and to — sometime next week — a stretch of quiet hours when I’ll have some writing time and some time to try out a few recipes I’ve been saving.
I’m not suggesting you not live in the present. Not at all. The present is the place to be. But when you approach boredom, tedium, stir craziness or even fear, thinking about what awaits down the road can help you get your bearings. You need your wits about you. Someone has to pay the bills. Someone has to try to answer the questions all the kids have. Someone has to have the car serviced. Someone has to shovel the driveway, again, once this round of snow stops falling. And it will, because that is the nature of snow, along with everything else. Sure is.
Here’s a fine recipe from one of my aunts, who brought these rich and buttery and soft cookies to a family gathering over the holidays. Aunts are good for a good recipe now and then, and for long hugs, and for the kind of stories you don’t mind hearing over and over again.
Pecan Spritz
1 ½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract
3 cups flour
1 cup ground pecans
1 tsp baking pwd
12 oz white chocolate chips, optional
Cream sugar and butter together; mix in egg, vanilla, almond extract. Add flour, ground pecans, and baking powder. Stir well.
Chill awhile. Add a bit of flour to hands while hand-mixing dough. Fill cookie press, and shoot cookies out onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 5-7 minutes. When cool, dip half of cookie in melted white chips, if desired.