There Is Glory, and Then There’s the Flip Side
Made some pumpkin cookies Saturday and they were not bad. You may think I’m odd, but I have strong feelings about certain foods going with certain seasons, and there aren’t enough pumpkin recipes for all the days in autumn, especially this year, with all these warm November days and no snow in sight. But it’s comin’, I assure you. All my years in this life o’ mine, there’s been one heck of a winter after a longer-than-usual autumn.
Robert Frost, in the one poem I memorized in high school, says it best:
Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
It’s like that, you know. There is glory, and then there’s the flip side, and we wouldn’t know one without the other. Wouldn’t know the wonder of a warm, windy day if we didn’t have those drifts of snow climbing toward the sky six months later. Wouldn’t know the joy of youth if we never aged. Wouldn’t know the wildness of riding a galloping horse if we sat inside all day. And we wouldn’t understand the pain of falling off, either.
You have a choice. You can sacrifice the falling leaves and give away your snow pants and move to some warm place where you can leave the windows open all night and go barefoot all day and eat fruit from the tree and sleep in a hammock. Or. You can deal with the fact that if you’re gonna live in a place you love, there will be severe storms and polar weeks and a need to sprinkle salt on the walks. The sun will set early a good part of the year, and rain may very well flood your basement and lutefisk will remain, forever and a day, the main course at many a church harvest dinner.
But the sun also rises, and early at that, and corn grows tall and the neighbors occasionally stop by with a pie. You hear the neighbor children playing, and dogs bark now and then, and you have, despite the mosquitoes and property taxes and wandering bears, a feeling most days that this life is good and bad stretches will get better, and though the gold and the leaves and the warm breeze through the window and the scent of pumpkin pie will fade, when it all returns one day down the road, my gosh, that glory, once and again.
There’s a lot you can count on, if you think about it, and these cookies are on the list. Perfect comfort as the hours darken and winter rumbles off in the distance.
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup diced roasted almonds, optional
1 cup chocolate pieces, optional
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, pumpkin and vanilla. Mix and sift flour, baking pd and baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add to creamed mixture. Add almonds and chocolate chips or raisins. Mix.
Drop tsp onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 350 for 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool.
Browned Butter Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 T milk
1/3 cup butter
In medium bowl, place powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 tablespoons milk. In 1-quart saucepan, heat 1/3 cup butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until light brown. Frost cooled cookies and let sit awhile.
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