Now that it's warm, I'm already thinking of the summer. I look out to see the chickens, their legs already in tall grass. I wonder if they'll enjoy the smell of a campfire as much as I do.
A holly bush stretches out right in front of the deck out back. Elsa hides there and Milo hops over low branches instead of ducking under them. I saw a cardinal rest at the top most brand. It flew away. I won't see another one in months. They're so easily spotted in the snow.
New routines now revolve around this newfound sunshine. I have more energy in the morning, but still beg Nolan to make the coffee. I can still get away with wearing sweaters most days, but other days I stay in my pajamas and wait until I can take an evening bath. We're eating later, less hungry. Bored. Tired. We nap. We run outside. We walk the dogs and feed them eggs from the coop. I'm drawing to keep my hands busy and trying to draw the perfect silhouette of our otherwise calm life.
And I play no records these days. I want to only hear the wind shuffling through the house right now.
But my mind goes back to campfires. To cold beer. To smelling Nolan's cigarette smoke on his fingertips and my shirt collar. This year we will start a garden and not just watch summer from the closed window.
And I can't wait.
Animal Cracker S'mores
In the spirit of anticipation, I used a new cookie cutter to make these chicken-shaped s'mores animal crackers. Think of it as an update from last year's--but so treacly sweet you'll only want just one...or two...or three.
- 3/4 cup wheat flour (I used Bob's Red Mill, as shown below)
- 1/2 cup AP flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, pacled
- 1 TB molasses
- 2 TB honey
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 TB milk
- Preheat oven to 350*F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Sift together flours, cinnamon, and salt
- In a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, molasses, and honey until light and fluffy
- Add yolk, mix for a few seconds
- On low, add dry ingredients and continue to mix until a ball forms
- Add milk (you may need a little more to the mixture if your flour is very dry or you are in a higher elevation than li'l ol' me)
- Roll out onto a floured work surface to about 1/4 inch thick
- Cut out desired shapes and transfer to baking sheet
- Bake for 20 minutes, but begin checking at about 16 minutes (as you can see, a couple of mine were a little burnt due to thin cookies and uneven oven!)
- Allow to cool
- Cover in marshmallow fluff
- Torch to toast top
- Add chocolate chips as eyes to finish (alternatively, you can dip in chocolate, but I did not have enough to do so!)