|Willows Lit Up by the Sun, Shishkin|
Suddenly we believe in the simple act of renewal and rebirth. We are reminded that nothing is forever lost, evidence is all around proving the point. Indeed, our senses are assaulted with proof.
We move in and out of doors, laundering and airing out linens, boxing up winter's woolens, sweeping out the cobwebs from the corners. Baskets of ripe fruit appear in the markets, our nostrils twitch at the smell of baking bread. We sink our fingers into the warm, pliant earth, crumble in a few seeds, pat the soil back in place, and wait for the soft spring rains to come. New calves stagger after their mothers grazing in the meadows; Venus glows with luminous allure in the heavens of early evening.
Use up the last of winter's baking supplies with these easy cookies. Perfect with slowly steeped green tea perfumed with honey and a small dish of frozen yogurt.
Winter Begone Bars
3/4 stick butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp molasses
1 1/2 c. sugars - you can mix white, brown, and confectioner's sugars if you like
1 c whole or lo-fat milk
Cream together thoroughly in medium bowl and set aside.
1 1/4 c. whole, rolled oats
1 1/2 c. unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds or variety)
1/2 c. Ghiardelli chocolate chips
1/3 c. flaked coconut
1/3 c. whole raisins, currants, cranberries (or a mixture)
Combine dry ingredients in order in large bowl, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
Add butter-sugar mixture to large bowl, stir well to mix.
Pour into greased 13x9x2-inch glass pan. Bake 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees F until done. Cut into 2" squares.
Variation: For an alternative taste, reduce milk to 1/2 cup, omit chocolate chips and add 3/4 c. canned pumpkin and pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds to batter.