Baking Therapy Cures Mom on Overload

Batch of molasses cookies, fresh from the oven!

When people hear I write craft books they're usually intrigued. I fight the temptation to admit that it's really not very glamorous. A creative career is truly a mixed bag. There are some wonderful moments when a new design falls together and editors appreciate my work. Other times I'm up til the wee hours of the night reworking an unsuccessful design. The scariest time for a self employed artist is when your workload hits a lull. What makes up for all the ups and downs is when I meet someone who knows my work, has followed my directions, and in the process has fallen in love with a new craft.

Our oldest in his natural habitat

The biggest impediments to my work are also my greatest joys.  Our three children straddle high school to preschool.  Each day brings a new logistic dilemma: how do we get everyone where they need to be? All moms are busy whether they stay at home or work outside of the home. There's never ending lists of chores and emotional needs to keep a home and family running (or some days limping along). There's no way I could endeavor to do any of this alone, my husband Jon is always there with a sense of humor and an amazing ability to stay up late.

Our favorite athlete.

This week has been the perfect storm of home and work activity. The boys have been incredibly busy with end of the school year music performances and sports. Little Celia's preschool is almost finished, which means I'm using up my last mornings of solitude. I've been reading through the final edits for Wired Beautiful, wrapping up Halloween magazine work, and trying to get craft merchandise into stores. In the back of my mind I've been planning which new sewing book projects to tackle first.

The constant entertainer!

Whenever I'm stuck in the middle of chaos I bake. It's my therapy. I follow recipes and fill our home with delicious food. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes my family happy. It doesn't help get through my work assignments or clean the house but it offers measured moments of peace and order.

Molasses Cookies

makes approximately 30 cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together:

3 1/4 cups of flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of allspice, 2 tsp of ginger, and a dash of freshly ground black pepper, set aside

In a separate bowl blend:

8 tbsp or one stick of butter, 10 tbsp of shortening, 2/3 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup of white sugar: beat until fluffy

Then add: 1 egg, and 11/2 tsp of vanilla

When combined add: 3/4 cup of molasses.

Quickly fold in dry ingredients.

Lay parchment paper on two cookie trays, grease them.

Roll the batter into 11/2 inch balls moisten them by dipping your fingers in a water bowl. Roll the ball in sugar and place it on the prepared sheets.

Bake for 12 minutes until the tops are cracked.

I find it helps to rotate the trays top to bottom halfway through baking.