Saturday, August 8, 2015

Peace, Love, and TPR - Maple Oatmeal Macaroons

Happy day, and for you folks still doing the old 9 to 5, thank goodness it's Friday.  I've got cookies and cats and Pandora knock-offs and as always, a back story.


Oh, for CRYING OUT LOUD!  Anakin Skywalker, what's your boggle??? This cat, the Only Cat, actually backed  into the narrow space between the baking sheet and the cookies.  He never bothers the cookies, or touches them, or even sniffs at them.  He just poses for pictures with them.  Any ideas on how to keep him off the stove top?                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Incidentally, did anyone not watch the Republican debates last night? What did you all think about Carly Fiorina?

The reason I bring this up is I suddenly and unexpectedly decided to pick one of my Highly Symbolic Bracelets to wear.  The last few years of daily working I was rigidly ritualistic about wearing one or more of my bracelets to the office and court. I was falling apart, slowly and gracefully at first, quick and dirty at the end, and I needed all the help I could get.

On the right wrist I always wore the Serenity Prayer bracelet that I found in Hobby Lobby of all places, and a two-tone three-heart bracelet which always represented my family to me. The left wrist has been for a rotating selection depending on my mood and circumstance.  And today I wanted to wear one, and that indicated to me that I might actually live through this.

For the first time in a very long time, I felt like I was worthy of protection.  I was practically giddy for about a minute. Felt good. #spooniehasntgottimeforthepain  (The little cylinder is worn around my neck and is especially precious to me, but that's another blog post, and there's another bracelet to the story).

Today I chose the all-red bracelet, my own personal kinehora bendel, designed to ward off evil spirits.  I designed it to have every lucky amulet I could get my hands on, and of course every bead is red (the little purple dog at the end symbolizes fibromyalgia, hiss boo.) So I had a pretty good day.  Pain, yes indeed, my back and legs are on fire, but I had ibuprofen and a comfortable chair to make it bearable. Maybe there really is hope, for days that are less painful, days when the dementors leave me alone.

The bracelet immediately above the red one is my favorite, and I wear it the most often.  It symbolizes my support for victims of HIV/AIDS, heart disease, child abuse, fibromyalgia, breast cancer, and lymphoma. I have my reasons.  And the one above that is ...well, can't you see it? It's my Orlando Magic bracelet!  I wear it whenever my team plays.  Do they win?  Nah, but I feel good for supporting them.

I haven't had to do any heavy cooking the past few days, which gave me time to bake a few batches of cookies. Yesterday was for the butter cookies, today was all about these cute little macaroons, and ... oh.  That black bracelet on top of the post?  That is a dual-purpose bracelet; I wore it whenever I was in a bad mood - and for every TPR (termination of parental rights) trial I prosecuted.  And I had a lot of them.  I was also in a bad mood a good deal of the time.  When those two coincided, I dressed in all black AND wore the bracelet, because I was in serious mourning for my sanity.

Back to the cookies - this is another ridiculously easy recipe.  No flour, no leavening agent, no beaters. You mix this up in a saucepan.

Maple Oatmeal Macaroons

1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
a dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried currants
1 extra large egg, beaten with a fork

In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Stir in the maple syrup, salt, and cinnamon.  Add the oats, coconut, and currants.  Take the saucepan off the heat and allow it to cool down.  Stir the beaten egg in to the oatmeal mixture.

Place a silpat on a cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Drop small scoops of the dough onto the cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Cool the macaroons for about 5 minutes and then remove them to a rack to finish cooling.

This is one of those recipes when it is important to use real maple syrup.  Also, the currants really make the cookie.   If you can't find zante currants - difficult even during the Christmas cookie-baking season - you can use raisins, but the cookie is just not the same.  If you have access to a Whole Foods, you can find the currants in the bulk foods section.

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