for those of us who live north of the equator, we’re only 4 days from the darkest day of the year. But for many among us, it felt as though last Friday must surely have been that day.
. . .
in this hurting world
don’t think that for one moment
your light goes unnoticed.
don’t think for an instant that your light,
just now, is too dim to shine for anyone.
. . .
don’t believe that what we face
is either too big or too complicated,
or that our little light
in the creeping shadow of it.
. . .
in this hurting world, the one thing,
the one thing, we can each do
is let our own light shine.
whatever shape or brilliance your candle,
it is exactly what the world needs…
this shimmering little light
that is yours alone
Sometimes, when it feels like sadness might overtake us,
something so small.
An unseen part of us knows though that an ancient comfort
is resident in our kitchens. When hope seems dim, or our candle flickers,
and we really haven’t much of a clue where to put our sorrow,
we can always bake cookies to share.
these little shortbreads are aromatic and truly lovely. if you already know and love lavender in the kitchen, go for the full teaspoon. if you’re trying for the first time, you might start with the smaller amount. but if you don’t have lavender at all, it can be omitted. or try replacing it with ¼ to a scant ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, very finely minced. (Culinary lavender is easily obtained on-line.)
however, if chocolate is your flavor, a recipe for chocolate shortbread follows.
Lemon Lavender Shortbread
½ cup butter at room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar (unsifted)
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
¾ to 1 teaspoon culinary lavender (see above)
¼ teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup flour
Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Drop the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Mince very finely the zest of lemon and the lavender and add them to the powdered sugar. Add the lemon extract. Stir to mix; then add to the butter and cream together. Work in the flour, scraping the bowl as you go. Once the dough has mostly come together, remove to an unfloured board and knead until nice and smooth.
Either spray with non-stick vegetable spray or brush a thin layer of vegetable oil on the bottom and sides of your pan. Firmly press the dough into the pan. (I used a clay pan with Scottish thistle imprinted on it, but an 8-inch round cake pan or 9-inch pie tin will work just fine!) Prick the entire surface with a fork and bake at 325°F (165°C) for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set the timer and allow the shortbread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and flip the pan over onto a wooden cutting board. (If it doesn’t release right away, tap one edge of the pan.) Cut the shortbread into 8 pieces while still warm.
( to print lemon lavender recipe, click. )