I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
To Be Read Pile

I have a big pile of books that I am looking forward to reading over the next few weeks and I thought it would be fun to see what my two co-bloggers have on their reading lists.

I would like to reread The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne


Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream by David Platt

(Can you tell I feel particularly mercenary after Christmas shopping for my kids?!)

Winter's Tale by Mark Helrpin (started but got sidetracked)

Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen


Our Lady of Kibeho by Immacule Ilibagiza

Grandma's Ginger Cookies

You asked so you shall receive. :o) Grandma used to make at least one batch of these cookies a week for her boys.  Wow!

1 cup coffee
3 t baking soda
1 cup shortening
1 cup molasses
3 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
3 t ginger
2 t vanilla
1 t salt
flour to texture (anywhere from 9-11 cups usually--it took 9.5 cups for me yesterday)

Dissolve baking soda in coffee and cool.  Mix all ingredients with mixer except flour.  Add flour slowly and mix in.  Roll to 3/8" and cut.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.  Do no overbake! Store in tin can.

Rach's tips/tricks:
*Go ahead and give adding the flour by mixer a go.  If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, it should be up to the challenge. 
*I mixed in the last 2.5 cups of flour by hand, kneading the flour into the dough.  You want the dough to be rather like a soft Play Doh that doesn't stick to your hands.
*Flour the work surface before rolling.  It doesn't matter how many times you rework the dough, or how much flour gets worked in, these cookies will still be tender.  Like I have said, this is the most forgiving cookie dough EVER.
*Begin timing the cookies for 8 minutes and then test.  To test, lightly touch a cookie.  Continue to bake for additional time, one minute at a time as needed.  To test, lightly touch a cookie, if it leaves an indentation, they're not ready.  The trick is to NOT overbake them as they will then be dry.  This was the hardest part.

I think that's it.  If you have any questions, I'd love to help if I can.  My email is rachael(dot)davis(at)cox(dot)net.


(C) 2010
Blog design by Splendid Sparrow