Autumn is coming.
The towns in the western part of Manitoba are getting night time frost warnings.
it’s time to start putting our gardens to bed.
It’s also time to do a bit of baking.
The days of ice cream are coming to an end for this year.
A friend asked why I’ve been labelling some of my posts ‘The Hump’.
I’ve been trying to make use of things that I already have.
In other words, I’m trying to live off the hump.
I’m not getting any younger.
And neither are the things, or food purchases, in my home.
Anyway… back to doing a bit of baking…
Autumn and winter are peak holiday and visiting time.
It’s the season for folks to drop by for a holiday dinner or a cup of coffee or tea.
And what’s better with a cup of either coffee or tea than a few cookies?
There are dozens of cookies recipes, of all flavours and colours.
Ma’s Gingersnap Cookies are a rich dark brown.
They would look pretty on a platter with Ma's Easy Sugar Cookies.
Or with Ma's Christmas Cookies.
Cookies can also be used to make use of a bit of the hump.
One of the items I bought a while ago was a bag of poppy seeds.
No, I don’t know why.
Luckily I had a recipe from Ma that called for poppy seeds.
Maybe making a batch of Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies was meant to be.
Whatever… they taste good and would look pretty on a platter, too.
I suggested having 4 cookie sheets so you could make 2 pans of cookies while 2 pans are being baked.
If you only have 2 pans, let them cool after the first batch before using for another batch of cookies.
If the pans are hot the cookies will be affected.
I put the 1/2 Cup of poppy seeds for the coating in an 8 inch square pan so I could make about 10 balls, put them in the pan, and coat them together before transferring them to the cookie sheet.
It seemed more efficient and less messy this way.
If you want puffy cookies, use 6 ounces shortening instead of 1 Cup butter.
If you’re using shortening, first cream the shortening, then gradually beat in the sugar.
You can also roll the dough into logs, wrap them in plastic and freeze them for up to two months.
Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
Makes about 50 cookies
Have on hand 4 cookie sheets
Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper
Sift together into a medium bowl
3 Cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place in a large mixer bowl
1 Cup butter or margarine, room temperature
1 1/2 Cups sugar
Beat well until light and fluffy.
2 large eggs
juice and zest from 1 lemon
Beat until combined.
Add 1/4 of the flour mixture and beat in well.
Repeat three times, blending the flour mixture in well each time.
Form the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic.
Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.
Place in an 8 inch square pan
1/2 Cup poppy seeds
Place the oven rack in the centre of the oven.
Preheat oven to 350º F
Remove the dough from the refrigerator.
Take a spoonful of the dough and roll the dough (in your hands) into a ball about 1 1/4 inch in diameter.
Place the ball in the pan of poppy seeds.
Repeat about nine more times.
Roll the balls around until they are coated with poppy seeds.
Place the coated balls, about 2 inches apart, on a cookie sheet.
The cookies will flatten and spread as they bake.
Repeat with the remaining dough until it is all used.
Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are a golden yellow colour..
Remove the cookies from the pans and place them on wire racks.
Let them cool completely.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
About the sky this week, thanks to the folks at The Farmers' Almanac…
September 16 — The Harvest Full Moon is the full Moon nearest the Autumnal Equinox (which occurs on September 22nd). Learn about the meaning behind the name of one of the year’s most popular full Moons and how it related to the annual gathering of crops and the autumn equinox in this short video.
September 18 – The nearly-full waning gibbous Moon is at perigee, its closest point to Earth.
September 22 – Autumn begins at 10:21 a.m. with the Autumnal Equinox. The Sun crosses the Equator and darkness begins to win out over daylight. It also means the Sun will rise due east and set due west!
September 23 – If you want to see the waning crescent Moon and the two stars of Gemini, the Twins, Castor and Pollux, you have to set your alarms early, or stay up late! Look low to the eastern horizon after midnight, then they’ll be climbing higher in the sky before dawn.