I learned this Summer (and some pics from Fenway):
1. The only thing that cleans glass is glass cleaner. In my attempt to economize on cleaning supplies in my 3-month apartment lease I tried using a couple multi-surface cleaners on my bathroom mirror. There were so many streaks and haziness that I could barely see myself. Windex: is a good idea.2. I can actually live and breathe without having a TV in my apartment. Who knew? But I do love and greatly miss my TV that stayed in Virginia. I will see it again soon! I was extra sad not to have a TV during the Olympics.
3. That being said, I did discover that The WB releases five re-runs of Gilmore Girls every week online, which made a great addition to my weeknight routine. They do them in sequence so we started the summer finishing up the last season, and then started again from the first season. It was so relevant because the Gilmore Girls live in CT and the grandfather works in insurance just like me! Connecticut is the insurance capital of the country!
4. I went to a baseball game at Fenway and learned something new about baseball. Between innings the catcher from the bullpen comes out and warms up the right fielder. Otherwise, the right fielder wouldn’t have a buddy to play catch with. I think it’s kind of cute. I’m not sure if this is specific to Fenway or the teams that were playing but it was the first time I noticed it.
I had a culinary discovery the other day in the super market in Connecticut: Hermit cookies. I found them in the bakery section of the store. I’ve never seen such a cookie. They are baked in a loaf and sliced like fat biscotti, but they are a lot softer. Their texture is somewhere between a cookie and a muffin, and they are traditionally spicy, they taste a lot like gingerbread because they have all of that flavoring. Long story short: Yum.
I tried to research them online since I’ve never heard of them before and I found a lot of conflicting information. All I can figure out is that they are older, more traditional cookies from the religious groups who settled in New England. Here I am thinking that the New England baking expertise revolved around donuts of the Dunkin variety, and I had totally overlooked these gems. As I said, they are spicy, and reminiscent of Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert flavors. A good cookie, a good snack, a good find. Give them a try!
Yields 4-5 dozen cookies depending on size you slice them (about 6 loaves that you will end up slicing, it’s a big recipe)
4 cups AP flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp fine salt
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup)
2 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs, plus 1 for eggwash
2/3 cup molasses
3/4 cup golden raisons
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
2 1/2 Tbs chopped crystalized ginger
Preheat oven to 375.
Sift together flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set Aside
Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, then molasses. Gradually add dry mixture but to not over mix.
Fold in dried fruit and nuts.
Line cookie sheets with parchment. Form dough into about 6 thin logs with plenty of space to spread while baking (believe me, they will spread). Logs should be 1-2 inches wide and about 1 inch high. Paint logs with egg wash before placing in oven.
Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 (make sure they are done, mine took a little longer but I’m blaming my oven).
Allow to cool then slice into thick slices (like fat biscotti).