When you have a White Thumb and not green gardens:
With thoughts of Summer, come thoughts of gardening. Twenty years ago, I had beautiful gardens. There was lustrous Artemesia surrounded by tall, stately Bearded Iris, among moss roses, growing with sedum, petunias, geraniums and my favorite of all, the lacy, delicate Cosmos, swaying in every slight breeze. It was beautiful. It was so beautiful, we used my garden as a backdrop for family pictures.
Alas, my white thumb prevailed. I am lost in a jar of flour mixing a batch of bread, cookies or cake almost every day. I am more at home in flour, eggs and butter than a garden. I no longer attempt larger gardens. I stick to container gardens. I’ll be honest and admit that I prefer to forego the beautiful gardens to spend time in my kitchen. I love this poem written by Ms. Gurney, (Dorothy Frances Gurney. 1858-1932), here is the most often quoted stanza:
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth, —
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
but I know, I am as near God’s heart in my kitchen, with my white thumb, as others in their garden, with their green thumbs.
To get my flower fix with my flour fix, I stop and admire my friend’s gardens. One friend in particular, Bonnie, has the type of gardens I love, with each garden having flowers planted willy-nilly, for no reason other than she loves the plants. Broken pottery and tiles show in unexpected places. Old chairs and water pots become yard ornaments you are unable to buy at the big box stores. Her style is eclectic and I love her gardens.
After visiting these gardens, pleasurably, I’ve learned to mix gardening with baking in my own unique style. I have a small covered picnic area just out my RV door. For this area, I have hanging baskets of impatiens and geraniums. I have herbs in pots. With the morning sun rising, I love to use this area for my Bible studies and prayer time. During the day, a friend may stop by and we will enjoy my small garden with tea and fresh shortbread cookies or my granddaughter and I will share a tea party of lemonade and cake under my shelter- garden.
There is coming a Day, when I will walk in the most magnificent Garden!
Though I enjoy baking more than gardening, I find both fascinating. How does a marigold seed know it cannot grow up to be a rose bush? How does yeast, a living organism, grow and expand bread dough? Only God knows. Science may try to explain it, but only God, the Creator of seeds, yeast and everything else, is able to duplicate the process.
I look forward to the day I will be seeing the Garden the way God intended us to see it…The first Garden, the one named Eden, had to hold the most incredible beauty. I just can’t imagine the blues, greens, yellows, oranges and every tint in between. Was this garden a wildly grown electic type like Bonnies gardens? Or did this Garden resemble the incredible English gardens? It truly won’t matter, because I know, someday I will stroll there hand-in-hand with the Master Gardener and I will be able to ask Him any question I may have.
1- 1/2 cup butter, 1- 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon almond flavoring and 3 cups Flour
Butter must be room temperature.
Mix butter and sugar until creamy. This takes four or five minutes in a stand mixer.
Add almond flavoring. Mix well.
Add flour; mix only until flour is incorporated. Do not over mix.
Roll dough into tablespoon size balls, chill 1 hour or overnight.
When ready to bake, put dough balls on pan and use finger to make indention.
Fill with jelly or leave as is.
I use Large sugar crystals for sprinkles (my personal preference over a light drizzle of icing)
Bake 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool on pan.