These rich and tender cookies are simply made and easily eaten. They transport me to simpler times. I’d like to think (though my cooking contest recipes would disprove this idea) that basic recipes, prepared well, are the best ones. My husband said his Grandma Lela always had a tin of these shortbread cookies on hand during the holidays. These cookies don’t look fancy, but they are so delicious, it doesn’t matter. I love to sandwich them with lemon curd. Then I eat lemon curd with a spoon… and yes, I double dip into the jar.
This is a really easy recipe to throw together, the dough is formed into a log, chilled and sliced. I recycle paper towel rolls and cut them lengthwise to help shape the dough. Miraculous.
I traveled to Phoenix to attend the Ag Issues Forum (put on by Bayer CropScience) or as seen on Twitter, #AIF2015. My Mom and sister traveled along with me to enjoy some Arizona sunshine. It was our first EVER trip away together (just the three of us) and boy did we have fun!
The forum had many enlightening speakers who drummed up thoughts on food, of which is always on my mind in one way or another.
My take-aways from the conference are these.:
Kids need to know agriculture. We need to give them the information, resources and skills to grow their own food, and fully understand what it takes for others to grow the food that they can purchase in grocery stores and markets. Hands-on experiences are a must, and as parents, we must provide them.
*This struck a chord with me, as any inference to involving children in agriculture does. Last year when we planted our mini vegetable garden, my kids were forever concerned with the progress of their crops. When it came time to identify and pull the weeds in the small homemade container box garden, they couldn’t believe the amount of work it was to remove them. Our kids have the opportunity on a daily basis to learn and understand livestock production, but the vegetable garden was something that was new and different for them. This year, we’re going to plant some fruit trees in honor of Ag Issues Forum presenter Jason Brown (he challenged the audience to do this), the former NFL center who left the league (and a multi-million dollar contract) to become a farmer. Last year he donated a 120,000 pound sweet potato crop to those who needed it, in his community. This year he plans to do more. Learn about his inspiring story here. What a great guy, with a great mission. He inspired me to not only continue on the path of ag with my kids, but give them more diverse farm experiences.
Technology should be embraced in modern agriculture so we can continue to raise more food with fewer resources.
*There was quite a bit of talk of technology and how to use it to better support the growing concern of feeding our increasing population. This was intriguing, because we use technology in various ways on our farm from biotechnology/GMO corn and soybeans, machinery that assists in efficient planting and harvest, modern pig barns and more. Sometimes the ‘vintage’ ways of food production are applauded and those who are innovating and generating more food with fewer resources are criticized. Continuous improvement is on the mind of every farmer, regardless of the size of their operation.
Knowing the work, connecting to food…
There was also discussion of the future of food, and involving everyone, everywhere in growing it. There was talk of vertical gardening, growing vegetables in high rise apartments in the city, and in other urban settings as well. This perspective intrigued me because these methods are accessible to everyone. I think everyone who wants to be involved in farming (in any capacity), should be. I feel that if people go closer to knowing the ‘work’, there may be more of an understanding of farming and connection to the food. I hope to be able to host more friends and acquaintances on our farm this year.
I miss my kids too much, to travel too often.
This really has nothing to do with the conference, other than my kids like to have me away from home about as much as I like to be. Though the conference was thought provoking and quite fun, I’m glad to be home. The benefit and perk of being away? Besides spending time with my Mom and sis, meeting new bloggers was really fun. (Oh, and the private Eric Paslay concert, what an artist! PS: He will come out with a song soon titled “Amarillo Rain”, and it will hit #1, easily.)
Full disclosure: My air travel and hotel expenses to Phoenix were provided by Bayer CropScience. All opinions and expressions are my own.
Everyone stayed busy while I was gone.
I’ve got another post on the way… we’ve had more fun and excitement (totally kidding) in the farrowing house. The story begins with one little pig who sat in the birth canal for many hours (until the vet got here, we couldn’t get her out ourselves). It was nothing short of divine intervention that she survived, and came out with one tiny breath. My husband and the vet stared in disbelief… and then took action to save her. Needless to say it was a long night. I took a bag of Blue Tin Shortbread Cookies to my husband for a snack that ended up being his evening meal. I’m happy to report that she’s still alive this morning (it is a miracle) and I just got done feeding her a little supplementation from a syringe dropper. Her chances are still slim, but we’re giving her every chance we can to survive and grow on our farm. Look for my post in the next few days called “Tuffy”.
- 2 sticks Butter salted or unsalted
- 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar divided
- 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- In a large mixing bowl, beat two sticks of butter until creamy. Add 1/2 C granulated sugar and all of powdered sugar and salt; beat 1 minute. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add flour. Mix only until mixture comes together. Do not overmix. Dough will be crumbled, yet soft.
- Roll dough into a log on plastic wrap. (Use a cardboard paper towel roll cut lengthwise to form dough into log.) Refrigerate for 3 hours, or freeze for one hour, until firm.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove dough from refrigerator, unroll dough log and slice at ½” intervals. Place cookies 2” apart on baking sheet. Sprinkle each unbaked cookie lightly with remaining 1/4 C granulated sugar.
- Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes. Cool. Makes 3-4 dozen cookies depending on size and thickness of dough log and slice of cookies.