Saturday, February 11, 2006

Valentine's Present

Today, we were going to make Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing in every shade of pink and red! We typically make cookies for every holiday and share them with the local octogenarians. They love the cookies and visit. We love their stories. We will have to wait for tomorrow or Monday, though. We are sick!

On our way home from Orlando my youngest started throwing up. We were going to try to make it most of the way home, but pulled into a motel for the night. My daughter could not go further than a less than optimal motel in Marianna. She felt better, though not good, Friday morning and we made it to our home and our own beds. Friday night my husband got sick, too. This morning was my turn. This evening, I'm feeling better and will find my bed shortly.

As I lay in my bed or in the tub waiting for the next wave of nausea, I realized our family was really working together and I attribute this to homeschooling. When you keep your children close to home, they get to see and live real life. They learn, among other things:
  • Cooperation
  • Respect
  • Self Reliance
My 9 year old son, the only person among us not sick, made pancakes for my daughter who felt like eating for the first time since Thursday lunch. He also kept the fires going, fed the animals, and made soup for supper. My 6 year old daughter loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, got water for me and her father, made get well cards, and amused herself all day, though she was not feeling super. I felt loved and I felt fortunate to have children who knew what things needed to be done and knew how to do them.

My children are just "normal" children and our family is not one of those super structured, teachers of home and farm skills type families, yet, because, on a daily basis, the children participate in life they are able and willing to "pitch in" when the adults need to stay in bed. Instead of being pushed out of the door to catch a bus with a pop-tart, homeschool children are able to help make pancakes or some other real breakfast food. They are not in school during the eight hours a day in which most of the chores are done, so they know what needs doing and how to do it. My goals for homeschooling never included producing children who could make breakfast and otherwise be self reliant, but what a present. I think my children deserve double cookies!

Sugar Cookies
  • 4 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 375. Butter baking sheets. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add dry ingredients, one cup at a time alternating with the milk and vanilla. Wrap and chill for an hour. Roll and cut. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely before decorating.

Royal Icing
  • 3 egg whites
  • 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Beat on medium high until stiff peaks form and the mixture is nearly triple in volume. Divide and color. To make run out(completely cover tops of cookies in smooth icing) do outlines with thick icing, then add a few drops of water to icing to thin and fill in with this. If you have a problem with raw eggs mix egg whites with a little regular sugar then place over a simmering pot of water until sugar melts, stirring constantly. Proceed with the recipe.


Beverly Hernandez said...


I'm not exactly sure how I ended up on your blog this morning, but I added it to the 7th Carnival of Homeschooling. I hope that's okay with you. If it's a problem, I can delete it.


Anonymous said...

Will this work with rice milk or any non-dairy milk? thanks!!!

Wisteria said...

I've not tried it, but assume the cookie will work with any tasty liquid.

Anonymous said...

I tried it with wheat flour and rice milk, they turned out great!!! we all love them :) thank you so much!!!

Cheryl said...

hi wisteria,
My daughter made your sugar cookies and I want to let you know how much we loved the recipe. I work at a food co-op and we publish a newspaper each month, I am writing an article on cooking with organic food, and whole wheat flours...this recipe worked out perfectly with whole wheat flour, organic cane sugar, etc. and we didn't have to worry about the egg whites because we know where our eggs came from! I will share this recipe with all our readers, and hopefully people will no longer be afraid of baking with 100% whole wheat flour (as I was). Thanks!