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Report From PIA – December 20

It snowed all day, and I still have a cold, so it seemed like a good day to write and bake cookies. I’m working on my new book, which has had the following working titles so far: Cultivating Life, Gardening Totally, The Ground Rules, and Growth.

This book has been transformed and reorganized twice, but a comment from someone in the publishing biz, along with an email from a reader of this blog, has led me back to my original vision plus some. The amazing thing is that what I’ve added clearly should have been included all along. It was so obvious, but I didn’t realize it until recently.

After writing for a while, I went down to mix up some cocoa butter pecan cookies that I often bake around the holidays. The recipe calls for cornstarch, and I spent about ten minutes combing the shelves for the round box I knew was there. Nothing.

I assembled all of the other ingredients (recipe below) and debated whether I should try to make them without the cornstarch. Going to the pantry one more time, I again looked from shelf to shelf. Just as I was ready to give up, I pushed a square box that was at eye level to one side, and found what I was looking for. I was searching for a round container, so I didn’t notice the box that was right before me.

Sometimes we’re looking for one thing so can’t see what we truly seek, even though it’s right in front of us the entire time.

Today's storm brought somewhere between 16 and 20 inches...

Today's storm brought somewhere between 16 and 20 inches...

Cocoa Pecan Cookies

Cream: 1 pound of butter

Add: 2 cups powdered sugar and beat until fluffy.

In another bowl mix together:

3 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

½ cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix dry ingredients and 2 cups chopped pecans into the butter/sugar until just blended.

Break off hunks and roll into logs 1 inch in diameter.

Cover logs with waxed paper and chill in fridge for about 30 minutes. After logs are cold, cut cookies that are about ¼ inch think.

Bake in an oven heated to 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. If desired, sift powered sugar over the warm cookies when they are just out of the oven.

Dust the landscape with powdered sugar...

Dust the landscape with powdered sugar...

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