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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Got Milk? (July 4, 2009)

This entry was inspired by cookies, which, let’s face it—are downright inspirational any day of the year! But it’s also July fourth, one of my favorite days, and so here I am, musing about stars, stripes, and baked goods.

July Fourth is a happy day. I’ve loved this holiday for as long as I remember. Although there was the time when I was about ten and I ate WAY too much cheese popcorn during the parade. I’ve never been able to eat it since.

We’re heading out to see fireworks soon. Lately I’ve been busier than ever so July fourth snuck up on me this year. But usually I’m looking forward to this night for weeks. You can’t beat fireworks. They are purely celebratory. There’s no real function behind them, which makes them even more fun. They exist solely to please the viewer. I love the intense colors sparkling against a dark sky. I like the surprise element—you never know what is coming next: which shape the firework will be, which color, which size, etc. And surprises are often fun. Not always, of course. But often, yes.

Today my five-year-old and I made patriotic cookies to bring to friends who have a new baby. I also made them dinner, since they are unwittingly on the Fractured Sleep Program and need a little help in whatever form it arrives. The cookies turned out really cute (although let’s face it, even ugly cookies are delish).

I used a sugar-cookie mix from the store. I’ve made my own dough before but the kind from a mix seems more pliable. I decided to dye part of the dough red, part of it blue, and keep most of it white. Yay, food coloring! I made worms out of the dough (you remember this from grammar school, right? Using clay and making a long snake-shape by rolling it on a flat surface). I chilled the worms and made a few rectangles from the blue dough. The dough needed to be cool enough so that it wouldn’t melt when I started touching it. I lined up white and red “worms” for stripes and fitted them around my blue rectangles. I’d never made flag cookies before but I’ve worked with Fimo clay, and decided to approach it the same way. (Do you know Fimo? People make jewelry and tons of other stuff with it, creating designs by lining up worms of it and cutting cross sections. It’s groovy.)

The flag cookies turned out great, if I may say so! With left-over worms I made a random cookie with a round blue center. It was born of my scraps (which is how some of the best art ideas originate, as you know). It ended up looking a little spider-ish, or more appropriately (I realized later)--like an exploding firework. Also made some star and circle cookies, decorated with red and blue sprinkles, which are like confetti, if you think about it. Both confetti and sprinkles are hard to clean up but are fun and cheerful, so this worked well with our celebratory-July 4-mood.

It’s time to head out to the fireworks so I’ll sign off now. Hope you had a great Fourth. America, I love you!

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