Heidi Kratzke's featured article was thought provoking and I wanted to pass it along. The content interested me because as a classroom teacher I often saw students caught up with the different facets of social networking and simple letter writing did indeed get passed by as too labor intensive.
Here’s an idea: commit to writing a letter. A real letter. In between the typical flurry of daily work, poetry and prose, pens and paper…take out a sheet of stationary and write a letter to someone this holiday season.
As the Christmas cards keep arriving at our home, I find myself thankful for the family photos and accompanying “this year in review” letters from people I haven’t seen for awhile. Yet, there’s nothing better than a handwritten letter mailed from a friend.
In a day where most of our written communication is delivered via e-mail, text, or instant message, a letter in the mail adds an unexpected personal touch. It also gives way writers an opportunity to express emotions and share about daily happenings in a relaxed way, void of much of the usual verbal scrutiny.
Although your letter will not be a literary masterpiece, it just might bring back some of the joy of writing. Simultaneously, it will help brighten someone else’s day. Whenever I get stuck on a writing project, I find it helpful to direct my writing energies into another creative outlet. Let an old-fashioned letter find its way into your writing plans this season.
Now the only questions is: Who are you going to write first?
by Heidi Kratzke, LRWN Board Member
Today I started some holiday cookie baking and tried something new. If you love chocolate then this is for you.
Chocolate Chip and Peppermint Crunch Crackles
Makes 2 dozen
Baking tip: To crush peppermint candies place in a heavy duty plastic bag and use a mallet or in baking aisle look for a 12 oz. bag of peppermint chips
Refrigerate dough in between batches
- 4 oz. (1 package) of bittersweet chocolate
- 1 stick or 1/2 cup butter cut in cubes
- 1- 1/2 oz. chopped unsweetened chocolate ( 2 squares)
- 1/2 cup crushed hard peppermint candies
- 6- 1/2 TB. sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Combine first three ingredients in saucepan with sugar
- Stir over low heat till chocolate melts
- Remove from heat and add crushed candies
- Cool for 20 minutes and stir occasionally
- Whisk eggs into chocolate mixture, add vanilla and peppermint extracts
- In a bowl whisk flour, baking powder and salt
- Fold chocolate mixture into flour mixture and mix well
- Cover and refrigerate about 4 hours
- Preheat oven 325
- Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Shape dough into a generous tablespoon ball and place on sheet
- Cook about 13 minutes- let rest 5 minutes on sheet before removing
- Cookies will be puffed and cracked on top but soft to the touch in center