Friday, December 24, 2010

Heavenly Peace

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Fr. Joseph Mohr, 1816

Finally, as time for bed nears, a sense of peace settles over our souls. All is quiet. All is calm. It has been a busy few days. This afternoon I was still wrapping presents and baking shortbread for a special someone.

Shortbread is a Christmas tradition in our family. Grandma taught me at a young age how to make these cookies that were Dad's favourite (she was a kind mother-in-law). They were also a favourite of Santa and so my brother and I made sure to leave a plate of cookies and a glass of milk at the front door on Christmas Eve.

The recipe is a winner. It is so simple, it feels so satisfying kneading the dough, and it is pure pleasure when you bite into the cookie and the butter melts in your mouth. I still remember working with my grandmother at her dining room table. I used to think that I was decorating the cookies when the time came to poke columns of holes with a fork. I have since learned that these holes have a structural purpose: without the 'decoration', mountain-sized air pockets will form in the cookies. With just butter, sugar and flour, these are heavenly bliss incarnate. Good night. Merry Christmas. And may the vision of shortbread dance through your head.


1 cup butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 cups flour

1. Cream butter. Add icing sugar and beat well. Add flour and mix. It will be crumbly.
2. Form into a ball and knead for about 5 minutes. Crumbly texture gives way to a velvety look.
3. Transfer dough to a small cake pan (about 6" X 9") that is lightly greased and floured. Pat the dough down to an even depth. With a dinner knife dipped in flour, score the dough lengthwise and crosswise. With a fork dipped in flour, puncture holes into the top surface.
4. Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven when edges are light gold in colour. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut along the scored lines. Tastes best the following day.


Louise said...

Merry Christmas, Sheri,

Nice recipe.

Remember me? I had a beer on your balcony in Luxor. Are you going back there soon?

Hope you're well :)

Louise, posting from Toronto

Shari said...

Hi Louise! Yes, I remember well our beer together after your arduous bicycle trek. Good times. Perhaps we will return to the land of palm trees and cold Stella next month. Stay tuned. ;-)