If you insist on dedicating hours to the tedium of rolling, cutting and decorating multitudes of sugar cookies, turn your head, this isn’t for you. This is an old fashioned sugar cookie recipe that tastes great and requires no rolling or cutting. It’s good for any time of the year, but you can dress them up for the holidays by using colored sugars when you flatten them.
2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
1 tbs grated lemon or orange peel
1 cup sour cream
3 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Sugar for decorating
Cream the shortening and sugar. Add the egg and grated peel, then mix in the sour cream. Sift together the dry ingredients and stir into the mixture. Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Here’s a muffin recipe that uses two of Thanksgivings favorite flavors. I like to serve them warm for breakfast as a preview of the goodies to come. And remember, since they are muffins, you don’t have to mix them to death, a few lumps in the batter is okay.
Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
2 cups flour
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 lightly beaten eggs
½ cup melted butter
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In another bowl mix together the pumpkin, eggs, butter, buttermilk and vanilla. Then gradually beat in the dry ingredients. Stir in the cranberries and nuts. Fill greased muffin tins ¾ full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Makes approximately 12 muffins.
Cold weather can cause all kinds of transportation problems, so don’t put off having your car inspected and serviced now. Below is a checklist of the most important areas of your car to review or inspect in order to be prepared for winter.
- Check all of the fluids. This includes oil, brake fluid, coolant, and windshield washer fluid.
- Have the battery serviced including cleaning the terminal ends and checking cables for wear. If it fails a load test or is more than four years old, replace it.
- Check tire tread for wear. If you drive on remote roads consider replacing all-season tires with snow tires for added traction in snow and ice.
- Make sure tires are inflated properly as cold temperatures will lower pressure. Specifications for your car are usually found on the edge of the door or in the glove box.
- Have your breaks inspected. Control on slick roads is key in the winter.
- Test defroster, heater, and all the lights including turn signals and headlights.
- Replace windshield wipers to ensure best visibility.
- Keep the gas tank full to prevent moisture freezing in the gas lines.
- Carry emergency items. Include a blanket, extra clothing plus boots, gloves, hat, ice scraper, snow shovel, flashlight, flares, kitty litter for traction, jumper cables, a phone charger, and maybe your favorite snacks to get you through that enormous traffic jam on the way home from work.
As everyone knows, there will be an increased number of children out on the street on Halloween. These kids are distracted by excitement, are poor judges of traffic threats, may have restricted movement and vision because of their costumes, and believe they are indestructible. With that in mind, motorists must be especially careful on Halloween night. The list of tips below will help keep motorists safe on this special night:
- Stay Home – If you don’t have to be anywhere, plan on an evening at home. Keep in mind Halloween festivities start as early as 4:00 PM. In fact, accidents involving pedestrians are four times more likely to occur between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM on this holiday than any other day.
- Use an Alternate Route – Try choosing a route that is less likely to be used by trick-or-treaters. There may already be kids on the streets when you leave work so plan accordingly.
- Discourage Teens from Driving – Keep inexperienced drivers off the road by giving them a ride or by planning activities to keep them at home.
- Slow Down – Keep your speed below the limit in residential areas to give yourself more time to stop, should a child dart out in front of you.
- Stay Alert – Watch the sidewalks and curbs where kids are walking. They may step out from between parked cars, so be aware. Stopped vehicles are likely to be letting out passengers that may cross in front of you, so don’t pass them.
- Avoid Distractions – Turn down your radio and don’t use a cell phone while driving.
- Signal – Let other drivers and pedestrians know what you are doing. If you are dropping off or picking up passengers, turn on your hazard lights. Use turn signals at intersections and when changing lanes.
- No Drinking – Don’t be distracted by the holiday parties that you might attend. There’s never an excuse to drink and drive.
Of course parents warn their children to be safe when walking to school or the park or to meet their friends. Kids, like anyone else, are more receptive to reasons than rules. Judging speed and distance isn’t fully developed in youngsters and their smaller size and inexperience with traffic rules puts them at greater risk of pedestrian dangers. On October 8, 2014 we’ll be celebrating International Walk and Bike to School Day. If your child/children will be walking or biking to school on Wednesday, take some time to go over these reminders and pedestrian safety tips with them:
- Cross the street using crosswalks or at street corners.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing so that you know that they see you.
- Use the sidewalk whenever available.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk on the side of the street and face the traffic.
- Don’t enter the street from behind parked cars.
- Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up.
- Pay extra attention when using electronic devices.
- Put electronic devices down when crossing the road.
- If using a cell phone is necessary, stop walking/biking and find a safe place to use it.
- Pay attention to cars moving in or out of driveways.
- Wear light or reflective clothing especially if you must be out walking/biking after dark.
- Stick with your normal walking/biking route or use only parent approved alternatives.
Pedestrian injuries are the fifth leading cause of injury-related death for children aged 5 to 19. Do not assume that older is wiser as teens account for half of those deaths. Spend some time walking with your kids around the neighborhood and set a good example for them to follow. Make sure they know the safest routes. Provide them with reflective clothing or reflective stickers for backpacks and book bags. Remind them to speak up and warn others if they notice another pedestrian in danger.
For more information about pedestrians and safe driving, visit our blog, Protect Pedestrians with Safe Driving – The Garage Plan Shop.