Friday, December 21, 2012

A Tribute: Bloggers for Sandy Hook Elementary

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Today is Friday, December 21, 2012. The day, it's been said, that the world is supposed to end.

But last Friday, the world did come to an end for many in Newtown, Connecticut.

Parents sent their little ones off to school, most likely in a hurry with things like Christmas shopping and work and weekend plans on their minds. A day like any other.

Except, the day didn't go on as it should have. The world that was whole when the day began was shattered when innocent lives were taken in a horrifying and heartbreaking turn of events.  And our world, whether or not we realized it, was changed forever.

We, as a nation, have survived tragedy repeatedly. Acts of terrorism. Natural disaster. Catastrophic destruction. Disease. Violence. War.

It never gets easier to witness the sheer devastation of the loss of life that results from any of these things. Lives that end before their time. Hearts that will never fully mend. Nothing that can be done to fix any of it.

But somehow, like a magnetic force that brings fragments together to form a whole, we morph from individuals into one collective barricade around those who have suffered. Communities unite, strangers reach out a helping hand, and together we link arms and forge ahead once again.

During one of my last visits to New York City, I wandered through the cemetery at St. Paul's Chapel {which, if you know me well, you realize how out of character this was for me}. At the center of converging cobblestone paths, I found myself standing in front of a large bell that read, "Forged in Adversity".

That phrase struck something within me. Like the resounding sound of the bell itself rung throughout my body.  "Forged" - a word that, by definition, means "to take or shape by heating it in a fire or furnace and beating or hammering it", or "to move forward gradually or steadily". {Source}

We have all taken a beating. We've walked through fire - some of us in our personal lives, some as a community or a family, as a nation, as a people. We have been shaped by the things we live through, made stronger by the calluses that result from the deepest wounds.

We have all been forged in adversity.

Together, we will move forward from this tragedy. We will stop to pick up those who have no strength left to stand and no tears left to cry.

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When I saw Dorothy from Crazy for Crust's post about Bloggers for Sandy Hook, I knew I wanted to take part because it was something I could do, even in a situation that feels so helpless.  Post something -- anything, it said. To pay tribute to the lives lost and condolences to those that been forced to live through the sadness.

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So, today I'm posting a simple recipe. One that can be made with your children and enjoyed with your families because, more than ever, we realize we're lucky that they are with us another day. They're nothing fancy. Just sweet, pure, and white to remind us of the angels that have been called back to heaven too soon.

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Sending my deepest sympathies and prayers to those who have been affected by this devastating event.

For ways you can help, please visit this link.

White Chocolate Dipped Shortbread
Adapted from Ina Garten

3 sticks butter {3/4 pound}, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Chocolate:

1 1/2 to 2 cups white chocolate chips {or white candy melts}
2-3 teaspoons canola oil, depending on desired consistency

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together softened butter and sugar for about 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla extract.

3. In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to the butter, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. When dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl, it's ready.

4. Divide dough in half onto two pieces of plastic wrap, and shape into two flattened disks. {Sometimes I like to roll out the dough to desired thickeness while it's soft}. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

5. Remove from refrigerator and, if you haven't already done so, roll out to desired thickness. {I make mine about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters into desired shapes.

6. Place on prepared baking sheets and bake for approximately 10-14 minutes depending on the thickness of cookies, until just set and barely becoming golden around the edges.

7. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Carefully transfer to cooling racks.


For White Chocolate:

1. In a small microwave proof bowl, combine white chips and oil. Heat on high for 30 second intervals, stopping and stirring until melted and smooth. {Start with less oil and add a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.}

2. Dip cookies half way into melted chocolate and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with desired decorative sprinkles or toppings.

3. Let set in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

4 comments:

Lindsey T. said...

Love this, D!

Trina said...

beautifully put </3

Melissa (Lalabye Baby) said...

beautifully written! I want to make these with the kids! Thank you

marilyn said...

Beautiful tribute!

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