Stick = ?

It’s funny how some days after you have had a lack of quality sleep (Amelia J was up at 3am and then again at 5.30 and then again at 7) you find wells of previously untapped energy. This morning I did a little work, cleaned the kitchen, walked down to mum’s and back with Amelia J and made up the dough for some ginger chocolate biscuits (cookies). The dough is sitting in the fridge waiting for me to get around to baking them while I finish off some more work hoping that Amelia’s nap will be a long one. Hopefully they will be ok. Like many other Martha Stewart recipes I have undertaken, the amount of equipment used is always seemingly excessive; “mix in a bowl and in a separate bowl add this and that, melt in a small saucepan and in another saucepan boil all of that, stir together in a further bowl” etc. I used about half the amount of chocolate suggested, and if you are wondering how much butter is in a US stick of butter (8 tablespoons?! How do you get a solid lump of butter into a tablespoon?) the kindly Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts has a tiny note at the back that explains; “In the States, butter is often measured in sticks. One stick is the equivalent of 8 tablespoons [as suggested by Martha]. One tablespoon of butter is therefore the equivalent to 1/2 ounce / 15 grams”. So this recipe calls for 120g of butter. Woo. I can cook AND multiply! All on five hours sleep.
I am baking these for my mother’s group tomorrow which I am hosting at chez Robbo. The couch is still sad and uncomfortable, the shelves shaggy and out of control, I need to get some new flowers as the amazing stems that I bought at the market last week are all curled and brown and I have to do a major bathroom clean. There will be 9 mums and their associated babies all arriving around 1.30 tomorrow afternoon. That’s practically a party. Actually, that’s a pretty big party! Hmmm.

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22 Responses

  1. This is totally off topic…but I have to recommend this website. It is so funny!

  2. you sound a bit batty – maybe it’s your body getting stressed from not sleeping, the adrenalin really kicks in, you should play snap or another fast game – you’ll always win.

  3. I’ve never seen such a thing. How do you have a party with babies? Stack them all in a spare room while you have a party? Slip them a Mickey in their milk? Or does everyone carry a kid around kangaroo style? And when one cries, do they all join in? Will you have 10+ babies all screaming in unison?

  4. I find the same thing with the Martha Stewart stuff. Some nice recipes, but you only need fifty million different bowls. But, alas, I wish I had that beloved Kitchen Aid Mixer.

  5. I can releate with your lack of sleep. My ex had two sons, I miss them more then I miss her, but I somehow became the bottle maker during the night hours. However, the next day you would find some kind of unholy energy. Like when your 5 and you could get like half an hour of sleep but manage to run where ever your going and wiggle away from your mum and da faster then average bear. I think its super power parents develop, the only side effect is it destroys your mind after a while. You start wanting to “rest your eyes” more and prunes suddenly don’t taste so bad.
    Personally, Martha’s recipies don’t seem worth the effort, but I’m a picky veggie so I’ve been told my opinion doesn’t count when it comes to food. :)~

  6. PSLet us know how those cookies turn out. The recipe looks pretty tasty, Martha must have stolen it . . .

  7. Oh, dear. I take back everything I was thinking about being too tired and too busy. I’m pretty sure there’s nobody busier than a new mum! Just when I start to think I could probably handle taking care of a baby, I read something like this and remember that I should probably get a handle on my own life before I introduce another one. 🙂
    I know what you mean about the bursts of energy where you can fit them, though. Over the weekend, I woke up at 5:30am when I was trying to sleep late, and was able to clean the whole apartment and do two loads of laundry all before the boyfriend woke up. And it’s not a rare occasion for me to clean the tub tiles with a toothbrush during a fit of insomnia at 2am, either…

  8. oh claire i’m so glad you’re posting regularly….
    in the US, butter does come in solid sticks – but on the papery wrapping, the tablespoons are marked off (approximately, of course) so you can just cut the stick into 8 tablespoons (or however much you need).

    i’m exhausted and it’s only 10:24am – and i don’t even have a baby boo to blame! instead i have no heat in my apartment and spent 25 minutes shovelling snow this morning – in addition to all the snow i shovelled yesterday morning and evening. this living in wintery climes thing is so overrated. i’ll forget, though, by midsummer…

  9. Wow… I remember when my 2 girls, now 4 and 6 were small and naptime was never long enough… I am glad you have a fun group to share your mothering with. It will mean the world as time goes on and on.

  10. says:

    I was going to comment on the butter thing but someone’s beat me to it. 🙂
    I have a Kitchen Aid mixer at my disposal here at my cafe, and… wow. It’s a wonder to behold. I covet it, and I’m not even a real baker.

  11. says:

    My question is, why worry about cleaning? Nine plus babies can make a big mess. I say clean up AFTER the partay. That way you can enjoy it!

  12. Claire, those are my absolutely favorite Martha Stewart cookies! Whenever, I make them, everyone sighs and looks at me as if I’ve done something wonderful for mankind. One interesting thing (and this reveals my obsession with these cookies)…in the MS cookbook, the amount of molasses given is 1/4 cup, half that in the online recipe. I prefer 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup but when I told my boyfriend about the difference, he looked at me like I was crazy. Meaning, I don’t think that anyone will be able to tell the difference.

  13. says:

    unfortunately the sleep thing works the other way – when you and Amelia get into sync and she gets 10 hours and you get 8 hours uninterrupted (sigh) sleep, you will feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. It’s like your body says “SLEEP, yes, now I remember…”

  14. those cookies sound amazing…neeeeed toooo baaaake…i’m just hoping that molasses won’t be too hard to find…

  15. Nothing about butter or martha stewart, but I *do* like the new pics / design (although the aus seasons confuse me..ok, only a little!) so anyhow… I digress… it looks lovely!! 🙂 eme

  16. Those cookies sound good, you’ll have to tell us how they turn out! Have a nice party!

  17. Hello…I’ve been a regular reader of this gorgeous site for a long time, but haven’t commented before (hope it’s okay!)…
    A new share house has meant new recipe books and the discovery of Moosewood…they really are fantastic…we made an eggplant mousaka which was delicious.

  18. Five whole hours of sleep? I’m jealous…

  19. five billion dishes per recipe: further evidence that martha doesn’t live the life she promotes. a true domestic goddess (aah, nigella) would have some sort of ‘dishes 101’ means for minimising extraneousness and maximising efficiency.
    but martha does put out such a glorious magazine. and her cookie press is very cute indeed. oh i forgive her. 🙂 *stumbles towards the sink*

  20. Congrats on winning multiple Bloggies entries!!!

  21. says:

    Made Martha’s chocolate ginger cookies the other day – in 40 degree Perth heat – I am mad.Had all fresh stuff around so I ground it all in my mortar and pestle and these were the most delicious bikkies I have ever made. They are unbelievable!

  22. Oooo, those cookies are GOOD. A fried of mine made them for me for Christmas and they are marvelous.