This semester, my Ceramics instructor challenged us to make a set of small bowls that fit together around a center, chalice-shaped bowl, all resting on a plate. It really was a challenge! It took almost the whole ten classes to make, with a lot of mess-ups. My instructor said, “It’s all about the process.” When we’d had a particularly frustrating throwing day, the other students and I would remind each other to slow down and concentrate.
Hon, doesn’t “It’s all about the process” apply to so many things? That’s why I love my wise instructor and the patience Pottery teaches.
This summer, I took a Raku class taught by master ceramicist, excellent teacher, and all-around wonderful guy, Peter Syak. Not only did the hours fly by, the women I took the class with were great company. I was inspired by them, and by the talented students I take ceramics class with year-round. We learn from each other.
Pottery has given me a way to turn off stress, even if it’s just for a few hours a week. And I don’t mind getting my hands dirty.
Since I took this class last summer and know how beautiful the glazes are, this spring I threw a bunch of clay pots with Raku clay at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey.
Do you know what we potters call ourselves? ADDICTED! I’m pretty sure someone in our class wears a T-shirt that reads, “I’m a POT-head.”
To find out more about the Raku process, click on these links:
It’s time for Show-n-Tell and I’m sharing my latest ceramics. Have I mentioned why I love pottery? Because every step of the process takes so much concentration that I think of nothing else while I’m working. Also, any bowl with a cracked bottom can be used…as a planter!
Searching for a cookie to add to our Thanksgiving Day feast led to this recipe from Joy the Baker http://joythebaker.com/2011/12/oatmeal-walnut-cocoa-nib-cookies/. I only included chocolate chips (and not walnuts or cocoa nibs) in my version. After an official taste test (by son, his friend, one daughter and hubby), it got a thumbs up. Happy baking, hon!
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Place racks in center and upper third of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Mix butter and eggs with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for one minute on medium speed between each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix by hand. Add flour mixture all at once to butter and egg mixture. Beat on low speed until the mixture just comes together.
Add oats and chocolate chips. Use a spatula to finish incorporating the mixture by hand. Mix together until no flour bits remain and everything is well mixed together.
Scoop tablespoons full of dough onto prepared baking sheets. The recipe I used said the cookies would bake in 10 to 13 minutes but mine took about 20 minutes to bake. They are done when the top is a toasted brown color. After removing from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Unbaked cookie dough may be left in fridge for about a week and freezer for over a month.