One of the most treasured things about having children is the opportunity to relive the magic of our own childhood Christmases through them. And as they get older and are able to pitch in with helping out, it gets even better. Of course, Christmas time is the time of year for baking and cookies. Which coincides with December being our "test" month. I usually pick one of the biggies that are missing out of our diet to test drive and see if it is suitable for reintroducing. This year, the Hobbits asked about oats. No controversy there, eh? So I bought a box of certified gluten free oats and romanced it for a couple of months before giving them oatmeal. They were singularly unimpressed. Go figure. You'd think that with such limitations, everything new would be greeted with a ticker tape parade. Not so, Breatharian. They suggested that the appropriate medium for oats would be cookies. Yeah, I know that suggestion surprised you, too. They've never met a sugar they didn't like and it covers a multitude of palatial shortcomings. So I underwhelm you with my
Just Another Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookie
1 cup gluten free oats
1 1/2 cup grain flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. guar gum
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup palm shortening
1/2 cup maple syrup
Whip palm shortening until soft, adding eggs. Add remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated. Form dough into balls and press flat on cookie or silicone baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350*
December always brings extra busyness for everyone, though we blessedly avoided The Plague this year. (Thanks everyone for asking!) We had an homeschooling co-op day called on account of weather this past month, so that put a cramp in the projects and deadlines that tend to loom upon us this time of year. Well, in all truth, I don't think that those students with papers due felt the cramp at all, but some days you get the bear and some days the bear gets you. However, it was a bit tense for those responsible for the Christmas play, which was a spirited rendition of I Witness Bethlehem, an anachronistic juxtaposition of modern and ancient in the retelling of the Christmas story.
Three months was a very abbreviated time in which to cast, stage, and rehearse all of the students from 7th grade and up who were drafted into the production, but it all coalesced brilliantly. The costumes glittered...as was appropriate for angel choruses and magi. Even the MIB (Men in Black...yes, Herod's secret service detail consisted of Men in Black...I did mention anachronistic juxtapositions, didn't I?) gleamed smartly and bore appropriately impassive visages. The sets were a tribute to the hard work and creative vision of the art students. Props for the props folk, too.
What brought this play to life was the absolute ease with which the students possessed the stage. None of the wide-eyed, shell-shocked, doe-caught-in-the-headlights episodes of stage fright for this troupe of thespians. Perhaps rabid gorillas do indeed have a salutary effect on acting skills; the quality of this production is proof enough. The actors comfortably and convincingly delivered their lines, synchronized their steps, and harmonized their notes. Each ad libbed line or interaction was a testament to the teamwork and camaraderie of the cast. The end result was a Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer Golden Studio Era style of performance that made the audience smile, laugh, howl, and ultimately remember the meaning of Christmas.