Thursday, June 26, 2014

End of Year Chalkboard and Apple Cookies for Teachers


Stevie is changing schools and he wanted to give a special thank you to the teachers and support staff who have been a part of his life!  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Muskoka Cottage Wedding Weekend Cookies

Jen's gift to the bride and groom was Sweet Handmade Cookies in a theme suitable to their wedding weekend at their Muskoka cottage.  I love how the cookies turned out!  Best wishes to the happy couple!


I got a note from Jen yesterday - "The cottage cookies we ordered as a wedding gift were a huge hit.  The lovely bride wanted them out on the wedding sweet table.  Everyone said they were delicious."

Friday, June 20, 2014

Chalkboard Teacher Cookies

As the school year draws to a close, it is time to consider teacher gifts!  Here is one of the cookie styles I will have available at the market tomorrow.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Injury!

Years ago I ran as part of my fitness routine, a routine that also included skipping, weight training and aerobics classes.  I wasn't fast or graceful, but I could run a 10k without much effort.  One day I sprained my ankle, a few months later I wretched my knee and after a particularly fast and long run with my husband, I developed a severe case of plantar fasciitis.  I stopped running and developed stiffness in my joints, especially in the morning.  Today I avoid any kind of exercise that is jarring to my body, preferring swimming and spinning and the occasional yoga class.  I feel pretty good generally, but get asked frequently to run and always turn those requests down, citing my desire to stay injury free.  I consider my ability to move comfortably important, and will do what it takes.



It is therefore ironic that I have been neglecting myself in other ways.  My business pretty much relies on my ability to pipe with my right hand.  I am not in any way ambidextrous; it is my right hand or nothing.  When I first started making decorated cookies for the 2011 farmers' market season, I ended up with a pretty bad case of tennis elbow.  I would finish a late night of decorating and barely be able to straighten my arm.  I would go to bed and all would be pretty okay by morning.  Eventually I learned to ice my arm and wear a brace.  When my cookie orders slowed down at the end of the summer, I got the rest I needed to heal.



Over the years I have done many marathon sessions and don't have too much trouble with my arm.  I do know that an over-filled piping bag will give me a hand cramp, but I try not to overfill, so that is rarely a problem.  Until Thursday.  I pre-filled 5 bags of icing (I usually fill as I go) and over-filled all 5.  As I was using the first one, I considered fixing them, but I ignored my rational thought and went on.  It was a long day of work and I think after those first five large bags, the damage was done.  By the end of the night, I was having trouble touching my thumb to my index finger.  There was visible swelling in the fleshy part between my thumb and index finger.  My thumb muscles were aching.  I still had more work to do the next day so I knew rest was really not in the cards for me.  The next day most activities were a challenge - including packaging about 250 cookies (which requires a lot of thumb/index finger action), even cutting my dinner was painful to my thumb muscles.


I guess it is time I smarten up.  I need to pace myself a little better to avoid days of 150 cookies at a time.  I need to rest and ice.  I need to listen to that voice that says "the piping bag is too full!"  In the meantime, I am enjoying a second day off with a bag of frozen peas in my future, but only until my 400 cookie week starts tomorrow.  Take care of yourself and share your healing tips if you have any!