la102960_1207_gbreadhouses_hdINGREDIENTS: 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting / 1 tsp baking soda / 1 ½ tsp salt / 4 tsp ground ginger / 4 tsp cinnamon / 1 ½ tsp ground cloves / 1 tsp freshly grated nugmeg / 2 sticks (16 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature / 1 cup granulated sugar / 2 large eggs / ½ cup unsulfured molasses / 1 cup honey – sourwood offers a woody flavor or fall wildflower for a rich floral note / Royal Icing

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven 350*F
YIELD: Makes about 2 dozen town houses, 4 dozen deer or trees, or 6 dozen men

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in honey and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Divide dough into 3 portions, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a scant ¼ thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto a baking sheet, and freeze for 15 minutes. Cut out desired shapes. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.

Bake cookies for 6 minutes. Remove sheets from oven, and tap them firmly on counter to flatten cookies. Return to oven, rotating sheets, and bake until crisp but not darkened, 6 to 8 minutes more. Let cookies cool on sheets on wired racks.

Spoon ROYAL ICING into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain round tip (such as Ateco #0 or #1) Pipe designs on cookies. Let cookies stand at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

SOURCE: Martha Stewart Living, December 2007 Link to Martha’s original recipe posting.

DAY 15 –BEE STING Honeybees are not aggressive by nature, and will not sting unless protecting their hive from anbee stinging 2 intruder or are unduly provoked or… trapped in the outside folds of beekeeper’s suit.

The worker bee has a barbed stinger that pulls away from her body; therefore, she can only sting once. The barb remains stuck in your skin and when the venom sack pulls out of the bee’s abdomen, this action triggers a rhythmic pumping that pushes venom into your skin. Simultaneously, a pheromone is released that alerts the surrounding bees to an intruder.

Hence, the best response to being bee stung is to IMMEDIATELY remove the stinger with your thumb nail, which will reduce the amount of venom injected into you and consequently, reduce the associated inflammation and soreness. Then blow smoke onto the area around the sting and apply wet mud to the skin.

WHY? The smoke masks the pheromone so the surrounding bees do not react to the first bee sting. The mud draws venom out as it dries on your skin. Mud works beautifully for wasp or hornet stings, too.


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