Nestled behind a mountain of snow along a country road, is Susie's 1889 farm house, a little crooked,warm, timbered home filled with a vast array of collections and love. Susie and her husband Michael have been avid collectors for years, displaying their treasures in artistic spreads in every cozy, cupboarded, shelved room. Art lines the walls, antique lace and crystal prisms cover each lampshade, rocks from the lake hug the sink or lay on a lace runner in the living area designated as "Susie's Studio".
But more about her home another time.
This day we were invited over for Michael's homemade pea soup and to learn how to make hearts out of Susie's wonderful old tatting, lace, antique fabrics, buttons and beads. Debbie and I brought some of our own fabric but couldn't resist diving into Susie's treasures which she enthusiastically shared.
After a lunch on a long farmer's butcher block table in the kitchen, we cleared away the dishes and gathered our supplies. Debbie cut up one of Frank's old shirts for her heart (this is my brother who just passed away) and she felt very nostalgic, sad, happy to be using something of his in her design. I chose a fabric that had little baby chicks on it as my name means "little baby chick" in Czechoslovakian. After we sewed our hearts together we embellished them with buttons and beads. We both put lace pockets in the front for future love notes. Susie is a master at making her hearts into exquisite gems so her kindness and patience at our beginner's attempts was very much appreciated, especially when her suggestions turned our "mistakes" into something more creative that we could have ever imagined.
Debbie's heart: Frank always wore blue plaid shirts.
All that work required a mid-afternoon snack: the BEST
chocolate chip cookies ever!
THE ABSOLUTE BEST
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Sift together in a separate bowl:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Beat in electric mixer on medium:
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
at room temperature
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla
Reduce mixer speed to low and Add:
mixing until just combined
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
(more if desired)
2 cups chopped walnuts
( less if desired)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a small ice cream scoop (about 1/4 cup size),
place scoops of dough
on paper, 2 inches apart
Bake at 375
until golden brown.
Cool on wire rack
Store airtight up to 5 days
(if they last that long)
I like to make a few cookies at a time so we can eat them warm out of the oven, keeping the remaining dough covered and refrigerated until ready to use again
As the sun shone through the plant lined windows we stitched and laughed, shed a tear, ate chocolate chip cookies, and stitched some more as we fell in love with the afternoon and our gracious teacher/hostess, Susie, the “Heart Lady” with a big heart.