Margaret Button: You don't need to know what day it is to make these cookies

Ginger cookies are a great way to use up that molasses you have in the back of the pantry.

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Monday is Memorial Day. Say, what?! How did that happen? Actually, I have no sense of time these days. Nine weeks at home, almost 24/7, will do that to you. If I didn't work at a newspaper, I'd never know what day it is — and even then the paper I'm working on is anywhere from the next day to a week out.

I've also lost all concept of the time of day. Where I was once getting up at 6 a.m. to get to The Berkshire Eagle newsroom by 8:15-ish, I'm now getting up at 8 a.m. because my "morning commute" is now 60 seconds, twice that if I take the circular route and make a cup of coffee before I sit at my "desk," aka the dining room table. Because I'm getting up later, I'm going to bed later, often reading past midnight.

To be perfectly transparent here, if our Executive Editor Kevin Moran didn't have morning video meetings, I would probably be in my PJs and unshowered, sporting bed head hair. Not that it looks good on any day ... my last haircut was Feb. 29. I've resorted to using hair clips to pull my bangs off my face. Even after talking to several hairdressers for an article, who reassured people there was nothing they couldn't fix and hair grows, I get the scissors as high as the bridge of my nose and freeze, unable to do it.

There is no longer any regular meal times. No coffee and a whoopie pie snagged from Cumby's on the way to work in the morning. No "Ready to go to lunch, podmate?" from Eagle Arts and Entertainment editor Jeff Borak. No taking something out of the freezer to defrost for dinner. The whole day is one endless feast!

Then there's the boredom cooking. I'm bored, what haven't I made in a while? What would I like to try to make? What do I have the ingredients for? Last week, I stumbled across a recipe for ginger cookies I had printed out and never made before because the men in my life weren't big fans of the taste of ginger. And miracle of miracles, there was a jar of molasses in the pantry (the expiration date was a few years ago ... it seems to be good; I didn't end up with food poisoning.) All I can say about these cookies are wow — and there are perks to living alone now. Bring on another batch!



2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup molasses

4 tablespoons white sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses.

Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture.

Shape dough into 1-inch sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar.

Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven.

Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.


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