Cranberry-Pistachio Cookies

First of all, proof positive that Bonnie Tarses takes better pictures of Kai than I do.

Secondly, I call the photo below “Bears don’t eat my garbage.” I live out in the boonies, surrounded by woods.  Last year we had a record four bears wandering our road, treating the garbage cans as their own personal buffet.  I like bears.  I understand that they were here first and have certain rights to the salmonberries and blackberries.  I do not, however, like picking up garbage every morning at 6am.  It’s just not a great start to my day.

Putting the trash cans in the garage isn’t a great option, either, as one neighbor found out when they stored the stinky remains of a salmon dinner in their garage.  A louvered garage door is not much challenge to a hungry 600-pound black bear.

An ecologically minded neighbor researched ‘bear-resistant” locking garbage cans, and came up with this brand as the winner.  Then she got an eco-grant to help offset the cost of folks in our neighborhood purchasing them (don’t I have great neighbors?)

Judging from the tipped over can and the claw marks, the score thus far:

Garbage can: 1
Bear: 0

trash can


On the weaving front, I am puzzling out a draft for my first summer-and-winter design on sixteen shafts.  (Actually, it’s my first-ever summer-and-winter project, but there were sixteen shafts on the new loom, so it seemed like I ought to use them.)  The way I’m going about it is slow, first entering the design into the peg-plan, and then adding the tie-down picks.   I’m sure there’s a better way, but at least I’m learning  how S&W works.

And finally, I’m not much of a cook, but occasionally I improvise something and like the results.  I’ve test-baked the following recipe twice and had it turn out tasty both times.  It’s my variant on oatmeal cookies.  I especially like the way the cranberries and pistachios look together.  Very colorful.  I call ’em “Cranberry-Pistachio Oatmeal Cookies.”


3/4 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
1-1/2 cup brown sugar
2 small eggs *
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp chai spices **
2 cups uncooked oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup hulled and chopped pistachio nuts

  1. Beat butter for 30 seconds.
  2. Add all-purpose flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, vanilla, and chai spices.  Mix thoroughly.
  3. Add wheat flour.  Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add oats and mix.  Check whether the texture will hold together for cookies.  If mixture is too wet, add flour.  If too dry, add water or part of another egg.
  5. Stir in pistachios and cranberries.
  6. Form into pancake-shaped cookies and drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Cook in a 375-degree (F) oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

If you make a big batch, they freeze beautifully.

*My eggs come from my neighbor’s chickens, so they’re smaller than grocery-store eggs.  This is probably the equivalent of one large commercial egg.

** I use Trikona-brand “Chai Masala” that I buy in the international district in Seattle.  It’s traditionally used as the spices in Indian-style chai.  Its ingredients are listed as ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, clove, and mustard.  So if you have to improvise, that’s a starting point.

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