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Clearing the Clearing

by Tara

We had planned to spend the afternoon working at a coffeeshop in Bennington today, but we never made it off our land. Early in the morning, Tyler went outside to see if he could get a burn pile going to clear up some of the brush that's been littering our clearing. Before we knew what happened, this innocuous-sounding plan had consumed our entire day.

While Tyler was getting started, I decided to initiate our camper's oven with a batch of flourless peanut butter cookies. Standing in our tiny kitchen, I rolled the dough into balls, made cross-hatch markings on the top of each one with a fork, and popped them in the oven. Twelve minutes later, I had perfectly baked cookies. Success! Our camper oven rules!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

When I finished, Tyler was still outside. Eager to see how he was faring, I donned a pair of dirty jeans and my work jacket and went out to help, armed with a tin cup of milk and a plate of cookies in hand. Here is how I found him, standing on top of a halfway-downed tree, chainsaw in hand:

Tyler Chainsawing Tyler Chainsawing

Seeing me emerge with a snack, he nimbly leaped to the ground to greet me, a huge smile plastered on his face. I love seeing my husband so happy!

Tyler Chainsawing Tara

After we devoured our peanut buttery treats, we got down to business. Together, we gathered, stacked, dragged and rolled all the brush and junk in our clearing to the burn pile.

Tyler Chainsawing Tyler Rolling Scrap Wood

When everything was cleared away at last, we cleaned and sharpened the chainsaws, put our tools back in the truck, and declared the day a success.

Cut Logs Chainsaws on Truck Bed

The size of our clearing has practically doubled!

Brushfire at Basecamp
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Hi Tara, I don't want to come across as some sort of freakish stalker woman.... BUT..... I am interested in the Flourless peanut butter biscuits you made. Did you use the recipe on your pintrest? (that is the stalky bit btw...) Just that the recipe makes 3 dozen and that is a lot for just two. Did you reduce the recipe and if so, how did you when only one egg is called for. Thanks, Jodie
Posted by Jodie Brunker on February 5th, 2013 at 3:36 AM
Hi Jodie! No worries at all! Yes, I did use this recipe.

Because there are only two of us, and because I love to cook and bake *a lot*, I almost always make half batches, third batches, or quarter batches. Usually, I'll look at however many eggs there are. If there are four, I'll make a quarter batch, if there are three, I'll make a third of a batch, etc.

If I have to make a half batch where one egg is involved, I'll simply crack the egg into a bowl, mix it up, and only use part of it. I'll save the rest for another half batch of something or other, or I'll scramble it and eat it.

Alternatively, if I really can't split the egg up, I'll bake a full batch, and then freeze most of it. This works especially well for cookie dough, which can be formed into log shapes and wrapped in plastic wrap or wax paper. Then I can slice off portions of it whenever I feel like it. It also makes for really easy, impressive entertaining ("oh thanks for stopping by! have a freshly baked cookie!")

I hope that helps. Happy baking!
Posted by Tara on February 5th, 2013 at 8:21 AM
thanks Tara, that does help. I often half recipes but honestly I have never thought to whisk the egg and only use half! Jodie
Posted by Jodie Brunker on February 5th, 2013 at 3:51 PM