Friday, December 9, 2016

Secret Subject Swap: Looking Back While Moving Forward

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

My subject is: How was 2016 and what do you hope for in 2017?
It was submitted by: Sarah of Not That Sarah Michelle.
                      

Like all years, 2016 had its highs and lows. In the public arena it was a staggering year of losses: David Bowie, Gwen Ifill, Janet Reno, Leonard Cohen, Gene Wilder . . . too many to mention. And in my private world, suicide hit close to home and sent me reeling.

It was a year of hope as well. Breast cancer hit my family hard and sent me flying home on a few days' notice. Through this frightening time I was reminded of the old adage "actions speak louder than words." I witnessed the most amazing example of acceptance, determination, positivity, and grace.

I don't think I have to tell anyone that this was the year of a pivotal presidential election. I saw swastikas, the KKK and bigotry yanked out of the closet and welcomed into the mainstream. But I also saw an older Jewish man very successfully connect with many of our youth and welcome them into the process.

On a personal note, I saw my older son work through some very difficult decisions in terms of voting decisions. I commend him for going out to meet Bernie (after the primary), hearing him out, speaking to him and to other people at the rally. I am in awe of how much maturity it took for him to decide whether or not he could vote, and to finally make what he considered a bad choice, but for all the right reasons. 

And, despite all of my encouragement I had to accept, even respect, that my younger son found himself incapable of voting in the very first election for which he was eligible.


Peppermint Chocolate Holiday Cookies, crunchy on the edges, chewy in the center,  filled with peppermint and chocolate mix-ins | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies #holiday

Peppermint Chocolate Holiday Cookies
Peppermint Chocolate Holiday Cookies, crunchy on the edges, chewy in the center,  filled with peppermint and chocolate mix-ins | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies #holiday



2016 was the year that the day to day plight of being African American collided with the consciousness of all Americans. Black Lives Matter and not just to black people. As a result we are finally in the infancy of seeing our police force being held accountable for the actions of those who do not belong on the job. But just as we acknowledge we need to hold those who choose this career to a higher bar, we need to acknowledge that the majority of officers do their job well and deserve our respect. 2016 was the year that we saw our police become targets. Police must be respectful. But they are human beings too and must be respected.

The radicalization of the youth of this planet by Isis resulted in violence beyond comprehension. Uncivilized behavior has made inroads into our civilization. As a mother I am just as concerned with the psychological aspect of the recruitment of our collective youth not just in this country but in the world. I am especially concerned because I do believe that hatred that has moved out of the closet and into the mainstream in this country and is what fuels this fire. I fear we are setting a terrifying example for the next generation through the normalization of bigoted and divisive vitriol. And through the unprecedented autonomy and lack of accountability associated with our president-elect.

I always look forward to the Olympics and this year I think we all needed the break. But it ended with a scandal that was a true black eye to America. We must be better than this, all of us, including our youth as they go out in the world as representatives of our country.

Through all the good and the bad of 2016, I hold great hope for 2017. I see people reaching out to each other in meaningful ways. I see our youth questioning the path ahead. I see strides being made to combat cancer and Alzheimer's. I see discussion aimed towards removing the stigma from mental health issues and treat them with the same vigor with which we fight physical illness. I see the strength of the internet and social media in connecting us globally and in providing information not as easily available in the past. I see empowerment. I see hope. I am confident that I will see peace. And healing.




Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Peppermint Chocolate Holiday Cookies
                                   ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

 
Ingredients (makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies):
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/4 tsp peppermint extract 
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Peppermint Oreos (about 9 cookies), crushed
1 cup Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses (about 30 candies), chopped
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Cream butter, margarine and sugars until smooth. Beat in the eggs and peppermint extract.
*Starting on the lowest speed until incorporated, beat in the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the crushed Oreos, chopped candies and mini chocolate chips.
*Using wet hands, roll dough into 1 inch balls. Place on Baking sheets. NOTE: cookies will spread.
*Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until they start to brown. Leave on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes before removing.

38 comments:

  1. 2016 was, in many ways, a scary year. But I think we are stronger in purpose because of it. Great post, Karen!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sitting in a restaurant tearing up at your beautiful discription of such a horrible year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been a really tough year, but hope will pull us all through. We need to commit ourselves to vigilance in the fight to make 2017 a good year.

      Delete
  3. Yeah, what a year. I think you eloquently put it into words when most people would just say it was f*cked up and insane. I really hope 2017 will be better, I pray for it. We need it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we really do need it. I'm praying for more global stability, but that needs to start at home.

      Delete
  4. Hell yeah what a yeah 2016 has been, good, not so good, somewhat scary at times but also bloody awesome at times all we can do is take each day as it happens, look for the good in people (somewhat hard with some people)try to be good people ourselves learn to forgive ourselves and remember tomorrow is a new day.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I, too, hold a lot of hope for 2017 as this past year was one of the roughest yet for us personally. It can only get better, right? In your reference to suicide, it saddens me today as an old friend committed suicide last night. She was 39 and had two young daughters.

    Those cookies make me want to come visit NOW as I am a cookie monster and will do my baking for Christmas next week -- any earlier and they would be all gone by then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry for your loss and for the pain your friend's daughters now have to live with.
      Such a devastating situation.

      Delete
  6. Excellent post---a great comprehensive look at 2016. You summed up so many of my thoughts on 2016. I came into this past year with so much hope, energy and motivation. And everything was going incredibly well until Mum passed away and my family (siblings & in-laws) relationships imploded. The only people I care to see again are a handful of nieces and nephews. The rest, I have cut out of my life. This would devastate my mother but it's the best survival tactic I know. I am grateful for my own husband and children, and right now that is all I need. 2017 will be a year for me to reorganize, re-energize, and to cut all the negative things (and people) out of my life for good. Onward and upward. Let's see what 2017 has in store for us all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely understand. I know it's hard to cut people out of your life, or even to take a few steps back from them if that's what you need, but I agree that we have to survive as best we can. Sometimes we're equipped to deal with the crap and other times we just cannot. It seems after a loss and when we're emotionally down is one of those time when we cannot.

      Delete
  7. Your thoughtful account of the year brought back some things I forgot about already. I too hope for healing and peace for 2017.
    This cookie recipe is out of control!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wishing you and your family a happy (and uneventful) end to 2016, Haralee.

      Delete
  8. This post made me sit and think for a bit about this year and what I would say if asked. I suppose every year is summarized with "ups and downs." Not ever year can be terrific, and yet every year has at least some spark of joy. Then I wonder "what will we be saying this time next year?" Certainly our country is about to weather some storms that worry me greatly. And personally...you just never know what will happen tomorrow. I appreciate your openness!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too wonder what we'll be saying this time next year. Hopefully that the past year was good to us all.

      Delete
  9. So many of wonder about the future. What a wonderful thing that, despite all that has happened in your life in the past 13 or so months, you still have optimism, and enough energy to bake some yummy sounding cookies. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Optimism can be hard some days. Baking . . . never.

      Delete
  10. I'm not going to hold out a lot of hope for 2017. I'm not an optimist--much more a realist. Even with all the progress made, I think politically speaking it's going to get worse before it gets better, and I have to mentally prepare for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, politically speaking it will definitely get a lot worse before it gets better, but I still believe it will get better. I have to.

      Delete
  11. You see peace and healing - I see yummy cookies. Same thing!
    Kidding aside, I think like every year, things are not entirely black or white - well, this year it's actually kind of hard to claim they aren't. However it's up to us to see the bright colors of life and to find our very own pot of gold at you-know-where.
    At this time of year some people post "I hope this crappy year is over soon, and everything will be better next year" - guess what, those people posted this last year, and the year before. Despite all the ugly things that inevitably will happen out there, everyone can make a difference, and it starts with their own attitude, their own family,...
    I can tell you're doing a fantastic job at your end, keep it up! Thanks for being my blogger friend! 💖

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, every year has its ups and downs but this year, especially in my country, there has been a dangerous shift that is frightening millions of us.

      Delete
  12. I agree with your sentiments, and love the ending, as we are in great need of hope, healing, and peace! Happy Holidays!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, well said. I wish us all hope, healing and peace.

      Delete
  13. Awesome job here lady <3 Not to mention those cookies look scrumptious! It has been a tough year. The election was a big deal in our house as well, with 3 of our kids now eligible to vote. I'm proud of how involved and invested they got in the process. I'm hopeful for 2017 and despite all signs to the contrary, I'm feeling quite optimistic :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a difficult year for our young voters, and yet I think a great opportunity for growth and maturity.

      Delete
  14. I'm truly ready for 2016 to be done. It was a hard stretch for me to find some good memories of the year. I want to have hope that 2017 will be an improvement!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know 2016 was tough for you personally, I hope 2017 is much happier and easier for you.

      Delete
  15. Here's hoping this horrible, scary, and enlightening year leads to an awakening which will change the world for the better in 2017. Love trumps hate and good outweighs evil, in the end of all ends, because the earth itself was formed out of positive energy colliding. Negative energy won't last the long haul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I certainly hope you're right. I am optimistic, but also frightened.

      Delete
  16. I am over 2016 in a big way and have everything crossed that 2017 will be so much better!

    ReplyDelete
  17. A very thoughtful post, Karen. I have all good hopes for 2017 too. I wish each of us make small "good" changes in our way that can reflect as a whole in the society. Wish we get to see more positivity, acceptance, and respect in the coming days.
    I am going to bookmark this post. Loved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Epsita. Wishing you and your family a very happy new year.

      Delete
  18. I absolutely loved this post. Every single word of it. For me, 2016 has been the worst year I've lived through. I honestly always thought, and hoped, that 2003 (the year Kateri earned her wings) would be my worst year. I've lived through some dark times, but none as draining as this year has been. The negative started at the end of 2015, when my mum told me she had breast cancer. I'm ready for 2016 to end. Realistically, I know we have some rough times ahead, especially politically. I'm just hoping it doesn't get too bad. I'm praying and hoping that good will triumph over evil, that love will win over hate, that kindness will reign Supreme. I'm full of hope, as are you. Here's to hoping, our hope is not in vain.

    As for these cookies... Wow. Wow. Wow. I want one right NOW.

    Your recipes have a way of bringing about questions in my mind. There is stick margarine?! Why does this need butter and margarine?! What's the difference between the two?! What if I used two sticks of butter, or two of margarine?! There are peppermint Oreos?! Can I use tub margarine?! I wonder how much tub margarine equals a stick?!
    See what I mean?! This is pretty typical for my thoughts over your recipes. LOL I guess you could say, I need a lot more practice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we all need to have hope. Always.

      You can use all butter or all margarine for cookies. I prefer some of each. You can use tub margarine, 1 stick of margarine is equivalent to 1/2 cup.

      Delete

Warning: Comment at your own risk. I have Comment Moderation, meaning I approve all comments before they show up here. So go ahead, I'm not scared!