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Let’s Cook: Tried and true truckers, others

Lemon-Glazed Cashew Shortbread Cookies

Which do you consider the source of higher, deeper, truer joy: the blessing which comes from having a friend, or from being a friend? When it comes to our recent lifestyle of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are blessed to have a sundry of friends. As I sit and work at the computer, I realize that this and everything else in the room has come to reside in our home by one common denominator–truck drivers.

I knew that truck drivers were the lifeline to America’s logistics. Each week at my parent’s Coast to Coast Hardware store, we waited for the truck to bring merchandise. When we operated Strand Studio, all frames, matting, glass, retouching supplies and even photographs were delivered by trucks.

When was the last time that you thought about how truckers fit into the jig-saw puzzle of life? When was the last time as a nation that we reminded truckers how much we appreciate the task they do in our handling our massive freight load?

COVID-19 has brought front and center the importance of truck drivers and other blue-collar workers who are essential to our daily living. As we rush to the grocery store for rice, milk, eggs, rubber gloves, spray disinfectant, and disinfecting wipes, let us be reminded it was a truck driver who brought these goods to the store in this frustrating time.

Currently with the closure of restaurants and cafes, truck drivers are not able to stop for that hot meal, steaming cup of coffee, and perhaps a sweet treat. It would be great if we could offer them this service as they continue their daily efforts of bringing us the needed supplies. So instead, when we see them, lets wave and say thank you! Give them a thumbs up for doing a great job.

I have always felt that the three sweetest words in the English language are “Let me help.”

Now, we have countless people that are saying these words of encouragement: the clerks at grocery and other essential retail stores, workers in assisted living centers and nursing homes, nurses and doctors at hospitals and clinics, and Governor Burgum and his team with the daily updates. These day-to-day deeds are helping us to cope with the concerns of COVID-19.

Last Saturday the Dakota Cruisers Car Club revved up their classics to help lift the spirit of the Magic City. Seeing these splendid autos on the streets was like a giving a wrinkled face a shot of Botox! What a lift they gave to all of us! They too like so many others are giving generously to the worthy cause of keeping our spirits up, in this time of crisis. Each one of us felt a little richer, and perhaps recalled a happy memory, from a favorite auto as they paraded by.

What has COVID-19 taught you? Personally, it has reminded me that we as a country need each other even when we are not on the same page. COVID-19 reminds us all that our riches in this world mean very little if they are only measured by accumulated monetary wealth. There are countless people presently giving us their greatest service, and they are the brave and wise of today. When this crisis is over, we need to have a red-carpet day in Minot. You know the kind, just like a Homecoming Parade down Broadway that includes bands and floats — all in honor of those service workers. Guess who will be joining us on the sidelines to watch? Our children — the next generation. They will remember how we cared for one another and how supportive we were of our neighbors and strangers. When they witness us serving ourselves last and others first, they will be prepared when a crisis comes their way.

Hold tight in the weeks ahead — think of others and keep your heart soft. Call your neighbor, a friend or relative. Be good to yourself and take time to enjoy a cup of coffee with a homemade cookie.

This recipe comes from the Pillsbury Holiday Baking book. It is one that I have wanted to try because we enjoy shortbread. It has the added twist of cashews which give it a nice texture and flavor. I did not have to cut this shortbread — I left that to my wife, Jan, because she has had plenty of practice with the shown diagonal style.

Lemon-Glazed Cashew Shortbread Cookies

1 ¼ cup butter at room temp

¾ cup powdered sugar

3 cups all purpose flour

½ cup finely chopped cashews

1 ½ teaspoons of ginger

½ cup coarsely chopped cashews

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

4 to 6 teaspoons lemon juice

Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine butter and ¾ cup powdered sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Stir in flour, ½ cup finely chopped cashews and ginger; mix well. Press dough evenly into ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with coarsely chopped cashews; press lightly into dough.

Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until edges are light brown. Place pan on wire rack. Immediately cut into 2 ½ -inch squares. Cut each square diagonally in half. Cool cookies completely in pan.

In small bowl, combine all glaze ingredients, adding enough lemon juice for desired drizzling consistency. Remove cookies from pan; place on waxed paper. Drizzle with glaze.

It is important to cut the shortbread while it’s still warm and soft. Once cooled, the crisp shortbread will crumble.The shortbread also can be cut into other shapes, such as diamonds or small bars.

For nice-looking glaze, drizzle it from the tines of a fork or the tip of a spoon.

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