The summer I fell in love with Anne and Gilbert (and I can’t remember exactly which year it was), my mother gave me a large hard-cover book that included what I can only describe as Anne of Green Gables fan club material: recipes, sketches of the characters, craft ideas, and — I can’t really recall much else, but even as a child, I remember warming to its good-natured, rustic, enjoy-the-simpler-things ethos. I recall pressing flowers between the pages of my parents’ telephone directories per the instructions in my Anne fan club book, lost in some world in which a future suitor might find these winningly girlish gestures and linger over them in wonderment. In reality, my parents would be leafing through the directory in search of the local Dominos number for pizza delivery on Friday night and a small shower of dead, smushed wild flowers would collect at their feet. Swooning over my own romantic, Victorian-era elegance, I tried my hand at other crafts involving doilies and attempts at calligraphy and ribbons, all of which bore equally unimpressive results–
but then there were her thumbprint cookies.
These have withstood the test of time in their fetching simplicity. They belong with warm summer air, ants on a picnic blanket, and bare feet. Fresh-squeezed lemonade and footfall on grass. Freckles and swing sets. Screen doors and cricketsong.
In other words: not here, in our New York City apartment, where we are always a several minute walk away from meaningful expanses of foliage.
But they do the trick nonetheless, reminding me of simpler times, the sweltering heat of my hometown D.C., the childlike belief that I could make myself anything I wanted to be by following the instructions.
*In photo above, mini is rolling the cookie dough in this dish — melamine! These are some of our most-used plates. They are the perfect size for a snack/child-sized portion of nearly anything, sweet to look at, and unbreakable.
Anne of Green Gables Jam Cookies.
Preheat oven to 375. Mix 1 cup room temperature butter, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and 1/3 cup white granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg yolk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Mix in 2 cups flour and a pinch of salt. Roll into 1” balls and roll each ball in a small dish of granulated sugar. Place on baking tray. Press fingertip into center of each cookie to make a well. Fill with preserves. Bake 10 minutes.
Notes: I made this recipe recently with mini and found that we needed a little more flour (maybe 1/4 cup), as dough should not be particularly sticky–it should be more like cut-out sugar cookie dough than chocolate chip cookie dough, able to hold its shape. I also found that it took closer to 12 or 13 minutes before they started to brown at edges, but ovens are always irritating to contend with–mine have always run cooler than indicated.
Fellow mothers in search of quarantined-induced activities: This is a recipe perfect for little hands desperate to help, with opportunities to roll dough into balls, coat in sugar, depress with over-eager thumbs, and fill with jam. And, you know, eat enormous scoopfuls of sugar left over in the cookie-rolling dish.
+Is it any wonder I was drawn to this pressed botanical print planner?
+If you are also a pressed flower lover, you must see the beautiful artwork by Ron Nicole, which the artist describes as “floral inspired fossils,” made by pressing live flowers into hand-rolled clay and then finishing with plaster/cement. Absolutely breathtaking.
+All of this vintage summer talk has me longing for…
THIS RIBBON-TRIM HAT (50% OFF)
+Come to think of it…all of the microtrends I’ve been into this summer feel Victorian/Edwardian.
+Chic melamine dishes for outdoor dining: these (on super sale), these (a grandmillennial dream TBH), these (almost look hand-painted), and these in the peach print. When I buy a set, I like to keep a few extra on hand to use when giving away cookies/treats to friends. A little more festive and sturdy than a paper plate!
+This is just the most perfect shade of lilac-white-gray nail lacquer ever. My best friend wore a shade like this on her birthday literally a decade ago that had been custom to some chic salon she’d been to and I have been on the hunt ever since. This might be it.
+Still some pieces left in the designer collabs for Target — but heads up! These dresses run really big. Size down! I’ve chatted with a few Magpies on this front — the shirtdresses are fine because you can cinch the waist decently with the tie. A few of you have said that you love the styles so much you are willing to pay for tailoring! I agree with that — I have a couple of well-loved dresses from H&M and Zara that I had tailored in spite of their low price tags and wear them constantly…
+OK, dead over this scalloped outdoor umbrella. Such a good price — would completely *make* a patio.
+Gorgeous scalloped Marysia basic on sale — plus extra 10% off with code EXTRA10. I have a couple of Marysia suits in solids and I have to say I reach for them season after season. They are elegant, timeless, well-made, worth the investment in a non-trendy solid!
+Hello, lover. I actually don’t love an ankle strap shoe — I feel like it chops the leg off at a weird point — but the bow on the toe of this beauty is too good to be true. (Short person problems…)
+Someone with a tiny baby girl: this dress!!! 30% off and perfect perfect perfect. All Proper Peony dresses are heirloom-quality! This petal collar beauty is also on sale! (Note that Bagsy also has a decent selection of their beautiful pieces, either gently worn or even NWT at great prices).