"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Friday, December 12, 2008

Spot on Some Very Good Cookies and Sister Benel's Sheep

~~~These cookies are scrumptious! You must make at least one batch and see for yourself. You don't even have to bake them. I made them especially for Hubby when he came home from a trip to the OTHER Washington, and I knew after being gone and getting home late he would like a special dessert. For the recipe check out Noble Pig's Blog "A Ball In Every Port", December 10. The plate in back of the cookies was a gift from Hubby's Father, and it is by artist Suzanne Toftey who is known for her paintings and works of art depicting various aspects of Scandinavian life. This plate is entitled "Moonlight Sleigh Ride".~Here is a little pastoral scene I keep on the front porch table. The Baby's Tears plant grows well in the shade and the porch seems to shelter it from the harshest weather. If you have read my blog for even a short while you can tell I very much enjoy little vignettes and miniatures. Really, my house is normal people size , and not cluttered. There is a place for almost everything around here except in my craft room...I digress. The inspiration for a lot of my little Nativity scenes and my little sheep comes from a magazine article I read in December 1987, in a magazine called Early American Life, which has not been published now for many years. There was an article entitled "Sister Benel's Sheep". ~This is a picture( below ) from that article, a representation of a Moravian Putz, or Nativity scene, or creche. The article went on to quote "Benels' sheep were wondrous to behold! They were shaped out of clay, then cotton was wrapped around them, four matches were stuck into represent legs, and a splash of Chinese vermillion was daubed on the end where the nose belonged." A Century of Moravian Sisters, by Elizabeth Lehman Meyers
I made my first Nativity sheep as described in this article, but every year I changed the way I made them . I shaped their faces better, added sturdier legs and felt ears, a little more realism to the facial features, and I wrap them in the wool from my own flock of Jacob sheep instead of the cotton I used when I first began making them, when I lived in the city and never in a million years would have dreamed I could be so blessed as to have my own flock of sheep ! ~I have been researching Sister Benel and the Moravians and what I have discovered is so interesting and inspirational. First, there are written accounts of Sister Benel. She was a very friendly and jovial woman. She would go into people's homes once a week and do their mending for them and enjoy their company. It sounds like they enjoyed hers too, for she had a good sense of humor and liked to joke. She was also known for her handmade gift boxes she gave with her mint cakes inside. I almost did not post tonight because I was engrossed in reading about the Moravians, their founding, theology, and mission philosophy. I lost track of time, so I printed up some info to read later. ~Years ago Hubby and I were studying Missions, missionary work and what the Bible says , or does NOT say about it...we were the most impressed with the Moravians and their view of missions and how the missions were to be carried out...I am still impressed with what I have read. I am going to try to get Hubby to write on this because in the 1980's he went on a mission to Honduras and Nicaragua . He was basically a pack horse and support for a team of doctors who went into the jungles to give medical aid to the Miskito Indians. What he saw and learned is deeply moving..but the reason I bring this up is because there are many, many Christians there in the jungles who are the fruit of the work of the Lord using a group of Believers called Moravians,almost 2 centuries ago. The lasting fruit of the Holy Spirit. I would like Hubby to tell about men who witnessed the slaughter of their families , and atrocities we only read about, and these men still praise God and call on Him... ~Maybe I will write more on the Moravians at another time, but you can look them up...the group was founded by Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf, according to the authors of the research I found, but from what I read , the Count would object to this statement, for he would say they were CALLED by God, and doing only what He required, and by His mercy and grace, the work of God using the foolishness of man ( Zinzendorf ), the fruit of their work is still ripening! ~"And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night." Luke 2:8


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. The pastoral scene is so lush. I love the miniature scenes and your sheep are so very precious. Thank you for the cookie recipe and a look at that lovely plate. How very colorful it is - what a treasure. Blessings to you this day.

Daisy said...

I enjoyed reading about the Moravians, Kathy. Very interesting post. I also liked hearing about how your sheep you make have gone through changes. I think the little ones you make are just so darling!

Sandra said...

What a delightful Bible study this would be!
Thanks so much for the Noble Pig site; I've just downloaded several recipes and made a comment. Lovely!
BTW, those sheep you make are simply adorable...might you be persuaded to give instructions, pretty, pretty please.
We're in the midst of another snow storm with more to come. At least my chores are done for the day.

noble pig said...

Your balls look delicious! He-he, glad you all liked them, I wish I had some left!

I swear I love those little sheep, they are so darling.

KathyB. said...

Mildred, thank-you. You could actually make this recipe lactose free if you get the right vanilla wafers !

Daisy,I noticed in my blog header I have some of my 'older model' sheep !Glad I put them away to save them from Miss Marple, because I sold or gave away all my older models . My 'new models' are boxed up for the next bazaar!

Sandra, we have tried out quite a few of Noble Pig's recipes and have been very happy with them...they are fulfilling! You have snow, I am jealous!

Noble Pig...ha ha!We have a few left, and they are in the fridge for snacking while we finish decorating .Thank-you for the recipe.