Thanksgiving was lovely this year. Leading up to our family gathering I spent twelve days at my parents’ house. They live about two and half hours away from us. Mom and I got a head start on baking Christmas cookies (Frosted Ginger Creams cookie recipe below) while Dad and I butted heads over things like the Illinois gas tax and student loan debt forgiveness.

Thankfully, though, despite having solidly conservative parents, everyone present at the Thanksgiving table had established as early as 2016 that Donald Trump is a hateful, self-serving fraud who is unqualified to run a dishwasher, much less a country. So I didn’t have to hear anyone praise the man or any of his abhorrent policies. I know that’s not the case for a lot of people, though, so I recognize it for the blessing it is.

The hardest part about being away from home for so long was going days on end without Dan, Boomer, and Izzy. They are, and I say this without being glib, my emotional support beings. On top of a general increase in anxiety, my routines—which are a huge part of how I manage not to fall to pieces every day—were broken. So I ended up vaping a little more weed than usual and texting Dan in various states of emotional disarray a couple of times a day.

I’m reading this and thinking it sounds like I regret my trip. That’s not the case. I knew that being gone that long would be challenging. I wanted to do it. And I will likely do it again next year, provided my parents are agreeable.

Anyway….

I hope you had a chance to read Who You Gonna Believe last weekend. It’s always two parts exciting and one part scary to offer it up for public consumption. Despite the slight panic, I got Chapter 9: Corpse Pose published on Tuesday. Without giving up spoilers, I will let you know that, yes, I do swear again in this installment. Chapter 10 is slated for a December 30 release, but it’s always so crazy this time of year. Please spot me a couple of days just in case.

Now for that holiday cookie recipe I promised. The story is that my grandma got this recipe from a co-worker at the hospital where she worked as a nurse. The cookies are spicy and warm like a ginger snap but much softer. When I was a kid my mom and I would usually bake these as bars in a jelly roll pan. I don’t have a cooking time for that on the recipe card, but if I remember right it was about the same amount of time, 8 to 10 minutes.

Frosted Ginger Creams

½ c. shortening
½ c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. ginger
½ t. cloves
1 t. cinnamon

½ t. salt
2 t. baking soda
½ c. milk
1 c. molasses
3 c. flour

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Add spices and salt. Combine baking soda with milk and add to the creamed mixture. Add molasses and flour and mix to form a soft batter. Drop by spoonful on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350° F for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.

We top these with a very simple frosting of confectioners’ sugar and water, and we just eyeball that until it reaches the consistency we like.

That’s my update. Now I want hear from you guys. How was your November?

Time to plug one of my affiliate partners: Shipt grocery delivery. I swear they have been a lifeline for us. If you use my link to buy a membership, I’ll get a few cents to help keep the (literal and figurative) lights on around here. They’re running a pretty sweet BOGO for $49 offer right now. Punch your zipcode into their finder to see if they’re in your city.