Al Franken announced today that “in the coming weeks” he will resign his seat in the U.S. Senate. Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota, was the subject of a series of allegations of sexual harassment and improper conduct, and ultimately members of his own party decided it was time for him to go.
Why Franken will leave “in the coming weeks” rather than immediately isn’t entirely clear — but apparently part of the Senatorial prerogative is deciding when your resignation will actually take effect. In any case, Franken is one of three members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, to announce during this week alone that he is resigning in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.
When I heard that Franken had finally bowed to the inevitable and decided to resign, I thought about the fact that I saw him on the Bill Maher show only recently, when he was riding high and touting his new book, called Giant of the Senate. I’ve seen the book prominently displayed in the local library during a recent visit before the allegations and the appalling photo first hit the news. Franken being Franken, no doubt the book title was in large part tongue in cheek — but still the juxtaposition of the book title and its cover illustration with Franken’s rapid downfall and humiliating resignation suggests a valuable lesson. Hubris, even partly tongue in cheek hubris, is just begging to be brought low.
You can probably buy Franken’s book at a discount these days.
Every year, the Columbus Dispatch publishes a holiday cookie section with some new recipes. Knowing that I would be doing my holiday baking, Mom would send me the Dispatch cookie section to give me some new ideas, and to say thanks I would always make sure that a big plate of cookies went her way at the end of the process. Mom always enjoyed a good Christmas cookie!
So, as a tribute to Mom, I visited the Dispatch cookie guide webpage for 2017 and tried to pick out a recipe that I thought Mom might like. She had a taste for the simple sugar cookies, and this rosemary cookie recipe (from Margaret M. Titerington of Ostrander) looked intriguing — the sort of straightforward cookie that Mom might have liked and that might have been baked back in old England during the holidays and consumed with a cup of tea with lots of milk.
Ingredients: 1 cup butter; 1 cup sugar; 2 eggs; 1 teaspoon baking soda; 4 cups flour; 1 cup oil (I use extra light olive oil); 1 cup powdered sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 1 teaspoon cream of tartar; at least 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients, except rosemary, in mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. You might need to add a little more flour if dough appears sticky — add 1 tablespoon at a time. Add rosemary and gently mix into batter. Chill the dough thoroughly until very firm.
Roll dough in small balls and then in sugar and flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.
Bake, watching carefully until light golden — about 5 to 10 minutes. Baking time depends on how large you form the cookies.
Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2017 (I)