The Black Sun, Bill Mayer

Sorry for the lack of posts. I was going to say “slackage,” but oh, it isn’t that.

We’re moving. We do this about every two years. That’s not a problem. The problem is that the timeline got moved up, so my life is all bubble wrap and boxes. I’ll pop in as often as I can, but my grand plans are scuttled.

So y’all have extra Halloween for me, k?

I’m gonna say this right up front, before y’all TL;DR: this dough is very soft. Chill it overnight, and roll it between sheets of parchment. I even cut it out on the parchment, picked out the scraps, and put the whole sheet on my cookie pan to bake. So much less hassle, even though it was tough to get a full batch at once.

I love the texture of gingerbread, but hate ginger. These cookies start with a gingerbread base, and use my own blend of spices. Your house is gonna smell so good.  I’d ramble on like a food blogger, but I hate that crap, so here’s yer recipe.

Spice Cookies

  • 3 cups flour (sift before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon (I use Vietnamese cinnamon–it’s stronger)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 cup room-temperature butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I use Whey Low Gold or Sukrin Gold)
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together with a whisk. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the rest of the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix on low until blended.

Pat the dough into a thick rectangle (easier to roll later), wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.

Once thoroughly chilled, roll between two pieces of parchment paper to about ¼” thickness. Cut out shapes while dough is still on parchment. Pick out the scraps, and transfer the parchment to a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

The scraps will need to be refrigerated for a little while before re-rolling. Trust me on this.


I bake the cookies to eating consistency. If you baked them a bit longer, you could probably build a nice haunted house with them. A practice I strongly encourage.



It is generally acknowledged, by those, by those in the spirit, that Halloween begins today (MY BIRFDAY) and ends on October 31.

The Fall of Dorothy, by Aimee Marie

As usual, I will be blogging daily, along with the folks at Countdown to Halloween.  Every year the list of Cryptkeepers gets a wee bit longer. I highly encourage everyone to head over and do some old-fashioned surfing.

I have a plan for the month, and it’s definitely different, but it will take a few days for me to see if I can pull it off. So you get regular stuff for a little while.

Happy haunting!

And Dolls

Dmitry Cherkashin of Moscow is the proprietor of And Dolls, where he sells many things, but mostly Matryoshka.

Halloween Matryoshka, $53.95

Shadow Matryoshka, $47.95

Because he’s in Russia, getting dolls before Halloween would be a close thing. But we all need to be thinking about Christmas, right?

Crazy Matryoshka, $49

Screaming Matryoshka, $52.95

If you’d like to see what he’s up to currently, check out his Instagram.

Cat Matryoshka, $53.85


If you’ve never watched an art documentary by Waldemar Januszczak, I highly recommend them. Especially his series on epochs of art. He takes some getting used to. We started out calling him the World’s Most Emphatic Art Historian. Once we saw more, it became Wally the Angry Hobbit. With affection.

It was in his series on the Renaissance that I was introduced to Bernard Palissy.

His pottery is filled with lizards, snakes, and frogs, often molded from specimens.

The symbolism is intended to remind us we are all born of sin. Well, you know, Renaissance. He lived a long and interesting life, dying in the Bastille at the age of 80. He totally deserves a biopic. For now, we can just admire his art.