Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July

Technically, all of these activities took place yesterday, on the 3rd of the July. But with the spirit of the 4th.

We spent most of yesterday at Old Salem. If you live in North Carolina, you probably visited Old Salem with your 4th grade class. It is a beautiful place, but we visited yesterday for the guns, not the beauty.

Years ago, when Dave worked at Old Salem, his very favorite part of his job was his role in the militia. He would return from work on the evening of the 4th of July with the very strong scent of gunpowder and a large, purple, impressive bruise on his shoulder from the kickback of the gun.

We impressed the kids Wilson with these stories and hopped in the car to see the show. Unfortunately museums are hit hard during times of economic struggle, so the once-great militia show has become a demonstration. Still great guys shooting great guns, but without the fanfare that really drew an excited crowd.

Let me preface the following photos by telling you that there was a fire drill demonstration soon after we arrived. This included pumping water from the well on the square (oh, the well memories....salem girls?), filling leather buckets, and emptying the water into some sort of hand-pumped water hose. The interpreters (men in costume) then asked for children to represent the fire and squirted all volunteers with the water hose. This is the reason for Wilson's lack of attire...

The guns were really loud.


But we were so excited!


Cousin Nat, firing on the enemy:


Despite the noise, Wilson and Anna Jane both decided to register themselves as members of the militia.


Anna Jane told the recruiter that her occupation was "designer." He wrote that she was a mantua maker, which is what a clothing maker (seamstress?) was called in the 1700s.


Wilson's occupation as listed on his enlistment form is a transformer. There was no alternate description given for this occupation. Guess the word meant the same 300 years ago.

After a close examination by the town joiner, posing as a doctor, the kids were accepted into the Old Salem militia.


Despite 75 tries at a photo with all 3 kids, this is the only one where all of them are looking at the camera:


Thank goodness for digital.

When we got home we decided to bake some cookies, which would usually not rank high enough on the excitement meter to land in a blog post. The difference this time, however, is that I made them with a recipe from a good friend, and they are the most delicious sugar cookies you will EVER eat. So I snapped some pictures of the process to accompany the recipe. It is too good not to share.

This dough definitely rolls out easier than any other dough I've tried before.


No good reason for lack of clothing in this picture, other than the fact that this is how Wilson presents himself 85% of the time.


This is what happens when you give a 2-year-old a cookie cutter and his own dough:


This is what happens when you give him sprinkles:


Maybe he learned it from his 4-year-old brother:


Sugar Cookies
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter (soft)
1 egg (beaten)
3 Tbs cream
1 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Mix dry and wet together. (it really is that easy).

Roll out, cut out, bake at 400 for 5-6 minutes.

That's the recipe as I got it...but as a rule I always cook at a lower temp and at a lesser amount of time than called for. ALWAYS. So my oven was set at 350, and I baked for about 5 minutes. PERFECT!!



  1. Hee Hee, that cookie with the mountain of sprinkles is too cute.

  2. Molly and I want to come make cookies too!!!

  3. You Leonard sisters produce some of the most beautiful children I have ever seen! oh my gosh.

  4. Do you always make cookies for the fourth? It never even occured to me, but when I saw them my mouth got a little drooly... YUM!