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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Stewart

Small Town Kind

I’ve been able to be with myself more often lately. I've been able to take in moments that I didn’t have a chance to do before. To meditate, pray with my kids, go on long runs, listen to music… listen to loud music. Sip my Coffee while sitting (although I’d still like to do that more). And I've been able to drink wine at night and sit by the fire.

I’ve been able to think more lately, about this new life we are living. How we’ve moved into a really sweet neighborhood with old and young, retired and working, nosey and not nosey, kids and no kids. Looking back at all the cities I've lived in, large and small, I’ve always been good at building a really lovely community around me. Perhaps it’s because I am from the Midwest. That’s just what you do. You know your neighbors. You know all of your neighbors. You give and you receive. You give back again and over time you develop relationships that are deep and loving and kind and forever memorable. Having been out living in the more rural life for the last 7 years, I forgot how much I loved living on a street where my kids can ride their bikes and how I can leave the house to take the dog on a walk or go for a quick run. Sharing garbage cans because yours isn’t big enough or sharing gardening secrets and giving away chocolate chip cookies to the little old ladies across the street. I think about our World and about how important community is to every single person on this planet. And it is from there that we learn about love and patience and kindness. As I’m looking for a specific recipe to pair with you all today in my Recipe Box, since forever ago, I've noticed that it is full of recipes from old neighbors, grandmas and friends throughout my past. And that is just magic.

Today’s recipe was given to me by my best friend Melissa’s Mom, Karen. My best friend and her family lived a block down the street from us. And we would walk to and from each others houses starting in 7th grade and beyond. And even now, when I come home, Melissa and I still walk the same blocks together as if time has never passed. Karen was famous for her sugar cookie recipe, that I have since used on my children an infinite amount of times. At Christmas, St.Patricks Day, Easter and well, on those just because days. They are incredibly delicious. Enjoy

Sugar Cookie and Frosting Recipe

By: Ms. Karen

1 Cup of Butter

1 Cup of Oil

1 Cup of White Sugar

1 Cup of Powdered Sugar

1 Tsp Vanilla

2 Eggs

1 Tsp of Baking Soda

4 Cups of Flour

1 Tsp Cream of Tartar

1 tsp Salt

Thoroughly Cream Oil, Butter, and Sugars. Add eggs. Mix in all dry ingredients and stir well. Mix in Vanilla. Chill dough. Roll 1 tsp of dough in a ball roll in sugar or roll out on floured surgace and do cookie cutters. Bake for 12 min in 350 Degree Oven.


1/3 Cup soft Butter or Margarine

3 Cups Powdered Sugar

1 ½ Tsp of Vanilla

2 Tbsp of Milk

Blend Butter and Sugar. Stir in Vanilla and milk. Beat until frosting is smooth and spreading consistency.

I’ve lately been obsessed with the show 1883. Tim McGraw has blown me away by his story telling and for that I have paired one of his songs with this recipe. The story that we are all the same. We are all community. We are all love. Humble and Kind is the song. After reading about this song, I discovered Tim McGraw is not a song writer! He creates with the beautiful artists in Nashville, which I find absolutely fabulous. So I will give credit to Lori McKenna, Lori too is a musician and she wrote the lyrics. Lori, thank you for this beautifully written song!

It’s the simple things that make us light up. The pure glow of another human giving their light that gives us a little more pep in our step. A hug, a phone call, a text message, a pan of lasagna after you give birth to a new baby, flowers just because, or baking a few sugar cookies to the lonely lady next door. These little things are small gestures that can move to even bigger moments of love to one another. I often think of those small town folks that I still remember that did all those things for me growing up…. And taught me to be "Humble and Kind." Karen, Melissa, Julie and Mark, Kay, Lori, Tim, Lorna, Marjorie, Ruth, John, Abby and Cory, Hoot and Hazel. And so many more in our little midwest community... Thank you for the love you surrounded me with and for teaching me to create that same community around me where ever I go.

As Tim McGraw says it

“Don't take for granted the love this life gives you When you get where you're going don't forget turn back around And help the next one in line Always stay humble and kind”

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