Update from Yesterday

Watch this oil painting “Clover” come to life in under 1 minute (time lapse)

I painted these clover after I found them growing wild through the cracks in the patio, here in Georgia (USA). It reminded me of shamrocks. We saw a lot of wild clover/shamrocks while living in Ireland.

Yesterday’s blog post “LOL, Irishness” was about my experience making a type of Irish shortbread that is baked in a pan for about two hours. I promised an update, so here it is: AMAZING! Oh my! I love these little cookies so very much! But I’d really describe them more as a dessert that goes well with coffee or tea, even for breakfast, rather than what Americans think of as a cookie.

Irish shortbread with an Irish coffee
Irish shortbread pieces in the pan
The texture is a bit dry, yet moist inside- truly delicious
Close up of the shortbread. That bit at the top is melted powdered sugar. I shouldn’t have added the powdered sugar until it was done, but I didn’t know it was still raw until after I put the sugar on. So, I put it back into the oven after the finishing sugar was added, which made an extra texture on the top, but that was a happy accident and very nice!

You can find this recipe called “Irish Shortbread” by Anissa Wolf at Food.com. If you try it, you may find that you have to bake it for even longer than the suggested time. It was gooey and obviously not done, and easy to tell it had firmed up enough to cut it when it was baked longer. It was suggested to cut the slim bars into 20 pieces while the shortbread is still hot. I used a heat resistant silicon spatula/scraper (the kind you can use to scrape batter in a bowl, or because it’s heat resistant also multi-purpose while cooking) to cut it with and that worked very well.

I was skeptical about such slim pieces lasting long in our house, but the shortbread is quite rich and satisfying to have just the one serving. So, I froze most of it into separate bags since it looks like this dessert is best fresh or fresh-from-frozen. I enjoyed a piece of shortbread this morning for breakfast. And knowing the rest of the batch is in the freezer, I’m happy we’ll have this again soon.

If you want to give this a try, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I’ve had a good day today, with a family member who is celebrating a birthday. I hope you had a good day too. Have a happy weekend!


LOL, Irishness

Watch this powdered sugar peach cookies oil painting come to life in 1 minute (time lapse)

Today I tried a new recipe (not the peach cookies in my painting video). These also had powdered sugar on them, but I screwed that part up. This is a recipe I found for Irish shortbread and true to Irish form, it was a bit unusual. This is probably the least efficient way I’ve ever seen cookies made! It took over two hours of baking time, and since I expected them to be done sooner, I added the finishing touch of a “dusting” of powdered sugar to them too soon. I put it on, and realized that the cookies were still raw. So I popped them back in the oven. Now they look like they have some sort of streusel topping because the powdered sugar was baked in.

I’m greatly amused by this experiment that used only 4 ingredients, one of them being an entire cup of butter! Well, I’ll let you know how these turned out. They are almost cool enough to try after many hours of anticipation. Have a wonderful evening, everyone! Tomorrow is a family birthday celebration but I’ll still turn up for a brief blog post. God bless you and keep you, this day and always.


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“Peach Cookies”

Watch Natalie paint this art, and all 50 oil paintings in this collection (menu below)

“When the company my husband worked for moved to Canada, we were faced with an involuntary career change. What would he do? Well, that story would take a long time to tell, so I’ll move quickly to the part where we landed in Savannah, Georgia, where he took pre-pharmacy classes at Georgia Southern University. It took two years to catch up on prerequisites he didn’t have, and meanwhile he was attending college with our kids.

But, after he finished, he was- with great relief- easily accepted into pharmacy school at South University, also here in Savannah. Shortly after he was accepted, he received a small gift box in the mail from South. It was a welcome treat of Byrd’s famous peach cookies, a Savannah cookie company established in 1924.

He shared the cookies with our family, and I was enchanted by the tiny powdered sugar covered treats. So, for my birthday, he gave me a gift tin of Byrd’s cookies. I painted what was left of them, after I’d already eaten quite a few!

I was checking just now to make sure I got the 1924 date right, and I saw that Byrd Cookie Company has new treats and gift items. They have a website, but since I live here, we can make time to pop into their store. My husband went there without me to shop for my birthday, so I’ve not been there yet. On my list!”

Peach Cookies oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

List of Oil Paintings in this Collection, linking to their pages here on the site, and also citing physical pages in the hardcover book:

  1. City of Savannah
    1.1 “City of Savannah” page 6-7
    1.2 “Natalie at the Fountain” page 8-11
    1.3 “House in Savannah” page 12-13
    1.4 “Guardian Lion” page 14-15
    1.5 “Autumn Angel” page 16-17
    1.6 “Steamship Savannah” page 18-19
    1.7 “Boiled Peanuts for Sale” page 20-21
    1.8 “Bulldog” page 22-23
    1.9 “Serenity Piano” page 24-25
    1.10 “Painting Colors” page 26-27
  2. Tybee Island
    2.1 “I Love Life” page 30-31
    2.2 “Living Sand Dollar” page 32-33
    2.3 “Matthew the Sea Turtle” page 34-35
    2.4 “Fungie the Dolphin” page36-37
    2.5 “Angel Releasing Dove” page 38-39
    2.6 “Flag on Tybee Island” page 40-41
    2.7 “My Kids at the Beach” page 42-43
    2.8 “Lighthouse near Tybee Island” page 44-45
  3. Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians
    3.1 “Gator and Snake” page 48-49
    3.2 “Tree Frog” page 50-51
    3.3 “Lizard” page 52-53
    3.4 “Blue Heron” page 54-55
    3.5 “Hummingbird” page 56-57
    3.6 “Painted Bunting” page 58-59
  4. Flowers and Trees
    4.1 “Pink Flower” page 62-63
    4.2 “Porch Flowers” page 64-65
    4.3 “Clover” page 66-67
    4.4 “Butterfly Tree Flowers” page 68-69
    4.5 “Savannah Tree” page 70-71
    4.6 “Dancer in a Floral Forest” page 72-73
    4.7 “Come to the Garden” page 74-77
    4.8 “Cherokee Rose” page 78-79
  5. Faith and Food
    5.1 “Floral Cross” page 82-83
    5.2 “Lenten Flower” page 84-85
    5.3 “Celtic Cross” page 86-87
    5.4 “Mary of God’s Favor” page 88-89
    5.5 “Lion and the Lamb” page 90-91
    5.6 “Breakfast with Friends” page 92-93
    5.7 “Peaches in a Bowl” page 94-95
    5.8 “Peach Cookies” page 96-97
    5.9 “Peach Pie” page 98-99
  6. Seasons and Weather
    6.1 “Pumpkins and Mums” page 102-103
    6.2 “Autumn Cottage” page 104-105
    6.3 “Spring Lambs” page 106-107
    6.4 “Peach Tree Hurricane” page 108-109
    6.5 “Eye of the Storm” page 110-111
    6.6 “God’s Promise” page 112-113
    6.7 “We Gather Together” page 114-115
    6.8 “Savannah Snow” page 116-117
    6.9 “I Believe in Santa” page 118-119