You may have noticed a dearth of posts over the last few weeks. I’ve been in a ridiculously focused writing phase: translation, I found it almost impossible to force myself to write anything that wasn’t directly related to the projects at hand.

These writing phases generally hit about 3/4 way through a manuscript and completely disorder my life for a while. They don’t always yield enormous results in terms of word count; in fact, considering the amount of time I’ve spent at the computer, the stack of printed pages has grown…not as much as I would like. But there’s something else going on…some sort of mental sifting and reorganization, like a creative housecleaning effort that’s going on almost at a subconscious level.

Anyway, I’m emerging from it and back to a semi-normal existence, which includes ditching writing on selected occasions in favor of messy time-consuming projects with kids. As proof, I offer the following photo-account of yesterdays’s Kaleidoscope Cookie baking extravaganza.

Start with a sugar cookie dough; we use an old favorite recipe but any fairly sturdy sugar cookie dough will do.

Divide the dough into four sections. Color each section with food coloring.

Roll out each ball of dough into a “snake.”

Stack the four dough “snakes” together, two on bottom and two on top.

Gently twist the log.

Spread colored sugar in even lines across a plate.

Slice the rolled dough log into cookies about 1/4 inch thick. Roll the edges of each cookie across the sugar lines.

Bake and admire. And, of course, eat.

Showing 12 comments
  • Ellen

    Ditching writing for baking sounds good to me! We did the same thing this week, only we made peanut butter cookies.

  • Dawn Hudson

    Haven’t ever made those – what a beautiful spring cookie. We tried to make hard candy from scratch with 20 kids for Valentines Day. It was a bad idea.

    I think we’ll try these next, hopefully with more success.

  • Edward E. Price

    I have just completed the history of the Medeval World and am wondering if this is the proper platform to ask when the next book on history will be completed and will be on the market?

    I have enjoyed both volumes, tremendously.

  • Susan

    It absolutely is. 🙂 I am working on the third volume now; it is scheduled to be completed this year, so should be out sometime next year–but I have no hard dates yet. Stay tuned for updates…


  • Edward Morris Jr

    I have enjoyed what I have read in The Well Educated Mind so far. My wife and I are considering adopting older children – not an infant and was wondering if you would recommend a book on child development. Thank you so much for your time.

  • Bev

    What a great idea and one I’m sure my daughter will love to do!

    So awesome to read that the third volume is in the works. I appreciate all your work and we enjoy your curriculum and methods from the WTM.

  • Shelli

    Your daughter is adorable and her cookies look amazing! I am a sucker for sugar, sugar, and more sugar :-). On a different note, I am finishing FLL Level 4 this year (my children are 7 and 8). I can’t imagine doing a different grammar program, as I think yours is THE BEST. Nevertheless, to my knowledge there isn’t a FLL Level 5. I would be so very grateful for any advice you could give me. We are on WWE Level 3, so we’ll continue with Level 4 next year. Thanks!! Oh, one last thing- my 7 year old shot the moon in hearts two nights ago. Talk about getting schooled!

  • Melissa in Australia

    fantastic, my daughter (11) was just looking for cookie ideas. she is trying to get the cooking aggregate at the local agricultural fair, and needed 3 distinct cookies for that section.
    she will definitely be using this one

  • Jim M. Gau

    Dear Ms. Wise:
    I have recently purchased two of your volumes, “History of the Ancient World” and “History of the Medieval World”, and find their contents to be well-researched, most informative, and a must for any arm-chair historian’s bookshelf. Your ambition and scholarship are to be absolutely commended in the highest regard! I believe you had mentioned possibly two more books in this series, and was wondering if you had any titles or release dates on the periods they will comprise? Please email me (or post on this blog, if you will be so kind) and let me know if you have any information available in this regard. Keep up the good work; it is wonderful there are still those like you who can appreciate the value of a good history lesson!
    Sincerly yours,
    Jim M. Gau
    Hancock, MI

  • Susan

    Jim, how kind of you to say so. I am working on the third volume in the series now; if I finish it this year (on schedule, that is) it will be out out in 2012. I won’t have a date until the publisher schedules it, but I will certainly keep you posted.

  • Brenda Cavazos

    Dear Susan,

    My son LOVES History. As Christmas gifts over the years he has received The Story of the World on CD and devours them in days. I have noticed that you now have The History of the World as well. Are there any plans on having it on CD as well?

    Thank you,

  • Julie

    That’s great! Easy, yet the results are so yummy!

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