Name | Hometown | Currently Reside In?
Sara Parker | McDuffie County | Athens, GA
Is your work influenced by season or changing weather?
I am always looking to see what’s blooming or setting seed in my garden. Some of my work – such as my monthly fabric prints or the paintings I make for my digital desktop calendars – is immediately seasonal, while most of my pattern designs reflect a broader perspective on nature.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten in the mail?
When I was little, my mom set me up with my own checking account and I would mail-order ballet skirts because I wanted to be a ballerina. I remember how fun it was to fill out the order form and mark the appropriate tick boxes. It was always exciting receiving those packages.
What is your favorite holiday tradition (new or old)?
Hanging out on the couch after a day of printing and watching old movies with Simon: Powell and Pressburger masterpieces, holiday fun like The Muppet Christmas Carol, the calm beauty of Ozu, or Buster Keaton’s shocking stunts.
How do you find comfort?
I like to go for a walk around my neighborhood in the early morning. Then when I get home I water our plants and see what needs tending to in the yard, while Maisie, our rescue kitty, keeps me company. I love starting my day like this.
Do you have a favorite fall/winter/holiday memory?
Feeling mesmerized walking through the first snowfall on Thanksgiving Day when Simon and I lived in Chicago. It was a light dusting that just barely collected on the golden leaves.
What is your go-to holiday dish?
These dark chocolate ginger cookies are easy to make and so yummy.
*recipe from Rachael Ray!
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup candied ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate over medium heat, stirring until smooth; let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees ; line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk the eggs into the butter mixture, then stir into the dry ingredients until incorporated; stir in the ginger and chocolate chips. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a wide bowl. Shape half of the dough into 1-inch balls, then coat with the confectioners’ sugar. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake, switching and rotating the pans after about 10 minutes, until the cookies puff and crack, 14 to 17 minutes total. Let cool for a minute before transferring to racks to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.