FARGO — Leave it to Tammy Swift to come up with ways to put a smile on your face even at the bleakest of times. When Tammy, a columnist at The Forum and communications specialist at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, asked me if I was interested in doing a story about a few ways to help your friends, neighbors and community during the COVID-19 crisis, I jumped at the opportunity.

Forum columnist Tammy Swift shares some simple ideas to put a smile on someone's face during the pandemic. Photo: Zoom video conferencing
Forum columnist Tammy Swift shares some simple ideas to put a smile on someone's face during the pandemic. Photo: Zoom video conferencing

Of course, doing an online video with Miss Tammy isn’t quite as fun as being together in person, trying out vintage recipes or concocting stay-at-home New Year’s food, but as my mother-in-law always said, “it is what it is.” So Tammy and I took to Zoom to bring you “5 ways to reach out and help others that might just put a smile on your face, too.”

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Using your 3-D printer to help fight COVID-19

Information on sewing masks

Margaret Swift’s Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:

Dough:

2 ¼ cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

⅔ cup butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

powdered sugar, for rolling cookies



Filling:

1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet or milk chocolate chocolate chips

2 TBSP butter

4 TBSP corn syrup

2 TBSP water

2 tsp vanilla

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. In separate bowl cream butter, then gradually add brown sugar, creaming well. As vanilla and egg. Beat well, then blend in flour mixture gradually. Chill one hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. With thumb (or small spoon) make indentation in each cookie. (You can also let the cookie bake for a couple of minutes and pull them out of the oven and make the indentation). Bake about 12-15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar.

While cookies are either baking or cooling, make the fudge filling by melting chocolate and butter in microwave or double boiler. Watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn. Stir in vanilla, corn syrup and water. Stir until smooth. Put chocolate mixture into cookie indentation.