Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas is Coming

The first week of December I went to Family Dollar and bought everything I needed for Christmas baking.  I baked and baked and baked.  Ed helped me; he loves sampling! (Lara preferred to listen to the cooks on tv instead.)

Czech checkerboard cookie dough

Drop butter-butterscotch chip cookies

Ed helping out
 There is Nutella fudge and cheesecake (I used crushed gingersnap cookies instead of graham crackers for the crust); double chocolate chip cookies; plain and raisin/craisin oatmeal cookies; drop butter cookies with butterscotch chips; orange, almond, lemon, and chocolate shortbread; raspberry/black currant, apricot, and cream cheese kolackys (see my kolacky recipe on the right hand side of this blog); gingerbread; Czech checkerboard cookies; and a plate of Alton Brown's truffle recipe.  The freezer was duly stuffed. Yum.

Wouldn't you know it, when I got home from taking my ham radio exam I went to the freezer to get me a piece of shortbread to celebrate my passing the exam with and found every last piece of shortbread in that freezer gone! And the empty bags were left in the freezer with their crumbs.  I couldn't believe it! The gnome who lives in the chicken coop must have gotten hungry and sneaked into the house while I was gone . . . . The oatmeal cookies and kolackys are about done for, too. 

Good thing dark pfeffernuesse takes a week to make. (I use the recipe in the Meta Givens Cooking Encyclopedia -- best cookbooks EVER!)  I finished it on Sunday afternoon and dutifully put it in the freezer.  And I always leave the Christmas morning cinnamon sticky buns till last to bake.

Here's a picture of the gingerbread house I built this year with Ed.  The store manager at Family Dollar where I bought the candies for decorating the house wants a picture of it to send to corporate.

As I am in "food mode", I decided to try making some preserved lemons from the wonderful Nourished Kitchen web site.  I found a neat old Atlas canning jar and was able to put 8 pounds of lemons in it.  I can't wait to try them.  The kitchen smelled so good while I was tamping them down in the jar.

Preparing lemons to preserve in salt

Fermenting lemons in antique Atlas canning jar
Our family has always been big on gathering around the table for occasions of all kinds.  Food is a great medium for communing with people.  One of the things I've noticed this year is that most of the gifts I bought for people this year was food of some kind.  Maybe subconsciously I'm equating food with comfort.  There are so many people all over the world who desperately need comfort in these awful times.  As you take care of your family this Christmas season, please also remember others less fortunate than you both in your words and in your deeds.  

1 comment:

  1. The gingerbread house looks like any child's delight and the lemons look intriguing.

    Hoping you are having a very merry Christmas!