December moves SOOOO fast

It’s now December 17th and I’m still making Christmas presents. Several left to make, nothing is wrapped, packages have to be mailed out of state. Everything I ordered online has arrived, so there’s that.

Of course I can’t show you any of what I’m making because it would ruin the surprises. So instead you’re getting a variety of other things, many Christmas related but not gift- or making-related.

There are 3 wonderful teenagers in my neighborhood. We have actual conversations when they’re hanging out in the street after the school bus drops them off; I love it! A few weeks ago one of them asked if I had any allergies as she wanted to bring me a plate of Christmas cookies she and her mom were baking. HOW SWEET IS THAT?! So I decided I’d bake cookies myself this year, too. Here they are in order of being baked. First up, cappucino cookies. My process was mix the dough on one day, leave it in the fridge overnight to cool, and bake them the next day. Repeat the process with a new batch each day.

Then I made chocolate crinkles. I’m not happy with how they turned out and will not use this particular recipe again.

The third batch was my sister’s recipe for gingerbread cookies. I particularly like her recipe because it has a lot of freshly grated orange rind in it – so YUM! Some got a little browner than ideal, but none are burnt.

I am not a fan of frosting on either cakes or cookies, so went very minimalist with my decorations.

Then I made a new-to-me recipe for cream cheese cookies. I wish they’d stayed a bit rounder, not flattened out so much, but they taste good.

Next up are two things I bake every year, even when they’re all I make. First is my grandmother’s recipe for date-nut bread. It just wouldn’t be the same for me without these mini loaves.

And finally, pizzelles. I think that my pizzelle maker used to belong to my mother-in-law, although I can’t be positive of that. Anyway that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. This is a very old-fashioned pizzelle maker. It is not electric. If I didn’t have a gas stove I don’t know if it would work. Here’s the process: send everyone in the family away. Turn off the Christmas music so you won’t sing along with it. Mix up the dough, then turn on the gas burner to preheat the pizzelle iron. Once it’s at the appropriate temperature, grease it lightly with cooking spray or an oiled pastry brush and put in a tablespoon or so of batter. Now start counting the seconds. When you think it’s enough, flip the iron over and start counting again. Do this every single time for every single cookie you make, one cookie at at time. That’s why there can be no distractions. My husband liked pizzelles that were very blond; I prefer them with a bit of color to them.

I carefully froze everything as I went so that I didn’t eat it all. 😮

Also Christmasy – this year I managed to pay enough attention to score some free tickets to TubaChristmas. I’ve wanted to go for a few years, but the tickets were always all gone by the time I heard about it. This year I looked into it in November and put an alert on my phone for the day the tickets became available. This is the 40th annual TubaChristmas in Rochester, and this year there were 125 tubas in various sizes on stage in one of the halls of the Eastman theater, so great acoustics. I went with a friend and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

I’ve decorated wreaths with all natural decorations for many years now – maybe as much as 20 years. I took last year off as I just couldn’t get up any enthusiasm for it. This year I was back at it, and made a wreath for my front door. I really got into the gold spray paint this year: milkweed pods and the pods from Green Lantern or Paper Lantern trees that grow in a nearby park.

…and for my son’s. He’s a hunter so when I saw that Buffalo plaid ribbon I knew that was for his wreath.

New topic, not Christmas related. Some time ago I was gifted a few rolls of fabric, the kind that you can get at a fabric store that is used to make quilts, I think. It sat around for months and I decided I’d try to make some rag-style placemats for my kitchen table with it. I poked around online to get some idea about warp sett, how wide the fabric should be, etc. I used a few different techniques, and am quite pleased with the outcome. And I like how they add a pop of cheery color to my kitchen. And they coordinate with that paper dahlia I’d made. 🙂

Now I MUST get back to my making of Christmas presents. Time’s a-wasting!

3 comments to December moves SOOOO fast

  • Judy

    Yes, she always did find a way to make our Christmas exciting and fun even on a zero budget.

  • Judy

    Love all your “Christmassing”! Such joy all of it brings! Your gold spray paint detail on your wreath makes me think of all the gold and silver paints Mom used in making our Christmas decorations and ornaments all those years ago.

    • Peg Cherre

      I remember Mom painting spiral macaroni and old flash bulbs as ornaments. What she did to make our Christmases bright on a zero budget – pretty amazing, right?!

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