This weekend, I decided to do a cookie bake and share with our friends and neighbors. It's such an easy gift for people we know, but we don't really know well enough to know what they want for Cmas. Everybody wants a Christmas cookie! Well, almost everybody.
I baked oatmeal cookies and lace cookies and spritz cookies and frosted sugar cookies, and yesterday, the weirdest batch of fudge ever that got hard and grainy in the pan while it was cooling and I had to re-melt it to pour it.
More than 22 dozen cookies in total. Rob brought me a sandwich for lunch and by 1:30, the oven was off and the first round of dishes were washed. Then, came the frosting. I took over the dining table.
Rob took a candid shot of me, focused on that piping bag. I'm getting pretty good at it and I learned a lot about frosting and frosting consistency and piping bag tips. I did the outlining in a thick frosting that held it's shape and then filled in with a thin frosting that spread out and filled the shapes.
And, I frosted cookies all afternoon and well into the evening while we watched a movie, and then started again early yesterday morning and by 10 a.m. the frosting bags and food coloring were put away and the dishes had been washed...for the thirty thrill-ianth time and I was able to get around to some other chores.
I bought some green plastic leftover type containers at the store and packed about 3.5 dozen cookies in each one and while I made dinner last night, Rob distributed them to the neighbors.
This kind of Cmas cookie baking was not my family tradition. We didn't do a lot of frosting and after frosting all those cookies, I can see why. (but I'll do it again!) Our holiday baking was things like the oatmeal cookies and cookie bars and candies that didn't need frosting...but if you think about it, a batch of divinity takes as much time as frosting cookies does. I'd like to get a group together to set up multiple stations and bake cookies, where everyone brings their ingredients, we get together and do the baking, then everyone takes home a dozen of each kind of cookie. That would be fun!
In a sudden change of direction, I was sad to see the Camelia blooms are fading. Usually this is blooming up a storm at Christmas, but I lost so much of it last year in that hard freeze and got a lot fewer blooms this year. They were beautiful, tho!
Sydney's Cmas cactus is going like gangbusters. I wouldn't have chosen this pink, but she did and when she moved, she left it here. The squirrels got in it one year and ate all the roots and I had to start over with cuttings. This is the first really good year since. There are several pots of these in the greenhouse, including one that's almost purple. I hope to bring in those smaller pots to put around the house on the big day.
Even Bella is getting into the Cmas parade. Who could resist that cute face??
This is for all of us grown-ups. I've got some kids I work with that I might actually share this with.
Everybody have a great week! I'm busy buying last minute gifts for people I forgot about earlier. Because there's nothing like trying to pick up leftovers after 350,000,000 people have shopped on Amazon. Today, I get my booster jab. Tomorrow is going to be iffy, but I know I'll be recovered by Christmas. And, if I'm not, they can bring my gifts to my bed with a helper to open them.
Be well. Love your loved ones. Celebrate the holidays in whatever way you enjoy and remember that you don't have to do it that way just because you've always done it that way. Make some new memories instead of trying to re-create the old ones. And, most important, find a room with a good lock on the door and sit yourself down in it and take a breath. The holidays are a marathon, not a sprint. Run too fast and you'll fall down.
Lane, Rob and Sydney