I’m taking a break from the second round of baking to rest up my knee. My knee gets sore. It happens. I break up what I’m doing and rest it so I can do more. It works pretty well for me and I can do almost as much as ever for getting holiday ready. Yes, I’m sore by the end of a few batches of cookies or washing the dishes and vacuuming needs to be done one room at a time, but I do okay and the soreness goes away while I’m resting and taking in the accomplishment, be it a tray of brownies or a sparkling dining room. That’s my optimist’s approach to the holidays.
I also have a wonderful man who put this roof over my head while I’m educating myself to start a new career and vacuums before he leaves for work when it’s crunch time before a party! David is awesome. I tell him that but I don’t know if I shout it from the rooftops as often as I should. I overheard him bragging about my baking to a friend on the phone and it made me feel so good. I guess I hadn’t even thought about it but he even describes my cookies and knows the Davinities names I give them. I guess that’s true with a lot of relationships. You find out just how awesome your significant other thinks you are when you hear what they say about you to their friends. If I’m so great, we’re a very lucky pair because we have mutual greatness! It’s always good for a relationship when each partner believes they are the one who got lucky. That’s when they’re both right!
Okay, let me tell you about the photo. First off, cats are supposed to sleep 17 hours a day. That’s what the average cat does. Carla is SO not average! I was talking to her earlier when she was looking out in the direction of the entrance to the dining room like she was expecting Kaline to come in and growl at her because she was jello-catting all over me. Jello Cat is what I call her when I pick her up. It’s like she just lets her muscles stop and trusts you not to drop her. It’s like trying to hold Jello. Jello-catting is when she does that and kinda slithers all over you. I promised her that Kaline and Baggle were asleep somewhere because cats need the sleep and why was she always awake? She played a little more while I was switching brownie pans in the kitchen and came back for another cuddle. Then she sprawled in between my laptop and external keyboard and NOW she’s sleeping. She’s just enough on the keyboard that if I take the base of my hands off it, it rises up just a touch.
Peace is coming to the world of cats here. Kaline and Carla still scuffle a little, but I think there’s more play than hostility in it now. Last night Kaline was trotting through a room Carla was in and hissed lightly without looking at her as if to say, “Busy Sis, but I’ll come hiss at you later.” It’s not quiet and soothing yet, but Kaline is calming down and beginning to come back to normal. The other night, David went down for a middle-of-the-night juice and found Kaline on the couch on the way back upstairs. He brought her up and put her on my hip where she stayed for a while, even after Carla came back to the room. They can even sit inches apart and both purr now. Baggle seems pleased with all of this, but he still wants the number of treats they were all getting when no one got along!
I just took the second batch of brownies out of the oven. Two more brownies and Mr. Goodcookies to go for the first part of the day. We went to Connecticut last weekend for Christmas with the East part of the family and Davinities Brownie Madness was very well accepted. When I first met David’s family it was for Christmas and I asked David how many homes we’d visit so I could bring Davinities for the family. When it was said, in between “mmms!’ that I obviously had lots of time on my hands, I said it was my holiday labor of love and was told not to stop! I haven’t and I always look forward to bringing Davinities with me when we go to David’s “home for the holidays.”
We left New York City early on Tuesday morning, hoping to avoid rush hour. We kinda did. It was still crowded on the city streets, but it’s ALWAYS crowded on the streets in New York! Fortunately, once we got to the freeway, everyone was headed into the city and we were headed out. Looking at the parking lot on the other side of the median, I was glad we weren't headed in! After a few grocery stops to search for scrapple and my elusive panetonne without candied oranges, we headed fairly straight home. The weather was not train weather. We did find the scrapple in Pennsylvania, a different brand than we usually get but it was very good when we had it for breakfast Wednesday morning.
I found my big box of Baci in the former Harmon Deli, but while I found panetonne in a few places, I couldn’t find it with just raisins. I found a small Pandoro, which is panetone with no fruit in it at all. I had that for breakfast this morning, but my Dad is getting me the large one from his Italian store so I have my annual fix of Italian breakfast bread! Now, when I got Dad that prosciutto end from my Italian store, where they don’t charge full price for ends, all I asked him for was some of the minestrone he was making and a date to learn how to make it with him the next time I bought him an end, but I’m getting the panetone as a trade for that and still getting the minestrone – bonus! I don’t really need to do a minestrone cooking day with him. I watched Noni make it and learned how the same way he did, but we have a great time when we cook together and it makes for a good excuse for Nani-Popsie time!
---break for frosting brownies. Please enjoy this photo of my fireplace!
Isn’t my fireplace great? Rite Aid for $3.99 and the computer or TV becomes a fireplace with crackling fire sounds or classical or Christmas music with the natural fireplace sounds. I used to have a Holiday Yule Log VHS tape that got lost in the move, but the only VHS deck I have is hooked up to my transfer suite upstairs. I found that the little $250 piece of equipment is the reason my video business lasted almost a year at all! Transferring VHS to DVD was a popular service. Now it’s a contract that I take once in a while.
I have all the brownies baked now, 2 of them frosted and decorated. I won’t have the Mr. Goodcookies done by the time David gets home, but I’ll get then done tonight after we put up the tree and finish the cards. It’s been a hectic and kinda stressful end of the year and we’re a bit behind on things, but if we get the tree and cards done and I get the cookies finished tonight, we’ll be back on schedule! YAY!
Tomorrow is UNO and The Fabulous Dessert Bar! I have a grocery list for the sodas, chips and a veggie tray for tomorrow morning. Then there is getting the sweets trays done and if time permits, I’ll do a crostada. The big traditional thing with the Crostadas is the relatives gathering on Christmas Eve. I usually give one to Pop and Aunt Judy and one to Dave and his family. I bring a hostess gift for my cousin too and this year, since my Aunt and Uncle and cousin and his family from San Marino will be here. I think I might bring an extra crostada to add to the desserts since all three of Noni’s kids will be together for Christmas and my crostada is my best effort to duplicate Noni’s. Those things and gift wrapping are Monday-Tuesday things next week, so I might feel tired, but I’m pretty close to on schedule. Wednesday will be the groceries for Christmas dinner for David and me. My back is sore but my heart feels good!
Okay, now I have time to scrap a page before David gets home while my back and knee rest!