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Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Morning After

It was raining this morning, so maybe that had something to do with it, but, oh was I sore! I was wondering if maybe I’d overdone it a bit yesterday, but right now I’m feeling pretty good. So maybe it was more the rain than anything this morning. My hands are still a little clumbsy though. You should see what this looked like before I typo and spell checked it! In looking ahead to a straight week of baking coming up before Christmas, I think I’ll slow down a little and stretch it out. I can do the Krisp Kringles and frosted cookies a little earlier because they keep well.

This is from the Davinities Test Kitchen. I am SO pleased! They are almond sugar cookies with sprinkled almond buttercream. The distinction here is that it’s not cream made with almond butter, but butter cream splashed with almond milk. That’s a note to me because I didn’t write it down yet. The almond sugar cookies are a new Davinities recipe and I might add them to this year’s lineup; that’s how pleased I am with my new recipe!

Every now and then, a recipe just sounds so good that you have to buy that one ingredient you’ve never used, even though it comes in a larger bag and the recipe only calls for a cup. That was me with Marie’s recipe for the French Macarons. Also, just the cookie part without the French cream filling is very low in Weight Watchers points! But that left me with a large bag of almond flour left, so almonds have been on my cooking creative brain lately. The macarons were very good, but I’ll probably make them again after I can afford a standing mixer! In this recipe, the almond sugar cookie dough is made into small balls, rolled in almond flour and placed on parchment to be flattened lightly with the bottom of a glass. Now I just need to let the frosting set and I can package a sample up this evening to add to the boxes.

That’s the formal tree in my contemporary living room that I mentioned yesterday. The little coffee bar was to the left, next to the desk. Oh, I was wrong about the burgundy dress on the angel. I have a gold-haired light-up angel ornament with a burgundy dress. The gold angel on top is the one on top of our tree at home now. This was in 2001 or 02. There wasn’t a date on the photo and I don’t really have time to do an album search to get the year, but it was after I fell in love with a lace ornament with pink and light blue ribbon, so I got 6 light blue glass balls to make it work!

While I’m showing off that tree, let’s visit the other extreme.

This photo is Dave and me in the finished basement of our home in Southgate Michigan, in 1973. We’re making Christmas ornaments! Mom did a craft with us at Christmastime every year. In 1973, when Dave was six and I was seven, Mom made homemade uncolored play dough, rolled it out and used Christmas cookie cutters on it. Then she baked them with ornament hooks in them. They came out hard and once they cooled, we went to town with the paint! Mom painted with us and did a camel with a fringed blanket on it and eyes and everything. It was gorgeous and it frustrated me almost beyond what my 7-year-old ego could stand! I tried, I really tried, to paint my ornaments in beautiful detail like Mom’s camel. She’d done a pretty angel and some balls, but the camel is what will always stick out in my mind as a skill I couldn’t quite accomplish. Never mind that Mom painted ceramics as a hobby and I was 7 years old at the time. I just wanted my ornaments to look as nice as that darned camel.

It is a great memory. I know now that my Mom was just very talented with paint! I can’t paint that well now, either. A generation later, I did a Christmas craft every year with Tori and Rina when they were little. We made felt and sequin ornaments, glitter drawing on satin balls and we even did play dough ornaments one year. There were stars and bells and circles, but, there were NO CAMELS! We used to put the name and date of the artist on the back, so if the ornaments survived, we’d know when each craft was done. I was almost in tears in 2008. The girls got me an ornament for Christmas, a glass baseball with my name on the front. They made sure I looked on the back. They had the year put on the back, “because we always dated the special ones.”

And now it’s time to clean up the kitchen, put together my grocery list and wrap up the last of the packages for the mail tomorrow.


A Vintage Green said...

Cookies look so tasty. Its crispy cold in my area today and the sun is so bright and the shadows so sharp, about 3 degrees Celsius. Almost put the lights up outside but waited too long and it got too cold. Maybe tomorrow. I do the short person putting up lights - along the railings and draped over.

Edna B said...

Those cookies look so yummy!! What a beautiful Christmas memory. However, Nani you are very very good at things your Mom could not do. We all have our talents. You're story telling is exceptional. It's one of your gifts. Why not write a little story about a little Christmas camel. Voila! There's your beautiful camel! Have a great night. Hugs, Edna B.