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Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Bats and Monday Quiz

Good Monday morning! This is sort of “limbo-week” for me. Thanksgiving was the earliest in November that is can be this year which technically gives us an extra week before Christmas for decorating, shopping and wrapping/shipping. But my brain is just not wrapping around that. I keep thinking it should be December already and I find myself fretting about the things I’m not done with and “I have to start baking this week!” No I don’t; the early baking starts next week!

I have some smaller baking pans coming in for my gift boxes I want to do some small loaves and, because I’m a total glutton for punishment, some small crostadas. I’ll be making the Davinities standards; Krisp Kringles, Mr. Goodcookies and Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut as well as 3 other selections. I loved the gingerbread last year and I truly hope I have perfected the gingerbread recipe. If that’s true, Ginger Bats and Bells may become a regular Davinity.

Some of you might remember my Ginger Bats from last year.

Ginger Bat 2011

Sometimes I worry that my sense of propriety may seem a little warped, but like so much in my world at Christmastime, there is a memory that goes with my Christmas Bat. When I was a producer at Omnicom Cable in Michigan, I got a rubber bat at Halloween. It was less than a dollar and in my humble opinion a WAY better Halloween decoration than a spider. People always tell me “But spiders eat mosquitoes, they’re good.” Well, bats eat mosquitoes too and they’re bigger so the eat more of them. Plus they’re cute.

My rubber bat hung just above the double doors that lead to the outer hall, the doors we used when we loaded equipment for remote production. So, everyone saw my bat during the Halloween season as he bounced above the door with a candy corn pumpkin in his mouth. I was usually off Thanksgiving week as it was between regular high school sports seasons and nobody attended the public access classes during the holiday season anyway, so I went to Grandma’s house early and spent the week there. But when I got back, I put some simple decorations in my office and put a Hershey’s kiss in holiday foil in Batty’s mouth. (He had a bonnet for Easter too) So, my bat dressed up for Christmas is close to 20 years old and very natural to me. Besides, the bat cookie cutter makes a generous sized cookie!

I want to try a new Celebration Generation recipe this year too, but Marie’s recipes make a lot of cookies! So I hope to make a half batch. That only works if I can find someplace to buy half-pound bags of pecans and candied fruit. Also making a recipe that calls for abundant candied fruit and nuts is not an inexpensive one to make. I used to order and have shipped to me this particular cookie and I loved them, but bow that I’m really thinking the cost of the ingredients I realize how completely reasonable Marie’s prices were. Of course when she baked professionally she had the discount of much bigger bulk than me, but still, WOW.

If anyone knows of an online site that sells nuts and candied fruit in half-pound bags, please let me know!

And now, Happy Monday means we join Heather at Acting Balanced and Wayne at Touristic for this week’s Monday Quiz About Me!

1. Do you decorate outdoors for the holidays?

David has put some lights in the bushes in front of our picture window on occasion, but as a rule our house isn’t a huge one and the big tree in the living room is plenty to make the house warm with the holiday spirit. I also add a holiday table cloth in the dining room and when you add the displayed Christmas cards we receive, it’s pretty festive. The neighbor across the street fancies up his front yard and the view out the picture window with our tree in the foreground is beautiful. I hope his view with the glow from our tree is nice too, but it’s also why I really like it when David has time to do the lights in the bushes. That’s not about our view, but what we can do to return the view from across the street.

2. What is the best thing about office Christmas parties?

The office parties I’ve been to over the years usually have great food, especially the ones where the big boss comes into town and takes your department out.  I’ve tried many a restaurant I could never afford via the big boss taking the department out for a holiday lunch!

3. Gloves or Mittens?

As a Michigan-born gal, I should automatically be drawn to mittens, no? Mittens do keep your fingers toastier and are great if you don’t need you fingers for anything. Last year I got David and Laura both texting gloves. The tops of the mittens flip back so you can use your fingers, originally designed for texting or otherwise using the phone, but in David’s case more for taking pictures in the cod. When you don’t need your fingers available, they flip back to be warm mittens again; GENIUS! Tori has them on her Christmas list this year and well, I wouldn’t kick them out of my stocking either!

4. What do you think of Secret Santas?

Well, I AM a Secret Santa for the second year! Honestly, getting to know fellow bloggers through swaps like the Secret Santa Soiree is so much fun! Reading about them in their own words and picking out the right gifts get me bubbling with joy.

Having said that, I’m not nuts about work-sponsored Secret Santas. I was at a larger company that did Secret Santas and I chose not to participate I was plenty festive enough, everyone was welcome to come to my desk to visit me holiday candy jar, but gathering information about coworkers you don’t know so well during the workday is disruptive.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

5. What is the best holiday candy?

My holiday candy incudes favorites of others who are gone but not forgotten. The hard candy filled peanuts for Papa, the Snickers bites for Grandma and the Ghirardelli mint and dark chocolate squares are for John. The Torroncini for Noni and the Baci are my favorite Italian candy, but there’re in honor of Noni always making sure there was one of the Italian chocolates for everyone after Christmas dinner. So, I make sure all of those are in our candy baskets. But the one treat that is my absolute favorite and only available during the holidays are the Lindor Snowman Truffles that are milk chocolate on the outside with white truffle filling. They are THE BEST holiday candy. Give me a Baci, Milk and White Lindor Truffle and bring back the Pecan Pie Ghirardelli squares and it’s holiday candy heaven for me!


retired not tired said...

U used to love maraschino cherries however I have grown up to like Ferro Rocher.

Sammie said...

I so need to get some of those mitten/gloves!

I'm not sure about the best holiday candy but I look forward to those Christmas Tree mint Nougats. Fudgie Wudgie also makes a yummy peppermint bark I feel in love with three years back.

marvimarti.com said...

OMG I am hungry just reading this! YUM on the candies!!

Hard to say what I think is the best holiday candy. Maybe peppermint bark? YUM.

Shannon W. said...

All this candy talk has made me hungry! Maybe I should start my Christmas baking early this year.

Happy Monday!

Arlene said...

I like peppermint Hershey's kisses and candy canes.

Edna B said...

I love those mittens. I have a shorter pair that I wore all last winter, but now I can't find them. I couldn't go online to order them because I did not know what they were called, but now I do. Thank you. Tomorrow's project will be to find them and get me some new ones. So thank you for solving that mystery for me. You have a wonderful night, hugs, Edna B.

edshunnybunny said...

My favorite holiday candy is the home-made kind--divinity, fudge, and buckeyes.

Wayne W Smith said...

I am one of the few people I guess that likes Fruitcake. Thanks for joining up with the MQAM, hope to see you again next week.

Jennifer @ What Would Jen Do said...

texting gloves, how brilliants

my fave holiday treat is peppermint bark. i like it so much i learned how to make it for a fraction of the cost in the store.