Monday, November 22, 2010

christmas cookies #1

For deena's wedding, we'll be farming out most of the food duties to people. A couple of people make some pots of soup, a couple of people each bring a batch of cookies, etc.
I'll be making the cakes, carrot soup, and some sort of spice cookies. Deena wanted Speculatius, which are crisp store-bought spicy cookies shaped like windmills. we can't find any here that aren't chocolate covered, or have almonds in them, or that just plain don't taste right. So, I'll be trying to find some sort of gingerbread-cookie type thing that will fill the gap. I know there are plenty of speculatius recipes out there, but I'd rather not pretend that I'm going for the real thing. I'm just going to look for something full of spices, and soft and molassesy, and then use these lovely cookie cutters that Mark's mother bought me. Maybe a little bit of white icing piped on in cute designs
I'm going to try a few recipes out before the big day, just to make sure I end up with the perfect taste. First up: Ginger Cookies, from Kirsten's Cookbook.

I probably haven't cracked open this book since 1997, and I know I only made these cookies once, because my parents had to import molasses from Egypt, and brown sugar was a thing of dreams. I'm kind of excited.

You'll notice the emblem on the back of the book that shows that this was published back when the  American Girls were owned by a lovely little company called "Pleasant Company", started by a lady named Pleasant T. Rowling. There were only 4 dolls when I first got mine: Felicity, Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly, while Addy, and then Josephine were added a year or two later. They cost 82 dollars. A few years later it was sold to Mattel, and they changed the brand to the American Girl Company. I've never been sure how I feel about that.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Ornaments

A few years ago when I was home for Christmas, I was helping my mother pack up the ornaments, and she was letting me pick some ornaments to take with me, and I found that one of my favorite ornaments was really coming apart. It was made of a detergent scoop that had a bit of fake snow and a glitter lake glued on the bottom, as well as some pipe-cleaner trees. A tiny wooden skater and snowman  enjoyed the space quite comfortably, but detergent scoops aren't meant to last twenty years, so I took the poor skater and snowman home with me to wait a new detergent scoop.

Well, it turns out American detergent is liquid, so I just tied a thread around each while I waited for something better. Well, they have lovely little paper-mache ornaments at Paper Source, for a dollar fifty, so I've picked one up, and by Christmas they should have a  lovely new lake to skate on.

We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Good Idea # 37

My mom started a few basil plants this summer in her garden, and when I went to visit a few weeks ago, they had become giant bushes, and since there was a danger of frost that night, I took home a huge container of leaves.
I've already got lots of pesto made up in my ice-cube trays, but I didn't have room for more, so I reused my jelly jars. They're lined with sandwich baggies, so that once they freeze, I can take the jars back, and use the jars again for other things. It is important that they are jelly jars, because they have the wide mouths, otherwise you won't be able to remove the pesto easily.