Oh, my. These past few days have been a flurry of dinner party-noshing, birthday party merry-making, cookie-baking, gift-packaging and baby-chasing. We’re finally starting to wind down, looking forward to a quiet, slow solstice walk in our forest tomorrow (if the rain stays away) and then a hearty Christmas dinner with friends and family on Sunday.
We’re doing things on a small scale, holiday-wise, around here. That’s typically the route I take during the holidays. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with buying ipads and Kindles and chocolate diamonds, if that’s what the season is about for you. For Hubs and I, though, it’s about drawing inwards, to cook, to bake, to sip, and to savor the quiet days and nights of winter. It’s about feeling so very thankful for the life we have been given, the almost staggering love we feel for each other and for Huxley, and for the phenomenal community of friends and family we get to share this journey with.
We packed up several boxes for loved ones today, all of which included a smattering of homemade items from our kitchen, gardens, and creatures we share the cove with. Hubs titled the honey-colored tan cubes above “Mishaps,” as they were born out of a recipe for honey fudge gone awry. We discovered long ago that some of our best creations occur when we set about fixing a project that failed in its execution. In the case of the “Mishaps,” the fudge was too thin and set in a strange way. To mend that issue, Hubs had the genius idea to sandwich peanut butter between two layers of fudge squares. The result is as good as it sounds-sweet, salty, toothsome. Delicious.
I wanted to share photos of some stollen I made last week. I pine for stollen all year, longing for it come Christmastime just like I clamor for pumpkin ale in autumn and drum my fingers waiting for the wineberries to ripen in summer. This year, I was determined to make my own loaf. First, I candied some orange peel, then baked it into the stollen the next day, using the recipe from this book. It’s been pure heaven nibbling on a warm slice served alongside hot cardamom coffee this past week. I might just have to make another batch before the month is over. The recipe called for a mere 1/4 cup, so I had a good bit of candied peel left. Those strips were given the chocolate treatment, with a hearty dunk into melted chocolate for gift-giving.
My sweet tooth has been more than placated these past few weeks. From the cookie exchange onward, we’ve been sugarin’ it up around here. Which suits me just fine. A bit of decadence every now and again only serves to make the sour times in life that much more manageable!
What about you? Got a sweet story to share? I’d love to know what sugary bliss you’ve been busy with, too!
*This will be mine.
*Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go visit Melanie here?
*This article on the “new domesticity” is captivating.
*Jen’s biscotti are perfect for making and sharing.
*I love when animals and man make peace with each other.
*I couldn’t agree any stronger with this article (homemade is better!).
*Great homemade gift ideas from the fine folks at Saveur.
*Lavender hot chocolate (via Anthology)!!!
*Stunning photography, styling, and recipes (and it’s all grain- & sugar-free, for those on such diets finding themselves in need of a bit of inspiration).
A few posts back, I mentioned that I was sporting fashionable yet chilly fingerless alpaca gloves. Ever the sweet soul, Cat over at Neo-Homesteading tipped off her buddy John of DR Power about my glove plight. A stranger to me, John, in an act of extreme generosity, then shipped me a complementary pair of Elkskin gloves from his company, DR Power Equipment. Made by a small company in Oregon, the gloves are super soft, yet durable. They’re also perfect for outdoor cold weather tasks, as the gloves are lined inside with Thinsulate.
Teeming with wild and wacky sourdough cultures, Suzie’s Sourdough Circus tells in rhyming prose the life and times of these cultures. The book concludes with several recipes, including: Six Tips for Happy Sourdough, Suzie’s Sourdough Bread, Sourdough Flapjacks, Sourdough Bannock (sort of like a pancake), and Chocolate-Vanilla Marble Sourdough Cake.