Sunday, December 20, 2009

Baking and Christmas Cards

Yesterday was a winner.  We baked sugar cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, and peanut butter cookies.  George really enjoyed the baking but wore out too soon.  Today the plan is to make "Boiled Cookies".  These cookies go by a variety of names but all are yummy.  They have oatmeal, chocolate, coconut, and peanut butter in them.  No baking to it.  You heat the butter, milk, and sugar and then add the remaining ingredients and put them on wax paper to dry.  What is Christmas without gingerbread?  Not the cookie, the bread.  I love the smell of gingerbread baking.  After that I want to pull out the breadmaker and make several loaves of bread.  Again, nothing like the smell of fresh bread.  If we still have time, I'll make some kind of muffins or maybe cupcakes.  Finally, we plan on writing and sending our Christmas cards.  That should do me for another year.

The breadmaker is a dream machine.  You pop in the ingredients and voila!  A few hours later you have bread.  The only problem that I've found with it is that if you don't use it regularly, the first loaf turns out odd, either too hard or too something.  Then you figure out what you did wrong and the next one is fine.  I guess to be a good cook, like anything else, you have to do it all of the time.  Not me.  I cook in spurts.

It's cold this morning, in the mid-30's.  I'm looking at the garden and wondering if the tomatoes are frozen.  With all of the rain that we've had recently the cherry tomatoes became larger than normal, to the point that they are literally cracking open with moisture.  But they are only in the orange stage and haven't turned red.  I may go ahead and pick them anyway.  I picked the tomatoes and peppers a few weeks ago when the temperature was going to be low one evening.  What do you know?  The tomatoes and peppers have continued to grow and we have new tomatoes and peppers. 

The winter vegetables are doing fine.  There are some weeds in there, but I'm not worried about that.  I can see the lettuce from my kitchen window, romaine lettuce.  We have carrots, lettuce, spinach, onions, garlic, and broccoli.  The parsley is still beautiful.  I think I also planted cabbage.  Oh yes, and the chard is doing fine.  I probably need to put the chard and ornamental peppers in the ground.  They are presently in pots on the deck. 

We must learn to cook out of our garden more than we have in the past.  Again, I'm sporatic because I don't cook that much and George doesn't think to pick things out of the garden.  I am looking forward to spring when we can begin harvesting the asparagus.

The camelias are blooming and bring color to the yard.  George picked a beautiful pink camelia for me yesterday.  We also have the red camelias.  The petunias and pansys are staples for winter and are doing fine.  There is a beautiful yellow daisy, alone, on one side of the yard.  I must remember to plant more daisys.

Neither George nor I "need" anything but we "need" presents under the tree.  We ended up telling each other what we want for Christmas and both of us sat at our computers and ordered it.  We know what we are getting but at least we have something under the tree.  It's a financially tight year due to starting the business and having no other income.  So, we set a limit to the Christmas spending.  It's stupid to just throw money away picking out gifts that no one will use.  The best gift that I will receive is my granddaughter spending Christmas Day with us.  I suppose I've reached that point in my life where the valuable gifts are not under the tree.  Which reminds me that I must get the other gifts in the mail with the Christmas cards, today.

Morning coffee time is over.  I need to get up and get going.

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