Riding the Storm Out
Posted by wendiwendy
Well, okay…I’m being sarcastic with the title. There is no storm to ride out. The snowstorm I was promised by Mother Nature never materialized, so I did my Christmas cookie baking and watched the rain drizzle out of the sky all day long.
Dave promises I’ll wake up to snow tomorrow: “It says here there’s 100% chance of snow tonight! I definitely think we’ll get snow.” And he’s probably right – I can see that the temperature is dropping now that the sun has gone down. So that’s cool, and I’m glad we’ll probably get enough snow to actually coat the (still green) grass. But man, I was hoping to watch the snow, to feel all cocooned and safe in my house while I baked Christmas cookies for my family and watched the pretty snow fall. It’s no fun when it’s dark and it all happens when you’re sleeping. It’s like thunderstorms – most of the time we get them in the middle of the night, and even if I do happen to wake up and get to see a little bit of lightning, I still can’t hear anything because I don’t sleep with my CIs on.
But the cookies got made, and that’s a good thing. I think I’m gonna stop for a while; we’ve reached the point where we can’t possibly eat all these cookies, especially not if I keep making them, but at least we have a good variety to choose from and I have enough to give away as well. When I was a young bride (first time around), I was so excited to get to make cookies…in my own kitchen! Any kind I want! For as long as I want! I would bake and bake and start to get kind of crabby because my back was starting to hurt and it wasn’t really as fun as I wanted it to be but dammit, I was going to make these cookies!
Then the kids came along, Eric first, and I had visions of baking cookies with them, letting them decorate sugar cookies and all that. Turns out my kids like to eat cookies, but helping to make them is really boring. Even now, Paige doesn’t jump at the chance to make cookies with me, although she will if I ask for her help. After a few definitely not-fun sessions when they were little, I gave up on trying to make them enjoy this activity that only seems to be fun for me.
So now I know my limits – gone are the days of making massive batches of cookies for 5 or 6 hours because I know I get tired and crabby, and that defeats the purpose of what should be a fun, festive activity. I make a single batch of two, maybe three different kinds of cookies and I stop. If we run out of cookies or I need them to give away, I make more. I have a good time while I do it, the house smells great, the family comes through and happily grabs cookies off the rack as they cool … sometimes I even have Christmas music playing. It’s all good, it’s not stressful, everybody wins.
I tried my hand at biscotti today, because I was feeling nostalgic. My (Italian) dad always loved biscotti and I can remember him dipping biscotti into his cup of coffee. I remember my mom and one of my aunts making it around Christmas. As a kid, I would get excited because oftentimes the biscotti would have a white glaze with those round red, green and white candies scattered over the top. They looked so pretty! But they weren’t a super kid-friendly kind of dessert…not quite sweet enough for me, and so crunchy.
The recipe I made today seems a lot sweeter than I remember them being – I’m not sure if it’s because my palate has matured, or this is just a sweeter recipe than my mom and aunt used. In any case, I love them and didn’t even glaze them because I think it would make them too sweet. I cut the dough in half and did one half vanilla, one half with anise seeds (the way I remember them). I was pretty apprehensive about making them but I’m so glad I did.
I’m signing off to look wistfully out the window for snow…