Now, who’s been naughty and who’s been nice?

Whoo, Lawd. Treat baskets are done, three of them delivered, two more getting picked up tonight, and a few extra small food gifts on hand for for whoever may show up.

Now, I’ve got to contemplate the logistics of cooking Christmas dinner while finishing housecleaning, tomorrow.

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Baking memories

December 18, 2018

Margaret’s Hebrew cookies. Also known as butter pecan cookies, or pecan meltaways

There are a lot of things I love about making Christmas treat gifts. I love the way it makes the house smell. I love the sense of accomplishment of seeing a big tray or basket of holiday goodies all festively packaged. I love the pleasure the recipients seem to get from them.

And I love the things they make me remember. 

This year, there are some new things in the repertoire (I try to add new things every year, though that means some old favorites will have to drop out). Some don’t remind me of anyone, but are just recipes I thought I wanted to try. But one addition to the lexicon has had me smiling at happy memories all afternoon.

When I make the chocolate oatmeal stove-top cookies, I think of Mama, who made those for me a lot. When I make the pralines, I think of Mrs. Eunice Cole, the former county clerk, who made them for the county potluck one year, and gave me the recipe. When I make the fudge, I think of the years when my kids were little and I first learned to make this, and how I had to make two batches of peanut butter fudge because that was their favorite and they didn’t want me to give it away.

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Ack! It’s here!

December 16, 2018

And all my Christmas stuff is not, yet, but I’m counting on UPS, USPS and FedEx to pull me through. A quick dash out for stocking stuffers, and I’ll be good to go (crossing all fingers and toes).

Of more concern, at this moment, is Christmas dinner, which is actually two days BEFORE Christmas, on Sunday.  And treatmaking that needs to be finished. I think I will declare all next week “kitchen week,” with the exception of Monday, when I have to go to Sikeston, Mo., a 2 1/2 hour drive, for a meeting.

I’m about to get a menu hammered out.  Roast beef, ham and turkey for sliders on homemade rolls. Cranberry salad. Potato salad. Mac and cheese. Marinated broccoli and cauliflower and carrots.  A fruit salad. Cheeses and assorted crackers and crostini. Deviled eggs. Pickle-y things. And just to make it festive, some caviar. I have a jar squirreled away in the pantry. Dessert is either a pecan pie cheesecake or banana pudding.

Treats are a different animal. I need to make two more applesauce cakes. I need to make more chocolate oatmeal cookies and some macaroons, and I’ll also make a couple of other kinds — maybe Italian horn cookies, probably pecan meltaways. Maybe some oatmeal cookies with candied fruit in them, as I have some of that I won’t use in the applesauce cakes.  A couple of loaves of banana bread, being that I have bananas going south.

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Not making these, but I thought the pic was cute.

It’s that time. It’s time to contemplate Christmas treatmaking. More to the point, it’s time to go shopping for the goodies with which to make the Christmas treats. And then package them up, arrange them in nice little boxes or baskets, and get them ready to give out in the next 10 days.

Gulp. Ten days. That’s…not long. Thank God I’ve got most of my other shopping done.

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