Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

Christmas is how many days away?? December 16, 2013

Filed under: Baking,Family,Kids,Sewing — bonniep @ 10:34 pm

Well, I did get the first round of Christmas baking—the annual neighborhood goodie exchange plate—done this weekend. This is a terrible picture (thanks darkness!) but all but two of the plates have found a home so not sure I will get a better picture.


Chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting, peanut butter cups, sugar plum macarons, maple nutmeg sugar cookies (cut out to spell “joy” plus some other shapes for everyone), and chocolate coconut cheesecake squares (MSL). The lead up to the cookie plate is fairly lengthy—I pull out all my Christmas Cookie magazine special issues, troll blogs, look at cookbooks, etc. in an effort to make a plate that is balanced between colors, flavors, and looks. Recipes with high yields are my friends (OK, I made double batches of everything but the cheesecake squares) and something that I am interested in cooking helps. The kids were my assistants this year on the cutouts (er, they are terrible at making efficient use of the space!) and of course unwrapping and placing the peanut butter cups. I actually purchased a special Christmas apron to wear this year during the baking, and made about four extra grocery store trips in an effort to find plum jam (much rarer than you might think), Dutch processed cocoa (ditto) and a 9×9 baking pan (sadly, I had ordered the latter two from amazon but then had them delivered to the wrong house, along with a bunch of presents for the kids. grrr.) As the baking ramps up, I start to get a bit crazed (out of sour cream! plum jam not nearly as thick as expected! how do I only have 19 oz of powdered sugar!), and then attempting to store all the goodies and make up the plates leads to some tense moments. The wrapped plates do not look nearly as nice as the unwrapped plate, but with kids carrying the plates in the rain to deliver….ample plastic wrap it was. Sometimes I think maybe I have gone a bit overboard (…not all of the neighbors participate in the exchange, yet I make plates for all of them) but then the thanks start rolling in with descriptions of what different families liked best and it seems mostly worth it. So, until next year…

The next baking opportunity with be the first birthday party for this set of chubby cheeks attached to the cutest baby ever.


But before that, I need to do teacher gifts, some final shopping and mailing, Christmas cards (need photos first!) and enough wrapping that I can’t think about it right now. I may or may not sew some Christmas skirts for the girls (place your bets now!). G was supposed to be out of town this past weekend, but due to some medical issues with M he stayed home, allowing us to get the tree and house decorated and outdoor lights up. However, M’s issues have meant that she (and thus I) have been housebound for multiple days. Great for getting baking done, not so great for mental state. Hopefully she will be back to school tomorrow. But then who will squeeze the crud out of baby C?

At least the intense (for Seattle…) cold has left. Dry air plus carpeted house plus a baby that only scoots has the expected result…


There were some shocks hard enough to hurt! Worth it to see her in these pants I made though…


Baby C has been super fun lately—crawling every now and then, and will pull up to her knees (progress!), babbles quite a bit, and today when I asked if she wanted a hug she handed me the book Hug! Might have been a coincidence but I think she is pretty clever. Not a big fan of mittens though (another reason we are glad the cold is gone!) Well, I should probably be tackling that list from above….more later hopefully!


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