November 27, 2007 § 4 Comments
So. I’ve started Christmas cooking.
I try every year to be festive and joyous and really feel the season, but I often feel I get a rather late start. But not so this year! One of my sisters-in-law asked a few weeks ago whether I’d be able to do some candy for the parish Christmas fair, and since I’ve been trying to say yes more often, I said yes.
And you know, it’s kind of fun. I’m planning two kinds of fudge for tomorrow and Thursday so I know the nerve-wracking work (and probably second-degree burns) are ahead of me, but I already managed to produce a whole boatload of these pretzel-chocolate-caramel-pecan thingies I’m calling Nargles. (Can you follow the logic: turtles→Junebugs→December→mistletoe→Nargles? If so, we can be friends.)
Next up was almond bark, but since I was inventing this as I went along, and wasn’t really familiar with the properties of white chocolate (who knew it seized up at the barest addition of alcohol?), it became balls rather than bark. And in the grand tradition of great inventors, I slapped a better name on— in this case, truffles— and voila! They’re just what I was aiming for!
I’m hoping for a Christmas full of traditional treats: sugarplums, glogg, candied pineapple and peel, gingerbread, mulled wine, figgy pudding, mincemeat tarts and the like. It’s exactly the kind of cooking I love, rescuing commercially-produced clichés or nearly-extinct delicacies and recreating them in their original image. Maybe with a modern twist.
But that’s not all that will be handmade this year. I’m well into a shawl that I started knitting for my mother last year but had to frog; there’s a very obvious dropped stitch about 12 rows back, but it will have to wait. Also in the works (or at least the consideration stage): watercolors, wrist warmers, a couple of chutneys and maybe a hat. We shall see. I’d like to do a bunch of bath bombs from Not Martha, but since many of these gifts will be shipped, their fragility may dissuade me.
So far I haven’t dared break out any holiday tunes aside from a couple of Sufjan Stevens anti-Christmas songs, but I do believe that will be a fitting way to end NaBloPoMo.
Only three more days!