Wow, a week since I posted last. The week prior to Christmas is a self-imposed baking frenzy. I grew up baking and decorating cookies with my family, so I naturally continued that tradition with my own children. Slowly, we added one or two cookie types to the mix, and of course cashew brittle and fudge. Then I started giving boxes of it away as gifts, first for one good friend, then added people. Mostly my friends the Bermans, and I always gave a plate to whomever had their kitchen ripped up at Christmas as a result of our designs. The past couple of years have not had any clients with demolished kitchens at Christmas, but have had people needing cookies for difficult times in their lives. So this year we baked up a storm. Sofia came home early to help, and we made lots:
- Cashew brittle
- Plain Fudge
- Fudge with macadamia nuts
- Decorated butter cookies
- Ginger molasses cookies
- Lemon meltaways
- Banana nut cream sandwich cookies
- Fruit filled thumbprint cookies
- Chocolate covered peanut butter rolls
- Double mint Chocolate cookies
And, as Sofia always likes adding a tradition, we started last year with 2 trees. One went up on the front porch at Thanksgiving, and the other in the living room for Christmas. The lights go on early, and the tree waits until both kids are home to decorate. College has meant only 3-4 days before Christmas lately.
It would not be Christmas without stockings stuffed to the gill at our house, this is my kids favorite part. My sister Diane shares the same affliction. I think that it is growing up in a house with 10 kids, and my mother overwhelmed just to make sure that all the presents for everyone were fair, that stockings were a gold coin and a couple of pieces of candy at the toe. To give her credit, she always made sure that we all had the same number of gifts, and that the same $ were spent on everyone (I saw one of her checklists one year to attest to this).
And what is Christmas without a few handknit items? For my husband, a looped scarf from wool that Jill and I got at a sheep farm in California that we visited, dyed with walnuts lining the proprietress’ driveway. He is always complaining of a cold neck when he is working on the computer. I had thought of some type of man-shawl, but did not think that he would really wear it. This is a continuous loop, knit in garter stitch, about 7′ around. I started with a provisional cast-on, and then wove the beginning and end together with Kirchner stitch to make a large loop, knit with size 6 needles. It is very warm.
And for my daughter, a second sock monkey (more photos of this finished and in progress tomorrow):
Sofia also got this quilt that I had pieced when she was a baby, and it sat unfinished here for years. I finally had it quilted this year, and I just finished sewing on the binding in time for Christmas:
Poor Ethan got no hand-made items this year. He is preparing to go to Japan for 6 months to work. I hear it is actually cold there, and you have to take your shoes off at every entrance. I think that I will make him a fine pair of knitted socks to take along.