The last two weeks were… I do not even know how to describe them, “Lots of work” is not enough, and I can’t go into the details. It was a lot, and I had to manage all my previous obligations and the book schedule. The current chapter, which is due tomorrow, was indeed not as difficult as the previous two. It helped that we decided to move the last section of the previous chapter to the current one, so it was less writing after all, but still., writing is writing.
As usual, my usual stress-relieving activity is baking. I bookmarked this recipe a while ago. I love apple desserts, and this one sounded very promising. I made only one substitution. Since I do not like coconut, I substituted in with a cap of thinly sliced almonds, which I crushed to make them almost dissolvable.
On Saturday, it was dark, and raining, and windy for the whole day. This recipe is easy to make, but it takes a long time to bake, and then to let it sit, absorbing the sauce. The recipe calls for 1.5 hours baking, but it took almost 2 hours for me. That being said, it was a perfect activity for a bad weather autumn day. I was doing my writing, occasionally getting up and checking on the cake in the oven.
It came out great! Gave some to mom, some to my neighbor – they loved it! The only thing I would change – next time, I will put a little bit less sugar in the batter, and possibly less sauce. I think half of the sauce would do. So – a little bit less of fats and sugars. But just a little bit 🙂 🙂 🙂
I made quiche a couple of times in course of the past two weeks following that recipe. I love quiche, but I always thought that to make it right is a long and complex process. Besides, since I live alone, I was not sure what I was going to do with this huge thing.
It turned out, that humans can make quiche:), and that a large quiche tastes way better than a small one; and also, a slice of a large quiche can be frozen as well as a small one. And it is alway a good idea to share 🙂
… that Saturday was a Pi Day! I remembered late in the evening, and I also remembered that I bought some plums for the Plum Pie! But nevertheless, both pies were baked on 3.14, and I gave some to my neighbors and Mom the next day 🙂
…which is why I made a baked cheesecake for myself Saturday night. I wholeheartedly recommend this recipe – like many other recipes from my Finnish friends that one is easy to make and tastes delicious!
Last Tuesday, we had a cookie decorating night in the Open Door Shelter. I brought in some cookies which we left undecorated on Sunday (when we ran out of decorating ideas), and also some dough to cut and bake.
That was the third time I organized the cookie decorating in ODS, and it was the best time ever. The youth got so engaged – the staff decided not to pull them out for other activities. Everybody did phenomenally. Some kids were saying they are not good with arts, but I replied with my usual “this is not a test.” At some point, the staff joined us in the kitchen, and I asked – would you like to cut the cookies? And they did and also decorated some.
I am inserting several pictures with their work in progress and the finished cookies. I was amazed both by their creativity and delivery:) I told them they are invited to my house next Christmas to help me decorate 🙂
This is an official name of this recipe from Betty Crocker, and the recipe is indeed mind-blowing in terms of how much chocolate you need! Each time when I am preparing to make a double, I am surprised yet another time :).
Since we live in Grandfather Google times and can always ask him, I will spare you from yet another copy of the same recipe. Instead, I will post a couple of pictures my friend Lena made in process of the cookies creation.
My Christmas is made of a million small things, which can be hardly called traditions – they are too tiny for the word. In any case, I am doing every year, for every Christmas, and which make me feel that the holidays are approaching.
I buy my tree from the same farmers for something like 17 or 18 years. They know me, I know them. We ask each other, “how are you,” and we mean it:). We were chatting with the owner’s daughter-in-law about how busy we are and how Thanksgiving was late this year, and everything is so compressed… and she said: I know I won’t have time to do everything and I am trying to concentrate on important things. Tomorrow I need to drive to pick up my daughter from the airport, and this is important. I know I won’t have the Christmas tree put up on time, but that’s OK! I can’t even describe how it felt to hear from a person from the Christmas Tree farm such kind of complaint!
Today, I was shipping the first several boxes of cookies, the ones which will travel the longest distance. Because of the train delays, I ended up going to the post office not after work, but before. I was first in line, and a post office clerk was not yet exhausted by demanding customers. So we chatted a little bit. She told me that I only needed to fill in one form per package, not two, and that I can do it online. Then came the usual conversation: yes, I want the most expensive option, yes, I know how much it costs, I do it every year. – -So — cookies?
One the third box she asked:
-So…these cookies… Did you buy them or did you make them?
-I make them! Every year. And no worries – I know how to pack them so that they won’t break!
Baking was my priority last Saturday, along with twenty other priorities. There were several recipes I wanted to try, besides, my quarterly over cleaning was on my calendar, and I wanted to make sure I bake before that. Well, the latter one is just an excuse :).