Saturday, December 14, 2013

Rising to the Occasion of Yuletide Presents and Baking

Tonight, I pulled the two, go to, Bakers on my list for Cookies that express my feelings.  My two favorites are Martha Stewart and Joy the Baker.  And pistachios and chocolate are the things they have in common.  I love working with both of those in the holiday  baking efforts!

Planning ingredients and number of bags and tins that I will prepare, I stop to ponder some of the best gifts that I have received in holidays past.  Food for sure, there is someone who gives me homemade fig preserves every year and I love it.  But this is the "best column" that does not include gifts from children or husbands, not rings from grandmothers, or family heirlooms.

No, I mean gifts from friends or co workers that really strike a chord.

The presents that I use the most are sort of simple and so easy!  First, is an initialed  leather manicure kit that came from a mail order catalog that I normally would associate with old people ( I get to say that now!).  It is from a friend that I don't see anymore, but I think of her with every trip, when I pack the little kit. Thanks you Laura!

The next is an MP3 player with music on it.  I love that little orange thing.  And someone else taught me how to use Amazon music to download new tunes.  You have no idea how many different dancers I have been, Ginger Rogers, Christina Aguilar, Charo, Shakira or Patty Cantu.  The friend who gave me that, gave me so much happiness.  Floors have never been mopped with such enthusiasm or rhythm.  thank you Tami!
The last is the gift card.  True confessions, I give my gift cards to charity.  I am blessed with a job that gives us cards for the holidays, so I give the excess to charity in honor of someone else.  The Children's Lighthouse is just down the road from me.  I got this idea from a friend who gave me a gift from Heifer International.  How many times do you get to say someone gave you chickens in a flock for Christmas!

I know they are simple, but simple counts.  Especially, when needing a set of jumper cables, which is not something that you contemplate when it is an emergency.  And my brother is the jumper cable King.  He gave them to me and all of my children in a nice little bag for our cars.  And actually taught me how to use them as well. Gifts that keep on giving, I can tell you, I have loaned them more than used them. Thank you Charles Bawl!

Not knowing the people that I am baking for (my husband's co workers), I am forging ahead with my Martha Stewart and Joy the Baker recipes. Because I don't know this crowd well enough to know that they would like a monogrammed anything.

My thought is to try your best, keep it simple and then stand back and let the season happen. the  beauty of the holiday is that it passes and no one says, "oh no, it is not time for cookies".  

I have a correction to make.  While the yuletide spirit of recognition for Mike giving me the Heifer gift was indeed my memory, it is incorrect.  Mike gave me a local food bank gift.  I had the thought right, but the gift wrong.  So thank you Mike.  and Thank you Heifer.  I am still buying chickens for the people in Ecuador...  And you inspired that.

Update, I used the other gift that keeps giving tonight, the Christmas measuring spoons. Pistachio smoked salt dark chocolate cookies and of course those Chocolate Pistachio biscotti!

Update Two: those Christmas measuring spoons give again with the feta scones!