I’ve got a crockpot full of granola going on the countertop, and the smell of oats and almonds and cinnamon is delicious. Almost as good as the smell of baking cookies and better for me since I control how much fat and sweetener there is.
After the fiasco of the last time I cooked oatmeal (first I scorched a pot so badly I had to throw it out, then my microwave died on the second try) I’ll cheat and just pour hot milk into the granola for breakfast. It’s something I got hooked on in Greece.
It all started in the shower this morning. I have a new shampoo that is peppermint scented and my soap is vanilla scented, and by the time I got out I felt that I had been baking Christmas cookies, not taking a shower.
But it’s far too early to bake Christmas cookies, even to freeze. And even the Rum balls don’t need to be made until Thanksgiving. But then I thought about my great-grandmother’s fruitcake recipe. I’ve never made it since it require a lot of preparation – no candied fruit here, you use dried fruit and let it soak in an appropriately alcoholic solution.
So I went looking for the recipe.
As I read through it I remembered why I’ve never made it. Like so many recipes in this little notebook, my mom only wrote the ingredients. Not much about the preparation. It also calls for almost 5lbs of dried fruit, and I know it it going to make A LOT of fruitcake.
I’m going to have to do a little research on this. I think it’s a good thing I started early.
As I was cleaning out some cookbooks to go out on BookMooch I found a recipe for Coffee Cordial.
It’s on a distinctly yellowed paper and copied in purple mimeograph, though there are no indicators other than that to the age.
I had thought I might try it, but I’m trying to figure out one ingredient. It calls for:
“one quart of Vodka $6.30 quality.”
Something tells me that if I could even find a quart at that price, that it wouldn’t be what the recipe really called for. So, my research friends, where do I find historical prices of alcohol? I’m going to guess early-mid 1970s.
I really do think the baking is my favorite part of the holiday season. And this is the weekend for the baking.
I’m up and awake fairly early. I have a repair person coming to look at my ‘fridge so I have to be decently together. Usually I am a morning person, but after two nights in a row (and a third tonight) of going to the theater, the mornings are getting more difficult.
So now it’s time for the pantry check –
1) what do I have,
2) what can I make with what I have and
3) what am I going to have to go get.
I’ve got a tentative baking list, but that will change based on what I find in the cupboards. And I forgot that I need a new jellyroll pan, mine was so battered I gave up and threw it out a few weeks ago.
And I have to finish up the wrapping that is spread out on the kitchen counter before I have that surface to work on.
I think this is my favorite weekend of the year. I can’t wait to put on my iPod and get started.
I can’t decide what kinds of Christmas cookies to make.
Of course there are the traditional ones – sugar cut-outs, ginger cookes, cinnamon sleds, rum balls and the soft jumbles. Then there are the new favorites like the snickerdoodles, the chocolate crinkles and the toffee crunch.
Then there are the candies, the fudge and the penuche.
But then there are the new cookies – Mexican hot chocolate cookies, and carrot/cranberry cooke. And I’m still in search of a really soft, chewy sugar cookie…..
I can’t make all of them. I need many more people willing to take them off my hands to make that many. Oh the decisions.