Here we come a-carolling

When we were young, my brother and I took drama lessons for several years in downtown Hamilton. The studio was located in an old, rickety building whose original construction predated Confederation. It had gone through  at least a couple of renovations since then, but that all happened long before I came along. To me, the building with its glacier-slow elevator and funny smells seemed, to borrow a phrase, “as old as the hills and twice as dusty.”

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The Great Christmas Bake-Off Part 2

In following to my previous post about holiday baking, I figured I’d post an update on the Swedish cakes recipe. It’s one I inherited from my late mother-in-law, one she collected from an old friend. The recipe card notes that it’s GOOD. And she was right. The recipe turned out very well, though it’s low yield: I had enough to make 2 dozen, which is a smaller quantity than I’m used to for a cookie recipe. The recipe is called thimble cookies or thumbprint cookies because you make a dent in the cookie dough to hold jam or jelly. I used seedless raspberry jam. And you can roll them in sugar or walnuts. I tried each kind, but didn’t do as many in walnuts because not everyone in the family is a fan.

The result does look like eyeballs from Aardman Animation if you put them in pairs. So they’d be good for Hallowe’en parties. A note, though, they also don’t travel exceptionally well, particularly if they get turned on their side….you may end up with jam all over.

But in the end, it was a relaxing project, and not too much work  which was exactly what I wanted. Mission accomplished!

 

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The Great Christmas Bake-off

There’s a new article in the Atlantic about whether baking can reduce stress and anxiety. Now, I’ve been baking since I was a child, and I can vouch that it entirely depends on the complexity and your comfort with the recipe. A batch of cookies and a cheesecake do not compare. Guess which I’ve made more often?

I’m a huge fan of baking shows like the Great British Bake-off (and its Canadian spinoff). I find them very soothing. One, because the contestants and hosts are all genuinely nice to each other. Two, because it’s amazing to see the contestants attempt to make the most complicated recipes I’ve ever seen. And three, it shows how long things actually take to bake. None of this soufflé in 20 minutes nonsense.

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