Howdy. I hope you’ve had/are having/will have a very pleasant Christmas Eve (depending on which time zone you’re in). We’ve had rather a busy day. Not shopping, mind you. The last of our presents have been lying wrapped under the tree since two weeks ago – a new record for the wife and I, but then we usually begin our Christmas shopping around March each year. No, today and yesterday was spent baking.
When I was little my mom used to bake up a storm when summer vacation (which for us is in December) came along. Plastic containers filled to the brim with cookies would accompany us wherever we went on holiday and the contents would be fiercely rationed, on the one hand to ensure they lasted the whole vacation, on the other to ensure my sister and I won’t make ourselves sick.
As an adult I’ve turned my hand to baking cookies a couple of times with great success. Unfortunately the oven in our apartment is currently on the fritz. It’s still okay for making grilled cheese on toast or the occasional lemon meringue, but not so much for baking. So, when it was decided we’ll be spending Christmas at my mom’s this year it was also decided that there will be cookies via the exploitation of her oven.
Consequently the past two days were a blizzard of flower, sugar, syrup, eggs and more plant and bovine based fat than I’d care to mention. There were cake rollers, and cookie cutters, and meat grinders (which are also used for certain types of cookies (not containing meat)), and never-ending heat.
Naturally, yours truly did most of the work, though the wife and the mother did help…a little 😉
This was the first batch. We call them soetkoekies (sweet cookies), but I don’t know their English name. Perhaps one of you know what they’re called? Besides flour, eggs, sugar and margarine, they get cinnamon, cloves and cooking fat. We made twenty cups of flour’s worth. If you don’t know about baking, that’s a lot.
They were followed by some ginger biscuits.
Next up were coffee cookies. They were rolled out with the help of the meat grinder which was quite a chore to clean afterwards due to the large amount of syrup in the dough.
And the last batch was custard cookies, also with the help of the meat grinder which I can now disassemble, clean and reassemble in my sleep.
The work was not done yet, as the coffee and custard cookies get iced…
But finally we were done.
Impressive, isn’t it? Half is the mother’s, but I reckon it should hold us into at least the first week of 2014.
In a few minutes we’ll be heading for the tree to exchange gifts (on my side of the family we’ve always done it on Christmas Eve, on the wife’s, Christmas Day) and that’s how I spent Christmas Eve. How did you spend yours?