It's a lazy sunday. J and I went out last night dancing and had a blast, and now he has to work all day shooting a video. I have the lazy day to fill and am feeling the need to bake christmas things. After the all important french roast coffee with cream and cinnamon sugar toast I've dug out my recipes, and have my mum's red metal recipe box and I'm hunting up old and new favourites. I want to make...everything...vanilla shortbread fingers (perhaps half dipped in white chocolate...), peppered gingersnaps, peanut butter surprise cookes, maybe some snickerdoodles or vannilakipfl.  I want to try making jammy dodgers for the first time too. I found a recipe for them, so I'm quite curious. The last few years I've sent a whack of baking out to my sister's (she has 4 foster kids so baking lasts 2 seconds there!) but Dad isn't heading out this year, so I'm not sure who will end up with these, but I need to make them.

It's odd...I'm not one for actually eating the baking (altho I will have a few). For me, I love the whole process. A true holiday tradition for me is the baking of the goodies. Mum and I would spend lazy time baking up things and decorating. It's a favourite memory of all holidays past - time with mum in the kitchen. At first I'd watch and learn, and later we'd make things together. As I spent time in restaurants and bakeries we'd trade secrets, and she and I would make our own specialities. And this time of year, perhaps while doing this, is the time when I am both happiest, and miss my mum the most. The first year after she died it was a memorial...a way of honouring her memory in my own way. Thanksgiving was hard...I cooked the big meal for everyone on my own and all I could feel was the absence of her. But it has changed with I remember the taste tests and the stirring and comments. My mum wasn't one for conversation, but when we did things like this together we really connected. I think it is why, even now, when I want to relax nothing is better for it than making artisan breads or baking. I never did become a chef like I thought about...and part of that was to preserve the joy I get from the whole process. the oven will be on, the mixer will be mixing and my mum will be very much on my mind...


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