It snowed in Kamloops on Tuesday this week. I have been listening to Christmas music, baking cookies, and have recently bought some Christmas things for Bunny since the beginning of November. However, the snow has officially rung ushered in the Christmas season for me. I’m all about seasonal traditions, even though I don’t have many. I have to make a certain type of cookie each year and it is not a simple task. They are called “peppernuts” and generously speaking, they take about 10 hours to make and that does not include preparation. That is the cookie making. I’m serious.
First you start with the dough. Don’t take too much at once, otherwise you will get frusturated! It’s better to start with a little bit and rejoice when you’re finished. Then you can look how much dough you have left and cry a little before taking another small chunk. You have to roll out the dough into small, long snakes. This can take a bit of time because although the dough is quite soft, it does break easily.
You have to cut the snakes into tiny pieces. The size is actually very important because if you make them too small, they burn too fast, but if they are too big, they are too doughy inside. They have to be just the right size. After years and years of cutting these tiny cookies, my mom, sister and I have become quite adept at this job. In actuality, we take turns – usually two of us will cut, and one will man the oven.
Then you place all the cookies on the pan one by one, or in my case, four by four. I try and grab two in each hand. I would say that putting the peppernuts on the pan is what takes the longest. This takes FOREVER! But every pan looks a little different. My mom’s pans are usually very geometric – her rows never look crooked. Me? I’ve learned since doing this by myself that however I can get the tray full the fastest is the best route to take. My pans are a mish-mesh of cookies.
When you’re done (the cookies have to go in the oven for 4 minutes) you get these cute little cookies. They are what my mom’s friend Mary would call “More-ish” They’re like pringles – once you pop, you just can’t stop! They are SOOOO good …..
As far as traditions go, I also love putting up the tree and enjoying the lights in the evening, and turning them on first thing in the morning while it’s still dark. In our house, the tree has to be up by my birthday (early December); my family always had it up early when I was little and I like to do the same thing now that I’m older. Going out driving to look at lights is just as fun. Especially when I have a hot chocolate in hand. We actually did that last night and there are some lights up already! So beautiful. The Christmas Eve church service is something I look forward to all December; Jesus’ birth never loses its specialness for me, in fact, every year I find something about the story that I haven’t thought about before. Being near family is fun and special. And now that we have Bunny, I get to start thinking about more kid-friendly traditions. Any of you out there have traditions you would like to share? Any for kids? I’m curious what different people do. Something I would like to begin is the Jesse Tree. Josee over at Thorns to the Stars introduced it to me and I think it’s such a neat idea.
You might be saying, Cindy, this is a painting blog, wink wink. Yes I know, and I have been painting! Unfortunately, I just finished a present and it would be cruel to post the picture here first and ruin the surprise. So, you’ll all get to see it in about a week. (It depends on whether or not I get it mailed right away!) Happy Thursday everyone!