Cookies, Cards and Compost

This has been one of the weirdest weeks – ever. So after my mid-week meltdown, it didn’t seem to get better by very much. I simply have too much going on and being spread so thin is wearing me down. My spouse has also had a rough week and so he is feeling the need to sit like a potted plant in front of the TV. Needless to say, I have a lot to do and no help to do it. My lovely sister did come to town, so we spent Friday and Saturday trying to get some things done for Christmas. She is an angel!

I am working very hard to get all the homemade stuff done and out the door. I have a package that has to be sent to Korea, so that has to go no later than tomorrow. I have several goody boxes for the neighbors, which simply have to go now, because the food is ready. My spouse asked me to wait a couple of weeks before giving them out, but since he isn’t doing any of the cooking and I would have to start all over again, he can go suck a candy cane on that one! I am including a jar of my brandied pears, a jar of strawberry jam (either pepper or basil), rocky road, dipped marshmallows, peppermint meringues and salted caramels. I am not putting a lot in each box, so hopefully this won’t be sugar-overload.

My sister and I made most of this while she was here. We started with the marshmallows, since we needed them for the other 2 recipes. It turns out that I can’t read, because I used pectin, not gelatin on the first batch. They were this freaky sour taste that you just couldn’t describe. We dumped them into the compost. Hopefully they won’t kill the worms! So we had to start over, of course. The next batch was lovely and yummy. I had to fight the kids off with a stick, as they kept stealing them. The recipe asked that they be left to set up for 4-6 hours, and then another 2 after they were removed from the pan. We didn’t follow this. I said “If Paula Deen can make these in under 60 minutes on Iron Chef, then we don’t need to wait 8 hours!” So we didn’t. We then made rocky road. I think we added the marshmallows too soon, as they started to melt and the rocky road is pretty sticky. Tastes heavenly, but not the consistency I had hoped for. The recipe said to take the chocolate off the heat for only 3 minutes before adding the nuts and marshmallows. We gave it closer to 12, but it was still too hot. I have been cooking mostly from this magazine: Cookies, Brownies, Bars and More. I have to say that most of them have not turned out all that well. I think I will simply toss this magazine into the recycling. The pictures looked so yummy. Bummer.

Photo from Fine Cooking

On top off all the baking, I have also been working diligently to get my Christmas cards printed, addressed and in the mail. I am probably 90% done. I am also going to send one online this year. I was hoping that by segregating out the more casual relationships from the family and long-term friends, I could save a bit. I am not sure how much I have really saved, considering I had to do this whole exercise twice. We’ll see…

We are finally moving ahead with a small remodeling project that was supposed to start last March, but that got axed after I lost my job. We found someone who can do this relatively cheap, so hopefully the work will be good. Sadly, this also means that I have to fully empty 2 whole rooms in order for him to start work. Of course, these are storage rooms already, so they are packed to the hilt with stuff. Since my spouse has a chronic bad back, I get to do this mostly by myself. Good times!

Lastly, my husband signed up for the City’s “Re-tree Program.” This means that he picked up 4 new trees yesterday. He got home and literally looked at me like I should then rush out and dig 4 big holes for these things. I just looked at him and told him he better start making some calls, as I was not about to add planting trees to all the other stuff I have to do. I think he may be on a sugar high or something. He is NUTS!

I still have some baking and shopping to do these next couple of weeks, but I am hoping that overall the number of projects I am juggling will decrease and allow me to feel like I am accomplishing something. I just LOVE the holidays!!

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2 thoughts on “Cookies, Cards and Compost

  1. That particular sister you mention, yes she is an angel. I love her dearly! (you and kelly too of course!)

    All that stuff looks absolutely wonderful! I wish I could have been there with you guys. *pout pout*

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