Tag Archives: christmas baking

Buttery-Sugary Goodness just 11 Days before Christmas

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Baking Day @ Our House

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We scaled way back this year.  We have been scaling back yearly, it seems.  But we still mananged to get some of our favorites made and even a new thing or two, keeping that oven hot  and hopping for hours.  There are the wildly popular “Thin Mints,” a shameless and absolutely amazing rip-off of the Girl Scout cookies.  The sugar cookies for decorating are made and await a coating of royal icing in delightful Christmas colors.  Jovan used her new Pampered Chef cookie press to make the lightest most buttery press-cookies, dusted in colored sugars.

Stephanie has perfected peanut brittle.  There are Mexican Wedding Cakes and Gingerbread Men, along with Peanut-Butter Kisses-Cookies and Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Balls heaped next to our chocolate-dipped pretzels and “Strawberry” cookies (which have no relation whatsoever to strawberries, other than how they look, but really are made from dates and pecans and coconut and Rice Krispies and fashioned to look like a strawberry – a Rhoades family fav from the 1950s and 60s).  And more, yes, there is more.

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Things change.

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One interesting thing this year was computers.  Looking around the kitchen and seeing 3 laptops (2 Macs and a PC) open to recipe sites – that was funny.  So much for cute recipe cards, huh?  It was also quieter and we missed Elise-the-Niece…Well, it was quieter, that is, until the boys and daddies joined us and a chaotic-Christmas-cheer ruckus ensued, fueled, undoubtedly by the pure sweetness of the ‘cane hitting the bloodstream.

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The girls swarmed poor Santa

The guys show up for dinner at 6:30

The boys played cards with Aunt Dessa while the girls took our “food orders” for chicken nuggets and muffins, coffee and salad (their imaginary menus were limited and they are sort of pushy as waitresses, these granddaughters of mine).  The ‘bebes chased each other, snuck sweets from piled-high trays of goodies and pushed Rudolph’s paw,  making him sing the Rudolph song veeeeeery loudly, at least 172 times (that Rudolph nose was flashing like a traffic light, non-stop for hours!).  I seriously wished for some one to decapitate Rudolph.  But the grandbebes?  Find him delightful.

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Gemma was particularly artistic in her interpretive dancing, inspired by her viewing of “Frosty the Snowman.”  Averi’s great joys were bringing handfuls of cookies to everyone, or unrolling toilet paper into the, shall we say, “bath bowl”, and I just hope there was no criss-crossing of these activities.

And at one point, so warmed by both this season of good will and by the way they’d been running like banchees, all five grandbebes ripped off their shirts and flung them like confetti into the air, thrilled to be set free from the confines of clothing so they could fully enjoy the twinkling lights and the Christmas music.  “We’re nakey!  We’re nakey!” Averi exclaimed with glee and they laughed as if it were the funniest thing they’d ever experienced.

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Rocky and Tredessa interact with Santa as well.

Ah.  It is the little things.

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It took awhile to find every shoe and sock and coat amd mitten (and shirt) when it came time to go home with their large trays of cookies and candies.  {Sigh}.   But we did it…almost.  I still have to make the marvelous butter-cookie dough from which will emerge Raspberry Ribbons and melt-in-your mouth Candy Cane Cookies, among other delights, and the Peppermint Bark awaits me this morning.  But most of the holiday baking is complete for another year and it is way too much and more than enough and truly not as sweet as the time I got with my girls.  And the whole bunch.

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With Love from the Gingerbread House….Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Prep more next year.