Tag Archives: thinking creatively

Baking Party Nerves

What’s more fun than going to the mall in December?  Well, many, many things… FAR higher up on my list is a party.

holiday music
photo by SVSeekins

It’s an opportunity to pull out some seasonal music…. go through the cupboards… and dress up in something special…

That’s when I like to head to the kitchen.  The season is about getting together with family & friends. Playing together in the kitchen is no exception & one of my favorite kind of parties.

Christmas baking is mostly created for others as gifts.  Gifts of time & effort…. gifts from the heart …. Guilt Free calories.

gathering ingredients
photo by SVSeekins

Every year it surprises me how much skill is required to make a truly good butter cookie or an extremely fine shortbread. I mean, recipes look like paint-by-number instructions.  It SHOULD be so easy.  Gather ingredients, combine – – ta da!

But sometimes greatness balances on humidity & barometric pressure.  For real!  My Dad told me this & I’m totally going with it.

Either way, every baker experiences failure.

How can he / she best deal with that disappointment?

Christmas Tins & sprinkles
photo by SVSeekins

Well, to use a culinary cliché:  When faced with a lemon, make lemonade.

This year I made peanut brittle.  Sort of.  It looked perfect … but was cement in the Pyrex.  Through extreme ingenuity I was able to rescue the pan, but not the candy.

It turns out we’d stumbled upon the procedure for creating an incredibly tasty batch of sprinkles for ice-cream.  It was really good, but still wouldn’t cut it for gifting.

Danish Butter Cookies
photo by SVSeekins

So I moved on to cookies.  Gosh, cookies are so PARTICULAR!  Thirty seconds one way or another can make the difference between raw & burnt.  Well not burnt – but BROWN..

I reckon that a gradient of brown cookies should go into every gift, proving that they were handmade.  This sounds totally reasonable, so that’s what I do.

But there are still a few really brown cookies leftover that just won’t do… They’re tasty, just too dry…. So, now I’m thinking they could be crushed & replace graham wafer crumbs in another recipe… Do you think that would work?

AB wearing 'something special'
photo by SVSeekins

I also need an evolutionary plan for the fudge that  didn’t harden even after I’d meticulously heated it up past the important soft-ball temperature.  It turned out like really stretchy toffee…. Granted, toffee is a delicious treat.  Perhaps  I’ll wrap it in wax paper & rename it?  Maybe not.. too sticky.  Ideas?

It’s amazing how any challenge seems easier when taken on together.  We keep each other on track, share skills, and offer support & laughter… And when it comes right down to it,  we relax & spike the lemonade.

© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2013