Showing 11 - 20 of 61 posts found matching keyword: christmas
Sunday 22 December 2019
Second try on gingerbread cookies. This time I used a 50% smaller cutter, but I only cut the bake time by 25%. Oops. As a result, they're a little crispy. At least they're well dressed.
Frankly, the taste is nice enough, but they could be burnt crisp and I'd still like them. The scents of gingerbread and peppermint are the best things about Christmas.
Next year: colored icing. (I think I'll make that my New Year's Resolution.)
Friday 20 December 2019
Sunday 15 December 2019
Last year I vowed that instead of gingerbread houses in 2019, I would make gingerbread men. It was a good decision.
I looked at a bunch of gingerbread cookie recipes before deciding which to use. (I didn't want to use my house recipe because I wanted cookies that didn't have the texture of drywall.) Like apple pie recipes, most gingerbread recipes are very similar, deferring primarily in the ratio of
flower flour to butter. The one I decided I liked best I found in the Tis the Season Holiday Cookbook (2000) by Mary Engelbreit. It must have been another good good decision. I made 2 dozen on Friday, and they were all gone by Sunday.
As you can see, I had some trouble with piping the royal icing. My first try was too thin (overcompensating for the 2018 disaster), and the second batch popped the seam of my makeshift Ziploc pastry bag. I got the hang of it only relatively late in the game.
Now that I know what I'm doing, I guess I'll just have to make some more.
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Friday 6 December 2019
November wasn't only about pies and movies!
When I was a kid, my favorite Christmas decoration was a pair of legs painted on plywood mounted to the top of a chimney. They were connected to a windshield wiper motor and kicked, like Santa was stuck face down. It was a good gag.
Cue earlier last month when Mom said that she wanted a new Christmas yard decoration. She was looking at lit Santa Claus blow molds like she had on her door as a child, but when she tried to convey the idea, all I could think of were those kicking legs.
I didn't manage the same level of technical innovation, but I think I got the nostalgia angle right.
Kind of looks like a bit of Photoshop there, doesn't it? Here it is a little closer.
My next door neighbor seems to like it. He's already asked where we bought it so that he could get one of his own. Mom had to let him down easy. This Santa stands alone.
Monday 24 December 2018
Excuse me while I slip into something more comfortable....
These were found in the CVS Christmas aisle, the place you go for gifts that say "I never loved you."
And if a little poo in your shoe isn't enough for you this holiday, try some scat for your hat.
Friday 21 December 2018
Unlike last year, this year I tried to make gingerbread houses all by myself from recipes I found on the Internet. Mm-hmm. Operative word: "tried."
I've just about mastered the cookie recipe. The gingerbread itself is soft and delicious. The icing, on the other hand, was a bit of a problem (as you can see).
The icing was so thick and stiff that the pastry bag might as well have been filled with quick dry cement. In hindsight, I probably added too much sugar to the amount of egg whites I had. I'll try to remember that for next year.
At least my mouth doesn't care how they look.
Thursday 20 December 2018
Saturday 30 December 2017
Monday 25 December 2017
This year Mom woke me up early (read: noon) because she was eager to open her Christmas presents. She actually shouted that I needed to wake up and see what Santa Claus brought me. Then she tossed a small bag of coal in my bed. Bah, humbug!
I gave Mom a coffee press. She gave me a VR headset that turned my smartphone into a migraine-inducing nightmare machine. Together, we had a great time. I can't wait to do it all again next year.
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Sunday 24 December 2017
For no good reason, I bought a Wilton gingerbread house kit from Michaels earlier this month with the plan that Mom and I would build it together. That plan was somewhat spoiled when my father interrupted our house raising. (He needed tech support for the Kindle I bought him last Christmas that he just now decided to activate for the first time.) Mom went to bed while I was on the phone, and I finished our house without her.
We went shopping for a do-over replacement kit, but Michaels was sold out. Rather than give up, I doubled down. I found a recipe and made enough gingerbread for two more houses, one for Mom to decorate and one for me. (No tech support call could defeat this plan!)
In the photo above, the shared kit house is on the left with the rainbow roof. Mom's greenhouse is in the middle. My sloppy icicle house is on the right.
For my standalone house, I decided I was only going to use candy accessories that I would eat. Turns out, I don't like the taste of rainbows. Who knew?
Though I'm reasonably satisfied with the final results, the best part wasn't decorating but baking the gingerbread. (The house smelled so good!) Therefore, next year I think we'll just decorate homemade gingerbread men. And we'll turn off our cellphones, just in case.