Saturday, December 27, 2008

Let's Stay Home and MAKE things!

We've been a bit house bound since before Christmas due to our "Arctic Blast 2008". I'm not kidding. That is what the news channels were calling it. My husband and I are always making up names for little things like this: Family Ski Trip 2007, or Visiting Family STORM 2005... I even threw a shower for my friend one year and the whole thing was "Sinsel Baby Shower 2006". I couldn't wait to hear what they would call this, "Arctic Blast" 2008 was SO great - much better than the "Snow Storm 2008" I was expecting.

I'm from Alaska, but I still wasn't interested in driving in the mess of our streets. Where I grew up the streets were plowed before we woke up in the morning, and my dad would plow our driveway while we were getting ready and before we left the house. Here a dusting of snow causes people to freak out. We had 19". NINETEEN INCHES. i think they make a big gulp that tall. We did have some pretty amazing drifts from the snow, and there seems to be no system for clearing the streets here as it is basically NEVER necessary. We've lived here over 12 years and have only seen it snow a couple of times, and it is almost always gone by morning. Our nineteen inches of snow basically shut down the city. People were driving down the streets the wrong way, driving down the MIDDLE of the streets, blowing through red lights, WALKING down the middle of the road with cars stopped behind them, then later driving 50 on the freeway with their CHAINS ON. For REALS.

We stayed in and made things! Cookies, ornaments, Christmas presents, cards... We had family with us, lots of bustle and hustle and NOISE and fun and love. Here are a few of the things we made. The cookies were SO good. They are from my all time favorite cookbook The New Basics Cookbook
Everything I've made from this cook book over the last 20 years has turned out perfectly. I'm obsessed (yes, I'm sick of hearing people say they are obsessed with things, too, but it is late and I can't think of a better way to describe it) with refrigerator cookies right now. How great is it to have a roll of dough in the fridge all ready to slice and pop in the oven? I don't have to spend the whole afternoon baking, I can just bake one sheet and be done. I also made these a couple of weeks ago, and rolled them in candied ginger, brightly colored sugars, and rolled them out and layered them with yummy jam.
We also used Martha's instructions for making Cinnamon Applesauce ornaments. As we were decorating the tree, my 3 year old daughter was reading the names on the ornaments, and there were a disproportionate amount with H names to the M names. H made some of these in his preschool class two years ago, so we made lots more, had a great time doing it, and Miss Mae will have lots of ornaments made by her on our tree! Obviously we didn't use the bird templates.We'll run some ribbon through them and have them ready to hang on the tree next year. They were very easy to make and smell wonderful! The instructions say to roll them to 1/4" thick, but I think 1/2" would have been better. And make sure you keep flattening them as they tend to curl!

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