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No turtledoves, just

#2–Cutout cookies (one in a series)

This is probably the only other mandatory cookie besides spritz.    These are from my Mom’s recipe which are ultra thin, crisp, tender, and nutmeggy (I’m not sure if that’s a word, but I like it), not thick like a lot of people roll their cutouts.  I’ve eaten these in every shape imaginable.  Gram used to have this plastic Santa cutter that embossed the dough when you cut them.  This year I couldn’t find what I thought were all of my cookie cutters (I borrowed them from Mom)–I apparently just have miniature ones and plain and scalloped graduated circles.  Undeterred, I set about a different plan which was to make plain circles, ice them in plain powdered sugar frosting and have people decorate them with royal icing.  I think they all did a nice job.

cutouts1

A good time was had by all.  This year, I focused my list on a lot of assemblage of cookies (sandwiches, cutout decorating, chocolate dipping and so forth) so that our guests always had something to do.  This turned out to be a rather good plan as it allowed me to move in and out of our small kitchen baking the few cookies that needed to be baked without accident or incident.

Of course we didn’t get pictures of the party in progress (someday we’ll learn the art of photography in the moment), but Nathan did snap me reading up on tempering chocolate in my new Emmeline apron that I made a couple of weeks ago (love love love the pattern–go make one–it’s awesome).  I personally dig that he photographed the apron in its native environment.

emmeline

And here are bags of royal icing ready to go.

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Today is the annual Christmas cookie party that I host.  This is the 6th time that I’ve done it in my adult life, but its origins are much older.

When I was a wee one (4 or 5?  who really knows), all the women of my Mom’s family–my Mom, my Aunt, and my Grandma plus me would make 12 different kinds of cookies in one day in my Grandma’s tiny awkward orange formica countertopped kitchen.  I remember doing this at least 3 times, which seems about right because we moved to TX just before my 9th birthday in March.  Why 12 cookies?  I suppose that’s one of those generational questions…something akin to “Why do we have to cut the ends off the pot roast? (because Grandma’s pan was too short to accomodate a bigger roast)”…a question with an answer that is much less mysterious once its practical reasons are revealed.  My only thought as to why we ever made 12 different kinds of cookies would be because of the 12 days of Christmas.

I’m continually envious of the miraculous things that crafty bloggers manage to dig out of the trash or find for next to nothing at the thrift store.  Is there something wrong with where I live that I can’t find stuff–am I not looking right?  Who knows.  What I do know is that I scored BIG TIME yesterday.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of having a classroom set of little carpet squares for my youngest students.  It all started last year when one of my more kinesthetic boys (read–sweet kid but huge discipline issue) was transformed into a really good student by the aid of a little chunk of carpet his teacher suggested I borrow one day. 

I was inspired by another Burdastyle member who made a lovely cozy for her water bottle out of yoyo’s.  I thought it was a wonderful idea, particularly since I’m always burning my hands on my non-insulated stainless steel water bottle when I put tea in it before I drive to school (oh how I wish I had time to enjoy a cup of tea before work).  So somewhere between Denver and Grand Island, NE, I made this one.  It reminds me of a little dress for my water bottle.  If you pull it down, it looks strapless, if you pull it up, it looks like a cowl neck. 

My Mom and Aunts and I had a wonderful time at the Antique show in IA this weekend.  There were rows and rows of people all along the streets in this little town.  We walked until it was too hot and we were tired.  We could have been there for a week for all of the antiques that were there.

This is what I found:

I love vintage tablecloths…not just for strudel-making, but because they’re so cheery with their bright patterns and colors and they are impeccably made.  I defy anyone to find a modern mass-produced tablecloth that will last 50+ years.

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