Wednesday, 21 November 2018


The manuscript has been sent to the publisher! And I made 4 dozen tarts and about 7 dozen cookies. More to come tomorrow. Whew! Going to go curl up with a mystery novel now and unwind.

Baking and Writing

I took three days off this week to focus on finishing the latest manuscript and to do my Christmas baking. And to mail the Christmas cards (for those of you in the States, yours might be late depending on how our postal strike goes...). Oh, and to finish the baby blanket I'm making for someone at work. And to start getting ready for...and I should.... Well, I may need more than three days, come to think of it!

I have a theory that if I didn't work full time, I wouldn't get a thing done at home. Because I know time is limited, I cram impossible amounts into each moment I have available, so I accomplish quite a lot. If I thought I had limitless time, I'd waste a lot of it, I suspect, lying on the couch with a book or wandering along the river with the dog... Then again, I don't really count that as wasting time. Rejuvenating yourself on a regular basis is important. It's just trying to find a balance between rejuvenation and complete indolence...

Friday, 9 November 2018

Settling in for winter

The bottled tomatoes and grape juice are on the shelf. The garden produce is blanched and frozen or dehydrated. The dry beans are in their mason jars. The patio furniture is secured in the shed, and the netting is over the pool cover to catch the last of the autumn leaves. The garlic is planted (well, doing the last of it today). I'm stocked up on cocoa, and I'm recording Hallmark Christmas movies on TV. Just need to bring in a stack of books and I'm set for the season!

My husband's grandmother used to do lots of Christmas baking, and before she died I spent a day with her in the kitchen, learning all the traditional family recipes. After her passing, I took over the Christmas baking, putting together boxes of goodies for every family. When that became too expensive, I started just providing the goodies at the Christmas dinner we hosted each year. But over time, people trickled off and stopped attending -- age, weather, distance all take their toll. So the tradition sort of stalled.

This year I've decided to go back to doing the goodie boxes again. I may not be able to deliver to every family, because we've become somewhat far-flung, but I look forward to doing what I can this year. Butter tarts, lemon tarts, chocolate no-bake cookies, shortbread, date snowballs, tablet... I've taken three days off work to do it, and it will likely take up two months' worth of grocery money. But somehow I just can't let the tradition die, or the recipes fade away. Tradition is such an integral part of holidays and families, and you really can't think hygge without thinking food.