Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nice, Warm, & Cozy....Home.....

Well, we're getting ready for Christmas, that's for sure. Took some pics today of my living room and dining room. It's so nice and cozy and relaxing. I love wood heat, although it is dusty! It just feels so good.
Now, I'm sitting, enjoying the season, like I haven't got a thing to do LOL. Actually, first thing in the morning, I have to make 36 loaves of Cardamom Bread. But, the good thing, is my baking is split up over 3 days! I was only going to bake on Friday, but it wasn't working for some people. It's turning out fine for me, as I've got orders for about 105 so far, if I'm counting right. Yippee, I love selling bread the last minute before Christmas, so I'm not broke on Christmas. I've had some really good comments that people are surprised I haven't raised my price. It's been $5. for 19 years LOL. I sure do have to shop to get the best buys on butter, eggs, milk, and flour, though. I have a lot of cardamom stocked up, which is pretty expensive, but I recently got a really good deal on it, so I'm set!! Here's my recipe:

Finnish Cardamom Bread

4 cups scalded milk
4 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground cardamom seed
2 Tablespoons yeast.
Mix these together really well. I have a Bosch mixer, which I love, and I really use it a LOT. After that's mixed in good, mix in 4 eggs, and 1/2 pound butter. (Yes, use REAL butter!!!)
After that is all mixed in good, change to dough hooks, and start adding flour until it's a good soft dough. Let raise till double, punch down, divide into 6 or 8 equal pieces.
Now, take one of those pieces, cut it into 4 pieces, roll those out like snakes, a little longer than a foot, probably. Lay all four snakes on the counter parallel, then starting in center, work you way down braiding it. Then start at the other end/center, working to the end of that side.
Let raise till double, and bake about 15-20 minutes until nice, golden brown. I ice mine and decorate with red candied cherries. Yum, and it smells soooooo good.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas shopping Day!

Here's my buffet I antiqued with black paint. I love how it came out. I bought it intending to redo it and sell it, and I finally listed it on craigslist. I won't be real sad if it stays with me! Isn't it pretty?

We finally got out to do some Christmas shopping. Talk about a LOT of people! I don't really mind the crowds. I love to get gifts, too. What I don't like is the "overdo-ing" you see. We're determined to keep the gifts really simple this year, so I'm probably more conscious of it than I usually am, or else I just ignore it. I want to just enjoy the whole season, the reason we celebrate it, even the gift-giving with a calmness, a focus... a child-like simpleness. You see how much fun a child has going to the dollar store and buying something that's really not much money, but to them it's a treasure, something they're excited to give.
My little boy last year knew I had broken my favorite butter dish. It was actually one of those glass refrigerator dishes, a think they used it for veggies or something. I loved that thing as a butter dish. Well, my son decided I needed a new butter dish, and got me a cut-glass-crystal-looking candy dish, from the dollar store. He was so proud of his purchase. I don't have the heart to tell him it's not practical. Not even for a candy dish, you can hardly pick the lid up, the knob is so tiny. My husband was making fun of it this morning and I had to tell him to hush, it was a treasure from Seth and he was proud to give it to me.
That's a memory. It only cost a dollar. He probably got the dollar for doing some odd job for me. Anyway, today, the shopping carts were everywhere. Some people were smiling, enjoying themselves. Others looked so angry. Why pack that shopping cart full if it's not even fun? Why can't people at least smile? I've gone through some horrible things in my life, and you still find a smile for a stranger you meet.
Anyway, I think there should be a rule that you can't go shopping acting grouchy!

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Christmas Pillowslips

Robin, from Bird in Hand Primitives is, I believe the designer of all of these doodles I made into pillowslips for some pillows I already had. I really didn't want to go buy new pillows, then store them in the Christmas stuff all year, so I decided to just make pillowslips out of them. Thanks very much, Robin!!!
Also, a day of baking. Had an order of cinnamon rolls to make for a shop, then later today I think we'll make some cookies. We have invited the whole church over tomorrow to play instruments and sing and eat and have a good time! It will be a houseful, if they can make it. Some are still having a hard time getting anywhere, with the flood we just had washing out roads, driveways, and highways!

See what I've been baking? Yum, gooey caramel cinnamon rolls!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Got Rain???

Oh goodness, do we have rain?? Here, in Oregon, we are getting a rainstorm for sure. Lights were out last night, which is always fun. I love a good storm, but only if no one gets hurt in it. I heard that Stewart Creek right down the road is flooded. I'd like to go for a ride and look at the flooding, etc, but it's too windy, definitely not safe! We get all the wind, which soaks up the roots on the trees, then the wind (we could get 60 mph gusts, they say) comes along and the trees fall. I heard along the coast, they were getting really high winds. I'd better finish before we lose power again, it's getting windier, for sure. Good day for handwork, huh?