Oooh to step into a home with the Christmas tree decorated, the Christmas music playing, and the aroma of cookies in the oven. That’s how it used to be at my house. I’d put on my old Easter Airline servicing apron, roll up my sleeves, have the flour, sugar, vanilla, nuts, and raisins – all the ingredients set out on the counter along with my hand held mixer and my big glass bowl.
It was a joyous time and while humming to Silent Night playing on the stereo and dumping ingredients into my big glass bowl I felt the spirit of Christmas.
Those days are gone! There’s no more ingredients lined on the counter top, no more hand held mixer to lick the beaters, no more big glass bowl or humming to Christmas carols on the stereo. After we lose a husband the joy of baking seems to go with him into the grave. Its sad I know but filling box after box of various cookies, fudge candy, and small bread loaves and placing them in the freezer for enjoying later just isn’t fun anymore.
So for many years I have not done any baking. Its easier to go to Publix grocery store to their bakery. Ohhh their cakes are moist, their donuts have yummy filling, and their little loaves of Banana nut bread are moist and tasty. Why would I want to go through all that again just to bake a few cookies or some other treat that’s common during this Christmas season? Its only me so why bother?
Somehow the Christmas spirit has sneaked in and this old gal decided to try a Cranberry bread loaf my sister made. It sounded good so I asked her to send me the recipe and maybe some day I’d try it, knowing full well that would probably never happen!
But it did – today!
I’d bought the ingredients and had everything lain out. Picking up the one orange, the recipe called for one teaspoon of orange rind. You have got to be kidding! Looking at the orange in my hand, “I bought a whole orange just for a lousy teaspoon of rind? Now I have to eat the orange and it has all that acid in it that upsets my stomach!” But I grated the one teaspoon and set the orange aside.
Did I say this was going to be a small loaf, well, three small loaves, of Cranberry bread? Cutting the corner off the bag of frozen cranberries, obviously I wasn’t going to need the whole bag, I let some fall onto my cutting board and grab the big knife. The recipe calls for chopped cranberries, frozen or fresh. Mine have been in the freezer for a couple of weeks.
Have you ever tried to chop these frozen little marbles as they shoot across the counter, a dozen shoot off onto the floor, and sneak up a slid down sleeve? No? Well let me tell you, chasing these little “marbles” across a kitchen floor and trying to catch them before they roll under the fridge while high stepping so as not to step on one that will squish like stepping on a large cockroach, is no fun! About the time I thought I had all of them I hear squish, which almost sent my back out, jumping.
Finally chasing down and corralling the several little red frozen marbles I grab my sifter to sift the flour, and how it happened I have no idea, but there’s more flour on the front of my sweatshirt than there is in the big glass bowl. I haven’t looked in the mirror so I don’t know if there’s any covering my face. If there is I’ll just have to laugh and go on… or cry.
Did I say it’s been a long time since I did any baking?
Okay, I have my mini loaf pans all greased and floured sitting to the side for my wonderful little bread loafs. Oh, I forgot, I have to chop up some nuts, too. Thank God they aren’t round and I can just hold them in check while chopping. I need to measure some orange juice, too. Did I mention its full of acid and upsets my stomach? It didn’t take the whole little bottle so of course I can’t throw good juice away. Now I have an orange to eat and a half a bottle of orange juice to drink. I can feel the need for an antacid already.
But God is good and I finally get everything mixed and spoon all my cranberries, orange rinds, nuts, and whatever else into my little loaf pans and pop them into the oven. 40 minutes later I open the oven and the aroma of fresh baked bread fills the house.
Now the kitchen is cleaned, the loaves cooled and I can take a taste. Hmmm a little dry but good.
THIS IS WHY MY ROOMMATE DOES THE BAKING!
I have just one thing to add about this experience – Judy, don’t EVER send me another recipe that has little frozen marbles!
Merry Christmas everyone.