This past week I have been sick, not horribly so, but sick enough that I’m not getting much sleep and daily activities seem to require a lot of effort. The kind of sick that requires lots of over the counter measures and an all day supply of hot tea to be functional. Germs don’t really care if you have 20 dozen cookies you want to bake or gifts that need to be bought or loaves of bread to bake. They just come on in and take over your life when they feel like it and we just have to sit back and watch it happen. What little energy I have, has been devoted to baking. The house is a mess, no presents have been wrapped, and meal planning for the holidays has been almost nonexistent. I did buy a ham. That should feed us for a couple days. We’ll survive on cookies and ham this Christmas.
The boys were a big help to me over the weekend when we baked up cookies for packages that needed to be sent and for a cookie exchange.
Most of these doughs were made and frozen before I got sick and they just required cutting, decorating, and baking. Then, when the pizzelle maker came out of the pantry, the husband got in on the action as well.
Making pizzelles is a four person operation: one to scoop (that was me), one to time, one to remove the cookies, and the last one to cool and pack them.
The boys also did most of the packing up.
We put each type of cookie in its own tin so that flavors and moisture levels don’t mingle. Then the boys bagged up a lot of cookies and packed up the boxes we wanted to mail out.
Which reminds me that I never announced the winner of my giveaway! It was Sara, also known as crazysheeplady on Instagram. She has a great blog called Punkin’s Patch where she documents her life as a sheperdess. Hopefully, her package will get there in the next day or so. Thank you to everyone who entered!
Once those cookie boxes were sent out (also known as stage 1 of Christmas baking), I turned my attention to stage 2: breads. First on the agenda was Panettone.
I make these every year with the same recipe. The only thing I change is to substitute candied chestnuts for half of the fruit/candied peel mixture. This year I also decided not to do the glaze. It’s very messy and stuff falls everywhere when you turn them upside down to hang. I just sprinkle them with a little pearl sugar and it looks pretty enough for me. This year, I also tried a version with dried pear and chocolate. We’re looking forward to trying that one.
One advantage to being sick and homebound is that it has allowed me to develop a rolling schedule for feeding the starter and building these bread doughs. If I time it right, I can bake a pandoro in the morning and a panettone in the evening. Of course, last night’s pandoro did not rise in our cold kitchen, so it is getting some remedial time in our furnace room which is the warmest room in the house.
Hopefully, these will turn out well and we’ll have some yummy bread to go with our cookies and ham. Maybe I should try to cook something red or green, too. How about these. Would these count as a vegetable?
I thought we were done with cookies, but I had to squeeze these in for my younger son. I’ll tell you the story next time!
Hope your holiday preparations are humming along! What are your strategies for getting it all done when time is running out?