Sure, I did it again. I'm amazed at how I can ramp up my posts with several in a row and then disappear as if I've been locked in my Closet of Eternal Joy and Happiness (it happened to Emily, by the way).
So though it might seem obvious that I update you on my first Solstice at the new house or provide an update on my Match.com adventures, I think I'll make my grand return with tales of two baking enterprises.
I'd suppose it's been two weeks ago that I invited Billy, Sparky (formerly known as Activities Assistant Josh) and Christina (she blogged about this too!) to the house for bread baking lessons. I'll admit, I'm not the best of teachers as I took over as they sat at the bar while I occasionally blurted out a tip or trick. First we made my regular everyday sandwich loaf, along with a cinnamon raisin one, then a potato bread that was handed down from Christina's grandmother. The first loaves were mixed, kneaded, raised, baked and eaten without pause. From the outside, we must've appeared as a band of starving refugees. Between four adults and three kids, we devoured three pounds of bread in about 45 minutes. And it was all worth it.
Christina's loaf didn't fare as well, it was reported. We started it here, but sent it home to bake and the results were not phenomenal. Sometimes, as hard as it is to admit, freshly ground whole wheat flour isn't the perfect ingredient. There I said it. But don't expect to hear it from me again.
And as six Decembers have come and gone since moving from L.A., the same number have passed since I've ventured into gingerbread house making. I'd guess that we made them with the Pusateris, Andersens and Charests for two or three years and it was always a delightful event. I'd spend the better part of a day baking house parts while others would gather candy for decorating and actual nutritious food to sustain us through the backbreaking process of house assembly and adorning. It was a perfect holiday tradition that I couldn't bear to continue once we relocated in the Midwest. I'd considered it a few times but I could feel the return of the heartbreak that was leaving our hand-picked family from the West Coast.
This year, however, I could stomach it. If ever there was a time for me to reinvent an old tradition, it was now. New house. Nickname: Ginger. Not much else holiday-ish going on. So I did it. I hit the bulk bins at the grocery store for a reasonable assortment of candies, baked the house and let the kids have at it. They loved it and I loved watching them. I can be quite a curmudgeon this time of year, but they make me remember that I need to step out of my own self and let them have some joy. Which in turn gives me joy.
Joy to the World.