December 27th

Christmas day was unusually warm this year
but then again, it’s becoming more common it seems
Christmas too was different
for one thing, we were not home
our new daughter and our son wished to host xmas in the city
her parents joined the party
we were invited to celebrate the eve at her cousin
a jolly bunch from Cape Breton, neighbors and extended family
filled a large living room
loads of food, beverages and sweets
covered counters and tables
guitars came out
several little ones ran around
danced, played
it was what one would hope for
and more
a pure delight

over the years I have been meaning more and more
to consume less and less
as far as I am concerned, I have more then I need
this year my husband and I
put our efforts in making things
preserved food for the most part
presented in a beautiful handmade wooden crate
a skillful papa they have

on Christmas eve stockings were hung
both daughters busy filling them
a role I use to take
still, I waited for them to go to bed
and added a couple things
local maple cream, homemade caramels

under the tree there were all sorts of wrapped presents
none from me
I was a tad anxious
the pressure is high this time of year
to buy and wrap something with a price tag
I was hoping the kids would not be disappointed
they are not kids anymore but still
xmas often comes with expectation
hence disappointment
a shame really

when all were sleeping the crates were put under the tree
filled with tastes of home
it felt right
it had to be

Christmas morning was lovely
fruit salad and bubbles to celebrate
presents given one by one
my daughter is a true elf
she loves to find the right thing for everyone
I felt spoiled by all of them
be it from what was wrapped
to their sheer presence and love
to have them all around me
happy and well
what else could I possibly want

the crates were presented last
and I was happy to see their excitement
they were content
what a relief

Christmas can be a struggle
and many can’t fulfill the dreams
to give or to receive
without expectation
to be content with what presents itself
like an warm afternoon
on one of the shortest days of the year

today it is snowing
my daughter is home
I will roast a chicken
Christmas is still on

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xmas present

these past few years my love one has been baking for our neighbors
wonderful cinnamon rolls for the holidays
he gets up early on a Sunday morning
gets the dough going
shapes it
butters it
sugar coats it
cuts it
rises it
bakes it
and then delivers it

that was yesterday and the smell in the house was unbelievable
I bet a house could be sold on such smell when you enter it
needless to say that particular batch was heavenly

I want to share that recipe because
it’s so delicious and deliciousness should be shared

The dough can be made into rolls, ham and cheese croissant, chocolate croissant, Holiday braids with sesame seeds, you name it. It is light and rich, slightly sweet, quite delicious.

here it goes
happy baking

For one small batch of cinnamon rolls you will need

1/3 cup of milk
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup of warm water
1Tbs yeast
1 egg
2 1/2 cup of flour

Extra butter (room temperature)
Mixture of sugar and cinnamon (as much cinnamon as you like)

Heat milk. Remove from heat, add sugar, salt, butter. Dissolve yeast in water. Stir in lukewarm milk mixture. Add egg then flour gradually. Knead until smooth. Rise until doubled.

Roll down on flat surface 1/2 inch thick in a rectangle shape. Butter the surface generously. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll, then cut into 12 pieces.

Now if you like sticky, gooey get a 9 inch square pan and butter it generously, add brown sugar to the bottom and fit your dozen piece over that.

If you don’t want too sticky just use a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and lay your pieces evenly on it.

Either way, rise until double and bake at 375 until nicely golden (20 to 30 minutes depending on your oven).

No matter what you do this dough is simply beautiful. You will feel it when you kneed it.
The secret is to not add too much flour. The other secret is that you might as well double or triple the recipe because it will be all gone in a flash.

I usually multiply the ingredients by 6 and freeze the rolls before they rise. The great thing about that is whenever I want fresh cinnamon buns in the morning or if I have friends over that are staying the night I get my frozen rolls out of the freezer before I go to bed, place them on a cookie sheet and let them thaw and rise overnight. By morning they are ready to put in the oven and by the time my guest (or kids) are up the house is filled with a delicious aroma of fresh baked goods. Nothing like it.

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such a nice day

it’s such a nice day today
sun is shinning
it’s warm for December
maybe 6 degrees or more
little breeze

I started learning Spanish online yesterday
I thought I’d get back into that routine while drinking my morning coffee
two days in a row now
it’s exciting
I already have a base in Spanish
so it’s easy to slip back into it
I like how pronunciation varies with languages
how words are said
how they sound
how they feel when you pronounce them

yesterday was a basic review
simple words like cats and dogs and water and milk
variations of those words in a sentence
Los gatos beben leche.
The cats drink milk.

today after other lessons on food and animals
I found a bonus skill lesson option
called Flirting
How fun!
now we’re talking
some useful stuff
sentences like
Hola guapo.
Estoy enamorado de ti.
¿Puedo ofrecerte una copa?
translate as
Hey handsome.
I’m in love with you.
May I offer you a drink?

so much more fun
happy Sunday

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Sage tea is quite delicious.

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