Look who is climbing La Tour Eiffel on my Christmas tree, mon sapin de Noël. That's right, Santa himself. Le Père Noël. I hope that he will be the only one climbing the tree and not Rusty or Callie, the cats.
But, yes, the tree is up, the front porch is strung with lights and there are two presents under the tree, thanks to my in-laws. First and foremost this week, though, is not Christmas, but surviving exams. Both sons are taking them and I am writing them. A bit of stress.
So what does one do when one is stressed? One bakes.
I made scones yesterday morning and even sent some to the head of my school. He has taken to stopping me on the sidewalk to discuss cooking, even going so far as tell me all about the homemade apple pie he made a couple of weeks ago. There are no photos, he says, so I guess I just have to take his word for it. His daughter helped him so I could ask her if I wanted to, but I suppose I believe him. He was quite proud of himself for making this pie. He did tell a story on himself, though. It seems that when he was first married, his wife made an apple pie for him. He made the all-too-familiar newlywed mistake of telling his lovely bride that it didn't taste as good as his mother's. I think he didn't appreciate her crust. Well, twenty plus years of marriage later, he has not tasted another of her apple pies because she never made another one. He made the same mistake with her macaroni and cheese, too. You guessed it, he hasn't had homemade mac and cheese since.
I also made cookies. I love to bake cookies. (I also love to eat cookies, of course. I'm afraid that one day I will look in the mirror and I'll be blue and have googly eyes...)
But the cookies and accompanying hot chocolate did help with the studying and writing.
makes 6 dozen cookies
1 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 3/4 c. sifted flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
Sugar, for rolling
Preheat oven to 400F. Mix shortening, sugar and eggs thoroughly. Blend flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Stir into shortening mixture. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in mixture of 1/4 c. sugar and cinnamon. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.
Bon appétit, Cookie Monster!