Stuff I LOVE about this year’s holiday season:
- Lazy days of staying in our pajamas half the day and just playing.
- The snow that arrived Christmas Eve, just in time for snowmen-building.
- Discovering different holiday books to read, like Jan Brett’s classics The Wild Christmas Reindeer and The Christmas Trolls. Weird and wonderful.
- The tree I made out of old books in the library.
- Impromptu dance recitals in the living room, with ballet as well as Egyptian, Chinese, Irish and Scottish numbers complete with costume changes. Our four-year-old and six-year-old did this, not us. Although Dan did do one lovely pirouette.
- The 20 lb local turkey whose delicious leftovers will now fill our freezer with convenient pot pies because we are all turkeyed out.
- The upcycled wool owls that I made for our girls.
- Discovering that we all love air hockey. Who knew?
- All the gifts made by our own hands, small ones and big ones.
- Digging out all the board games and puzzles and spending time unplugged from screen time of any kind.
- Good reads: right now I am deep into Kazuo Ishiguro’s haunting Never let me go, as well as Patrick Taylor’s An Irish country Christmas (for holiday levity), with a little of Suzanne Desrochers’ Bride of New France thrown in for Canadian content and fascinating history.
- Fabulous new treat, cocoa shortbread cookies from the Saltscapes Traditional Holiday Fare cookbook. So easy, so sinful.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups softened butter ( oh YEAH)
1 1/3 cups sifted icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Sift flour, cocoa, and salt. In a large bowl cream butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add icing sugar, beating until smooth. Add vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring well. Chill for at least one hour. But not any longer or else it turns rock hard as it did for me. Divide dough and roll out, cut into shapes with cookie cutters, OR just form into a log and slice like icebox cookies, much easier.
Bake at 350 Celsius for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen which should last about a DAY.