I know I've been sparse this December but that's because I was having fun. I put my little shop on vacation and set up sewing down by the Christmas tree. I made a sweet set of red and white striped linen napkins (luxurious, but fun). I've been wanting to make linen napkins forever so this was so rewarding and I'm going to use them all year long (not just at Christmas time).
When I wasn't ironing and sewing I was over at the oven baking oodles and oodles of cookies. My crusty old Martha Stewart's Christmas book has served me well over the years and the gingerbread and pecan shortbread cookies were a treat.
I really nailed it in the toffee department this year. Last year it took a lot of (expensive!) trial and error but this year I was ready to go. This recipe is wonderful but I really hit it out of the ball park when I finally gave in and bought a fancy candy thermometer and heat the mixture up to 300 before taking it off the stove (it gave it more crunch and less chew).
And more cookies (Hazelnut Anise Biscotti for the win!).
And more candy! Homemade caramels, dang. This recipe was a winner but I had the best results when I stopped at around 247 degrees instead of 250 (I know, but those 3 degrees really make a softer chew).
Time to decorate my new old hutch. I'm didn't go overboard this year, next year I think I'll go a little crazier with the decorating.
Hung the stockings (with care). I used twigs from my tree clippings for my green vase and they make me strangely happy (up-cycling and all that).
I didn't bake this gingerbread house. And I didn't feel guilty about giving the boys a store bought kit because they truly don't care either way. And it's going in the trash because Skate had a cold and coughed all over it.
It was a good year for us (holding our breath until midnight hits in 6 hours). I haven't been able to say that in ages. Sigh of relief. On the other hand we've seen people we love travel through their darkest hours and it's been sobering and humbling. My mom says she doesn't like odd numbered years so that means, starting tomorrow, things will begin to look up for everyone. Happy New Year my friends. May God bless you in every way imaginable and may your trials and victories make you stronger, wiser, and even more loving than before.