Our Christmas tradition continued

Candy cane cookies on the most beautiful countertop

Candy cane cookies on the world’s most beautiful countertop

Now, I am not into baking from scratch much but candy cane cookies at Christmas are the major exception.  I remember being a small child watching my mother roll these cookies at Christmas and then eating them hot out of the oven.  After cooling, they became quite hard (but still tasty) and we ate as many as we were allowed.  And my kids grew up having them too.  They are a refrigerator dough cookie so they take a bit of prep time, but it’s worth it.  I don’t cook mine quite so long so they stay softer for a while, but in the end, they are just as good.  I think I have made these cookies for just about every Christmas since the kids were born.  Except the year I broke my hand of course.  Buttery dough on my cast just didn’t seem like a good idea at the time.

Part of the tradition is to have your initial made into a cookie and for those of us with a big letter, it was almost like getting an extra half cookie.  My kids and John were lucky though.  If you hang the curve the right way, ALL of the cookies are their initials.  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!!

Back to the drawing board in a few days.

My bread machine committed suicide

These days, with the advent of the colder weather, I am rather missing my bread machine. I like to make soup in the winter months and freshly baked bread is the perfect accompaniment – especially if I can delegate all of the kneading to someone or something else.  I had bought the bread machine 15-20 years ago and it had a rather archaic design compared to today’s sleek modern ones.  We affectionately called it R2-D2 because if you picture the little robot without his feet, you will have an accurate image of it.  Instead of wheels, it had four little knob feet with a little rubber attachment on each to help it stay in one place while the kneading rocked it .  Over the course of the years, one rubber piece had become detached and caused it to be unbalanced when running.  I usually just put something large and flat, like my kitchen pad of  paper, underneath to stabilize it.  I was always in the general vicinity  of the kitchen so I could keep an eye on it, just in case it started to move.

A few days after my horse died Last November, I decided I wanted to make some turkey vegetable soup.  It had been cool for a few days and I wanted to make the first loaf of bread for the fall season too. I dragged R2-D2 up from the cold room where I kept it when not in steady use and then put the soup on and threw the bread mix into the machine to rise. Then I went outside to start the sad task of going through all of Lady’s things to determine what to clean and keep and what to toss.  I was at the outside spigot underneath the kitchen window filling a bucket of water, when I heard the bread machine go into the second kneading cycle and thought  “How nice – the machine is on the second mix.  We can eat in a few hours”.  I went back to sorting my tack for a while without another thought about it.

As I was finishing up and heading back into the house, my husband came out to tell me about the kitchen disaster.  The bread machine had jumped off of the counter, unplugging itself from the outlet, and crashed itself onto the tile floor.  Little bits of broken off plastic were everywhere as the machine lay sadly on its side a couple of feet from the cabinets.  Somehow, the dough had managed to stay inside so there was no sticky mess to clean up, but my wonderful bread machine was totally destroyed.  There would be no fresh bread to go with the soup that night and none until I replaced it.

A few hours later, while busy with another task, it occurred to me that we hadn’t looked under the rag rug where the bread machine landed to see if any of the tiles had been broken by the swan dive.  After a brief moment of panic and my heart in my throat, I saw that the tile survived the impact.  The damage was limited to the machine and our supper.  On a final good note, my mother has exactly the same machine which she no longer uses.  While I haven’t gotten it yet, she is going to give it to me soon and I will be able to make bread and soup once a again.

Wild turkeys in the yard last week