Whew! Wow, that was hard work!
Yesterday was baking day for the Rhoades women and their offspring, accompanied by Christmas music old and new. Grocery bags littered the cupboards as fresh eggs and butter and flour and all-things sugary lept from our recipe pages into Christmas-feasting existence. That is us (pictured) barely started on what would end up being nearly 100 decorated sugar cookies (from the most reliable recipe in the ever-loving world!), chocolate chip cookies from scratch at son-in-law, Dave's, request, dozens of peanut-butter blossoms and pb-wrapped Snicker bar cookies, piles of knock-off Girl Scout thin mints, tantalizingly smooth and delicious "Patrice's Perfect Truffles", my gourmet real-chocolate (both white and dark) peppermint bark, hundreds of sparkly dipped pretzels and peanut butter balls up to our eyeballs, Steph's homemade Werther's-rivaling carmel candy, raspberry ribbons from the most decadent butter cookie recipe and one slightly burned batch of English Toffee (I won't say who, but she just returned from a month in South Africa).
Guinivere joined us this year, proving to be a very dedicated cookie-decorator, along with her baby sister, Gemma – thus enlarging our circle for our girly-er family events.
The guys came over after several hours for a great meal (great because my husband took care of it!!) and we set up a gigantic Christmas train with the grandkids and watched the "Christmas Muppet Movie," as we continued to taste-test our goodies.
Oddly enough – we did not finish everything. No- there are still ingredients for the we-must-haves of the holiday season sitting here this morning. There are also balls of dough in the fridge awaiting completion. I actually made a much shorter list of things for baking this year than last (which was way shorter than the year before) AND we accomplished way less yesterday than last year. But my girls didn't think so. They looked around at the end of the day with big sighs of accomplishment and smiles of satisfaction at the 5 huge catering trays (one for each household represented) piled with all the goodies (and the promise of more to come) and said, "Well, this was the best baking day we have ever had. It was so much more organized and we got so much done." I quietly slipped my yet-to-do list into a drawer knowing that what they were really saying was: the time we spent laughing and loving each other is the sweetest of all the treats. That IS a good day, an accomplished day.
Need something sweet to eat?…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Less next year, less. It's more.
Pictured: Guini delighting in the stirring; all of us l-to-right, me, Tredessa, Stormie in the back, Tara holding Gemma, Jovan holding Guini, and Stephanie; Dessa helping Guini, the serious decorator; Tara and Stormie focusing on cookie designs; 1/1087 of our completed stuff