Friday, December 21, 2012


You may have wondered where I've been. I've been doing what I've been doing all year-- standing at the sink washing dishes.

It's cookie gift box month in the Fleur Cakes kitchen and this year I estimate that I made 900-1000 cookies. Boy, are my beaters tired!

I delivered the last client gift box yesterday and I don't care if I never see another cookie again.

Fleur Cakes does  have three more cake orders this month, including the last wedding cake of the year (number 51) on New Year's Eve, another small wedding with a diminutive tiered cake.

Of course there were the usual December activities- school, piano recital, shopping, class presentation, and decorating.
The first sign of Christmas to appear here is the village. The boys are experts at its creation now.

We also had a family Christmas party to decorate our little tree. For the first time in many years, all the kids attended and they each brought friends too. We ate smoked salmon spread and listened to Nat King Cole.

After weeks of warm, rainy Oregon weather, our first snow of the season finally arrived in mid-December. It didn't last for long and after another larger snowstorm we had pouring rain that created some seriously dampened spirits, squelching the hopes for a white Christmas.  A few days later the weather turned wintery again and we had another proper snowstorm. We are now under a wonderful white blanket of Christmas snow, nine inches deep. Yesterday morning when I drove Samuel to his art school ride before sunrise, I was stunned by the early morning winter landscape. The mountainous hills around us were like a painting, all the trees frosted with snow, the fields edged with fog, the white road bordered by snowbanks, all in the glowing blue hues of a winter morning. Seeing the beauty of it made rising before dawn and going out in the cold all worth it.

It's a good thing that the snow arrived during our school break because when that first clean covering of snow arrives, all other activities cease for the boys. For them, the only thing in the world is the snow and there is so much to do with it.

They forget to eat and do their chores. We should have a name for the first snow sickness.

So there are four days left until Christmas and I am about 70% ready if I don't count all the cooking and feeding of people yet to be done. I'll finish my shopping today and then the cooking will begin as well as church activities. Another December, another Christmas.


  1. You are amazing! I'm happy to see the Christmas cookies, even if you are tired of them. There is something happy about Christmas cookies. I have my (probably) only batch of gingerbread dough in the fridge waiting to be cut, baked and decorated--today hopefully. I ran out of time to get them in the bags I gave away yesterday :-)
    I would love to see that winter landscape dawn--probably too cold to stop for a picture! Or, more likely, just can't be caught on film :-) Christmas blessings to you and your family!

    1. Hi Linda, yes, I wish I could have photographed the landscape but no way would I have been able to do it justice or capture the feel and scope of it. It was magical.
      Have a blessed Christmas and a joyful new year!

  2. PS, after seeing your picture, I just may make some of those gingerbread men into snowflakes instead--they are so pretty!

  3. Soooooo what kind of cookies did you make this year? Last year I stole two great recipes from you and was looking forward to hearing what you came up with this year.

    I wish you and your entire family a great Christmas and a wonderful 2013. Thanks for all your help this year!!!!!

    1. Hi Kathy, All the recipes I used this year were from Martha Stewart because the recipes from that source are always good ones. Besides the gingerbread in the photo there are two "ice box" cookies. One is made with the chocolate ice box dough and the vanilla and has marionberry jam (the recipe calls for raspberry) and crushed chocolate chips and pecans between each layer of dough. Recipe here-
      The other cookie is also an icebox cookie. To the vanilla dough I added chopped dried sweet Bing cherries and chopped toasted almonds and also some almond extract. I love that recipe and make it with other things. Last year I used dried cranberries and pecans. I've also made it with raisins and walnuts. Next year maybe apricots and almonds.
      The gift boxes also had turtle brownies which are easy and everyone loves them. The cookie that is everyone's favorite, that I make every year is a lemon cream cheese wreath. MS has them as bows but wreaths are much easier and I pipe a little red royal icing bow on them to finish. The recipe is here-
      Blessings to you and yours also for a joyful Christmas and new year! Thank you for visiting!


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