experiments in cooking

Posts tagged ‘holiday baking’

A Perfect Holiday Storm

This Saturday, at some point I was juggling all four of the baking sheets I own, washing multiple bowls and measuring cups so I could use them again immediately, grabbing ingredients from cabinets all around me, getting cups of water for my kids, running outside to give the dogs a break in the yard, sweeping the living room, restarting a “Little People” DVD that Neeley just had to watch but Jonah was loudly announcing he was sick of watching, discussing with Jonah the shapes of a 100-piece cookie cutter set that Jonah went through one by one—several times—repeatedly shouting out the time, which Jonah asked about every two minutes—answering the phone, doing laundry, hunting for wax paper, fending the kids away from the Halloween chocolate, putting away groceries, trying to eat a snack because I didn’t get lunch, hunting down a pen because Neeley has used all mine as drumsticks and has hidden them around the house, and trying to calculate how much time I had before I had to get dressed to meet the babysitter, drop Chris off at a friend’s house to watch a Huskers football game, and pick up a friend for dinner.

Ah, Saturday, my day off––

Wouldn’t that be nice!

To tell the truth, I was busier this Saturday than usual. Any Thanksgiving holiday baking I’ve done in the past has been pretty limited. Usually we go to relatives’ houses where I’m not expected to bring much. I’ve also relied pretty heavily on frozen and deli foods in the past. But this year I had a lot to accomplish the weekend before Thanksgiving. I had three events to bake for: a church-sponsored bake sale, a church Thanksgiving dinner, and a work Thanksgiving potluck lunch.

It – wore – me – out.

I think I finally have some idea of what many, many generations of women before me experienced during the days when there was no convenience food, no sliced bread, so handy resealable package of Oreos. That’s some idea only, because I didn’t actually have to make everything we ate this weekend myself, just a lot of goodies … cookies, zwiebach, and a cranberry side dish. I mean, I was fortunate enough to get, between baking sessions, Little Caesar’s pizza on Friday (some people would call that un-fortunate), an Olive Garden dinner on Saturday, and turkey provided by our church on Sunday evening. Nevertheless, I’ve never made so much in three days. I’m new to this.

Here was my baking schedule:

Thursday Afternoon

No bake cookies

Peanut butter Rice Krispie treats

Cocoa Rice Krispie treats

Dough for Italian ribbon twists

Friday Afternoon

Bake Italian ribbon twists

Saturday

Cranberry compote

French almond wafers

Mennonite zwiebach (double buns)

I’m willing to bet that a lot of women out there have made far more than this in a three-day period. But on top of working full-time, caring for the kids, doing laundry, taking care of the dogs, cleaning up around the house, volunteering at the church bake sale, and grocery shopping at Walmart, it was pretty hard to get everything done!

But I’m not complaining. No way! I’m Super Mom. Hey, I sewed up Jonah’s torn shoe yesterday morning before leaving for church, while serving breakfast, making coffee, changing Neeley’s diaper, putting shoes, socks, and coat on everybody but Chris—who puts on his own coat, usually—and feeding the dogs. But it would be nice to take a break.

In spite of being so tired that I brushed my son’s teeth with my own toothbrush last night, I’m glad I made all the stuff I baked. I made some memories working in the kitchen. And, looking back on how crazy my Saturday was, I think maybe it was more funny than awful. And I believe in the value of hard work, so I don’t think my time was wasted.

All the same, I’m pretty happy that later this week I’ll get to spend some time sitting on the couch, just talking with my family, maybe listening to some music, and cuddling with my little guys.

And announcing that it’s 3:30, 3:32, 3:34, 3:36 …

Yeah, you don’t get to take a break from some things.

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