Catching up… long time no see!

January 30, 2011 at 22:11 | Posted in Christmas Project, Family | Leave a comment

Here I am, finally able to find some fruitful online time to update my ever-so-neglected blog!

Where can I start? What can I say?

My Christmas season was as busy as ever: the Friday before Christmas we experienced quite the snowfall and the roads were not “driveable” that weekend, which translated in some very frantic last minute Christmas shopping.
Even though the snow brings along major logistic problems and dangers, the landscape was amazingly transformed by the fluffy white coating: another amazing creation by the Lord!

Here is our building’s back yard covered in snow! It truly looks like a winter wonderland!

This was our Christmas tree in our living room, decorated by my Mom, with a back garden view. It was the very first time we had purchased a fake tree instead of a real one. It didn’t smell like a real tree, but the result was just as good!

Another snowy close-up!

My Christmas Project was a complete and utter SUCCESS!

I was able to purchase 9 beautiful clear glass jars, all fitted with a nice vacuum seal top, for just under $4,00 each at a local department store.

I was able to shortlist 4 kinds of cookies to fill the jars with and I did most of my baking the week before Christmas. I baked the last batch on Christmas Eve, just before leaving for our traditional Midnight Christmas service.
The cookies I prepared were: peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, lemon meltaways and midnight cookies.

After the jars were filled, I wrapped them in clear plastic with a white snowflake motif and I tied it up at the top with a nice and thick red sating ribbon. To finish them off, I attached a cardboard tag which I downloaded from Google Images from Gooseberry Patch which said “From the Kitchen of…”, looking very Christmassy. I also slipped a peppermint candy cane through each bow.


Here is the finished product! Sorry the image is blurred a bit…
The jars are sitting onto my great-grandmother’s wooden pantry furniture, which was given to my Mom for her wedding.

I will share all of the cookie recipes in later posts.

Christmas day was spent with family from my dad’s side: there were 18 of us, sitting around a rather long table!
We had a luscious Christmas lunch, with the start dish being my grandmother’s hand-made cappelletti: a kind of pasta with a meat filling, made entirely from scratch by my wonderful 83-year-old grandmother. 
We also had roast, potatoes, a variety of appetizers and panettone, the typical Italian Christmas dessert.
There was a huge gift exchange and we all had fun watching my 2-year-old cousin Greta trying to open her gifts, while at the same time keeping track of what everybody else was doing!
Since most of my Christmas day was spent helping in the kitchen, I hope to share a few more pictures once one of my uncles will pass his through…

Speaking of my precious cousin, she turned 2 on December 15th and I was asked to bake a cake for her birthday party.
I decided to bake a basic vanilla sponge cake, using a Swiss roll recipe, cover it with the lilac tinted fondant I purchased in London and maybe getting a few gumpaste flowers on as well. This was the end result:

 
Even though the writing was a little off-side, the end result looked quite nice and was appreciated by everyone, including the birthday girl, who kept asking for more “sugar flowers”…

I don’t know if you can spot it on the picture, but I did sprinkle some pink lustre dust to make it all glittery on top.
Making this cake was a very time-consuming job, but I hope to bake many more in the future, thus furthering my expertise at handling fondant and gumpaste.

Another great thing which came up during the holiday season was a new and interesting online tour and study course from Vision Forum called “Hazardous Journeys: Into The Amazon”. Doug Phillips is taking us to the deep Amazon forest to uncover some of the great mysteries of God’s wonderful creation: from plants to animals, to the lost tribes of this remote yet fascinating area of the world. Mr. Phillips’ wife, Beall, is also posting some interesting pictures, videos and blog entries letting us into the Amazon craft world. If you’d like to join Mr. Phillips on this hazardous but God-driven journey, you may do so here.

The greatest challenge so far in this journey to unexplored and stunning lands for me was to stay true to the belief of worshipping the creaTOR and not the creaTION.

Many blessings,
Alice

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