Thursday, December 26, 2013

Home, Home on the Range, Part 1 of 3

Dear Husband and I celebrated Christmas with my father's side of the family. We drove over the plains and flew over the woods to get to Grandmother's house. There we met cousins, aunts/uncles, my parents, and my younger brother. I had finished the chapter I was editing on Christmas Eve, so for the first time since September, I had no dissertation work that *had* to be done. Instead, I practiced both domestic and defensive arts, played cards, watched movies, talked, and ate, ate, ate.

With so many of us descending on Grandmother's house, I didn't want her to go out of her way getting cooking or baking. I mean, guests are cheap, indentured labor for the duration of their stay! So I volunteered to head the baking detail with my mother. She had offered to make her yeasty Christmas bread, so I suggested sugar cookies, figuring the cousins could decorate them together. Then somebody requested "something chocolate," and somebody mentioned the way rum balls help you survive family gatherings, and suddenly we had quite the list. In addition to 4 dozen sugar cookies, I decided to make cocoa rum balls (a two-fer!) and paleo snickerdoodles for my dad. One aunt and uncle provided the cookie cutters and decorating supplies, so we went to town.

Commenters on the online cocoa rum ball recipe said they tasted too strongly of alcohol, so I halved the light rum and added orange juice. The base is vanilla wafers moistened with syrup. For nuts I used Grandmother's immersion blender (above) to pulverize pecans for a true Texas delight. I rolled them in gold sprinkles to give them an expensive look (below). They were a big hit!

The paleo snickerdoodles were tricky. Made out of almond flour, coconut oil, and honey, they have no wheat, eggs, or butter. This batch turned out sweet but dry. Dad says he might have to tinker with the recipe to add some applesauce for moisture. (Photo: Mom using Grandmother's stand mixer.)

Photo credit for these two pics: Dear Old Dad
Finally, sugar cookies, which never fail to delight. In addition to the reindeer, snowmen, stars, and Christmas tree shapes, I showed my cousin how to roll out snakes of dough from the scraps and twist them into candy canes and wreaths. There are some at the bottom of second photo above. If you have food coloring, you can make them green or red as appropriate.

Photo credit: DOD
Meanwhile, the menfolk caught up on their shuteye...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments let me know that I am not just releasing these thoughts into the Ether...