Christmas Baking Day

It’s Christmas baking day today. Actually, the preparations started a few days ago, with a shopping trip, of course. Then, last night, Katherine helped me make a batch of Shortbread Cookies using my grandmother’s recipe. We also made a batch of pastry dough for the mince tarts and butter tarts planned for today. So now my kitchen is in full swing for a baking day.

Richard McBride
Richard McBride

My friends Emily and Joanna will come over today. Katherine is out picking up a few things and doing some other errands; she will be here shortly. Then the group of us will start baking up a storm. I think I would like to start with the mince tarts and butter tarts. Then we can move on to some gluten-free cookies for Joanna. After that I think we might make gingerbread cookies and Christmas sugar cookies. I have the ingredients and plenty of icing sugar.

I love this kind of thing, a group effort to create something. I love starting with ingredients that finish by giving you wonderful food, or wonderful wine. I love to create. The kitchen seems a natural outlet for all this. I get to take stuff and make stuff, whether it’s a cake, a batch of cookies or a five-course dinner. It all comes from fresh ingredients and my own hands.

The problem is, of course, that I am losing my strength in those hands. Last night, Katherine had to cut in the pastry dough and mix the shortbread dough. I could start them. I could help a bit here and there. I just wasn’t strong enough to do the full show. I could blend and mix for a bit, then my arms and hands would be too tired to continue.

Thankfully, Katherine was there to help last night. Joanna and Emily will be here to help today. Between the four of us, we should get a great batch of goodies for the season. I suspect I will have to make more as the month goes on. I don’t mind. It’s fun, as long as someone can help me with the mixing.

The blog was posted originally on Dec. 7, 2015.