Monday, 3 December 2007

Christmas Baking

When I was little, one of the thrills of Christmas time was the baking of mince pies for the festive season. For as long as I can remember my sister and I would "help mommy" to bake, licking bowls and pressing out shapes and brushing egg white. The smell of the fruit mince filling and of the cookies baking is an integral part of Christmas for me. I haven't baked a cookie since I was child!

This past weekend I was invited to join a girlfriend, her two kids, and two other women, baking Christmas cookies. It was a leap back in time, watching the 5 year old girl and 3 year old boy standing on blocks to reach the table and "help" us bake. We made gingerbread shapes and lemon shortbread shapes and tiny mince pies. Flour got everywhere, especially all over the kids, and tray after tray of cookies went into and out of the oven, filling the house with baking smells. We had several bottles of champagne and a lot of laughs.


It was so lovely of them to invite me to join their annual bake-athon. I'd mentioned the other day that I was feeling a bit lonely over here at the other end of the planet from my friends and family, so she decided to include me. She's not a close friend - she's an old friend of milord and the best mate of milord's ex-wife, which gets a bit wierd - but she's very fond of milord and is being ever so sweet to me. Her kids are great, and we get along really well.

It is actually starting to feel like Christmas now. I bought us a living potted Christmas tree last week, and now just need to get some decorations for it. I've also bought a string of icicle lights to put up outside. I can't decide whether to put them out the front or out the back... probably out the back for our Christmas Eve party. It's getting dark so late now that we'd never see them lit up out the front.

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