The Kitchen is now Closed

Jawfish poking his head out of his cave to see if it's all clear

Jawfish poking his head out of his cave to see if it’s all clear

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season.  Remember my last post, my big stand about refusing to make any rolled cookies in hopes of preserving my back?  Yeah.  I stuck to not making any rolled cookies, but as it turns out, if you make enough drop cookies while still up and down the train steps for 12 trains a day and add in cooking regular food, that doesn’t actually mean anything.

First came the molasses cookies.

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Then came the oatmeal cranberry chocolate chips.

Photo by Art Child

Photo by Art Child

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Pause to absorb some tank serenity.

This cracks me up, the snail has some type of algae (that I don't see anywhere else in the tank) growing from his shell.

This cracks me up, the snail has some type of algae (that I don’t see anywhere else in the tank) growing from his shell.

clown trying to convince the urchin to move

clown trying to convince the urchin to move

On to the chocolate crinkle cookies.

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Now for my favorites.  Honey nut ball thingies.  They have the flavor profile of a Greek/Middle Eastern pastry but in a cookie. They’re kind of a pain to make, lots of steps but well worth it.

The first step is the killer. Chopping and chopping

The first step is the killer. Chopping and chopping

End of chopping, walnuts on left, pistachios on right

End of chopping, walnuts on left, pistachios on right

Glaze of honey, oj, cinnamon sticks and cloves

Glaze of honey, oj, simmered down with cinnamon sticks and cloves

The filling=nuts mixed with orange peel and a little of the glaze

The filling=nuts mixed with orange peel and a little of the glaze

not so secret ingredient for the dough

not so secret ingredient for the dough

By this time I was grateful for a dough that didn't have to be mixed by hand.

By this time I was grateful for a dough that didn’t have to be mixed by hand.

End result, drizzled with the glaze.

End result, drizzled with the glaze.

Last batch, pumpkin cookies with a cream cheese frosting.  Simple and pretty fast to throw together, these are almost like little cakes.

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Added up, somewhere between 15-20 dozen cookies, less the couple dozen that were casualties to the residual nerve damage from my fall last spring.  Lots of dropping/kitchen accidents now–I have to start remembering it’s just to be expected when calculating how much I need to prepare.

Christmas dinner I tried to keep things easy.  Ham, curried lentil/cauliflower/almond pie, and a baked spinach and pea risotto.  I’ve never made risotto in the oven before, but I saw a few recipes online, and it seemed like a great back-saver.  Blech. Let’s just say I won’t repeat that mistake.

The curry pie was also new for me, but this I would definitely make again. If I can remember what I put in it.

The curry pie was also new for me, but this I would definitely make again. If I can remember what I put in it.

Mini pies with the excess curry and crust

Mini pies with the excess curry and crust

Man Child wasn’t with us last Christmas, either, but this year we’re really feeling it.  Maybe because last year he was here right before and after, maybe because we know he’s much further away this time.  In any case, he’s been missed.  On the bright side, he definitely knows the routine/timing for us, so he and Miss Music (visiting him in Europe for the holiday) called to video chat on Christmas morning.

For you, Man Child--in case you were missing our Christmas breakfast. ;)

For you, Man Child–in case you were missing our Christmas breakfast. 😉

So yeah, I’m done.  I don’t want to mix, measure, chop, sauté, or bake anything else. More than anything, I’m sick of smelling like the inside of my oven.  Why oh why does anyone think it’s a good idea to create grown-scents and lotions that smell like food?  As far as I’m concerned, it’s a successful adult day if at the end of it I don’t reek of garlic, onions, cinnamon, or vanilla.

One of the best parts of this season has been having Nerd Child home.  Not just here, but relaxed because the college app hell is over.  This means I’m getting to hear lots of fabulous music.

Yesssssss

Yesssssss

Because of El Niño, instead of gray skies and ice we’ve seen quite a bit of fog in the city this winter.  Unfortunately, late December is still far from the end of the season, and I’m afraid we’re going to be slammed with early spring snowstorms.  This of course is based on nothing other than my pessimism.

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For most of us, winter weather is, at worst, a nuisance.  Our recent high temps have meant it didn’t “feel” like it should be time for Christmas shopping, but it was more pleasant when we had to.  Feeling beat and smelling like holiday cookies is solved with a shower at the end of the day.  But for all too many, this warmer than usual season means everything.

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13 comments

  1. Miam miam! Too bad the kitchen is closed: I would stop by!!!
    Glad you had a great cooking time. I feel for you when you write about your older son. My oldest daughter was away too. Distances and jobs and schools make it more challenging. But they are with us, anyway, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry your daughter was also away. So exciting to see them move forward with their lives and have these experiences, but still. It’s hard when they aren’t here, and yes, they are definitely with us in our hearts. And computer screens 😉 Thank you for the good thoughts–enjoy the rest of the season! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You temper the bitter with the sweet, mrs fringe, for which I am eternally grateful,esp. today when I’m feeling punky. Thank you for that, and for the pix, which show me, once again, how utterly talented you are, and generous, creative . . . and to top it off, you are such a damn fine cook, oh man for a taste of one of those honey ball things…

    Merry Christmas honey, and may 2016 be good to you and yours.

    xoxo kk

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “I would make it again if I could remember what I put in it” ~ story of my cooking career, my friend!

    Your cookies (and tank!) all look lovely. The nut thinger cookies sound fantabulous, because I really really like those sorts of flavor profiles.

    I was pleased this Christmas, it was 70 degrees in Neptune so I was in a skirt and flip flops. It had rained, though, which turned my grandparents’ back yard into a swamp. So while Elka loved running around and splashing in the puddles, I had to wipe her down ever. Time. She. Went. Outside. Which she enjoyed considerably less.

    Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jen–and I love that you can relate to my non-recipes 😉 Flip flops at Christmas? Sounds heavenly! –except not so much muddy Elka 😉 Little Incredibly Dumb Dog doesn’t get muddy, but her coat has gotten yucky from all the rain. Happy, happy New Year, wishing you all the best! ❤

      Like

  4. My back hurt just reading this. As much as I love the reactions after the goodies are baked, I hate the mental and physical work involved. It’s a lot harder after 40! Mom never mentioned THAT! 😉

    I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday, have a glorious New Year, and manage to get one hell of a long break.

    Oh, and I’m totally digging the warmer weather, too. But I have a feeling we’ll make up for it later this season and/or next year. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heh, it IS a lot harder after 40! And yes, this warmer weather has me suspicious, I’m waiting for us to get slammed by a blizzard or some bizarre weather event that’s unheard of in the northeast 😉 Happy, happy New Year, Ona–I hope there’s some fun on the agenda for you. Lots of fun, actually, and laughter 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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