In my thinking about a saner Advent and holiday season, I never give up on the idea of holiday baking. I may not do much of it, but it's been an important part of my holidays since I was old enough to mix sugar into butter.
In the spirit of holiday baking, here's an unpublished poem, which I'd give a different title if I revisit it ever:
Orion, that winter visitor, reminds us of our frosty
obligations. Now is the time to prepare.
We dig in the cupboards for the cookie cutters,
creatures enough to create a healthy genetic
mix for the holiday planet we will create.
We remember anew the joy of the well-seasoned
skillet, so versatile as we fry the meat
and cook a well-crusted cornbread.
We strive for abundance, to be prepared
for the unexpected visitor, the waylaid
traveler who might arrive without gifts.
We rediscover the joy of bread baked
fresh in the morning. We afford
the extra splurges that festivity demands:
exotic nuts, dense pastes, sweet icings,
breads heavy with butter and spices.
We could not maintain this pace
all year, but for a month, we pretend
we can handle the additional load.
We try to ignore the yearnings from the stomach’s
pit, the one that wonders why every day
can’t be filled with goodies cooling on the hearth,
a household bathed in the fragrance of baking bread,
the comfort of cake.
For a recipe for a great and fairly easy holiday bread, see this blog post.
For my favorite holiday cookie recipe, go here--the cookies can be made thinner, like sugar cookies, or thicker, like a tea cake.
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