Thursday Thoughts

Ho Ho Ho
Up until a few years ago, on Thanksgiving Day I started wearing Christmas sweaters. I bought a new one each year, and owned many, enough so that I could wear a new sweater to work nearly every day until Christmas. But they started getting old and beads on the Christmas trees and snowmen began falling off. Furthermore, the schtick sort of wore off and the sweaters began looking a little too, well, Christmasy, even for my taste. So I tucked them into a drawer. There they stayed until a couple of years ago when my grandkids started borrowing them every year for the annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest sponsored by their church youth group. And they almost always won because they were, indeed, ugly. The tradition continues, though these sweaters aren’t even close to as ugly as mine. I received this photo from Vermont, featuring Joseph and Micah in their Christmas duds…..

I’m particularly taken with the one-sock-on-one-sock-off look.

Desert Life
Jen took Winston for a walk the other day, and I tagged along. There is a path not far from our AZ house that borders the desert, with Superstition Mountain in the background. It is the same path on which my sisters and I encountered a rattlesnake a number of years ago. No rattlesnakes during this hike, I’m pleased to say. I reckon they are hibernating for the winter. We enjoyed the weather and the view….

I admit that desert landscape looks like there would be a rattlesnake lurking, doesn’t it?

That’s How It Crumbles, Cookiewise
This weekend, we are planning on doing some cookie baking with Maggie and her kids. Every Christmas season, I have some iteration of grandkids involved in Christmas cookie baking. It makes me sad that I will miss that time with them this year…..

…..but Lilly and Austin will make fine stand-ins. Lilly informed us that she doesn’t like sugar cookies. Her mother Maggie says that’s a bunch of nonsense, and of course she likes sugar cookies. We’ll see who’s right. But Lilly has suggested snickerdoodles and M&M cookies using Christmas M&Ms. Good choices. I might throw in a batch of peanut butter blossom cookies, as they are a Christmas tradition.

Swiss Zopf
When my dad and mom owned the bakery in Columbus, every Christmas, among the traditional holiday treats that Dad baked was a loaf of braided bread. The bread was delicious, and we sold loaf after loaf after loaf. We closed the bags using curling ribbon, and my fingers got sore from curling red and green ribbon. A couple of years ago, I checked the internet to see if I could find the bread recipe. Lo, and behold, I learned that the bread is called Zopf, and it is a traditional Swiss holiday bread. Last year, I made a loaf that I think was marginally successful. It looked better than it tasted, as I recall…..

For the first time in a zillion years, I will be in the same town — a 15 minute drive away, in fact — from my brother, who can help me make Zopf. One of my Christmas gratitudes.


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