I can't believe it's almost Christmas. I do realize December just arrived but it still feels as if the holidays are right on my doorstep. I guess I've fallen for all the marketing pressure. They start pumping it out right after Halloween. I try to ignore it but somehow it seeps in.

I'd love it if Christmas wasn't about the presents. Or if everyone stuck to the rule of only handmade gifts. That's a hard rule if you suck at making gifts. Not everyone wants a popsicle stick ashtray, or underwear made from macaroni.

I know a family who does secret Santa every year. Ya, I know, big deal. What they do differently is that they pull for names the day after Christmas so they have a whole year to make something great. That's the catch, they have to make their gifts. You can perfect a lots of false starts when you have 365 days to work with. I'm making Jess a scarf since the one I made for myself is fabulous. This is only my second knitting project so who knows how it will turn out. Unfortunately, Jess will be getting it for Christmas whether it works out or not since I won't have time to knit another one. If I had the whole year to knit I'd be able to crank out several crappy scarves before I hit the jackpot.

To buck consumerism, I try to think of inexpensive gifts for my girls since I think they have enough stuff. Reya is getting some yarn and knitting needles, and I am going to teach her how to knit. Wini wants to bake a cake, so she is getting a new cake pan, the dry ingredients in a jar and a recipe. Ruby may get a lump of coal since she is still young enough to be convinced that that is a great gift. And I can say I made it myself.

Happy holidays everyone.

Butter Tarts

2 cup white flour
1 cup shortening
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp cold water

1/2 cup of raisins
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1tsp lemon juice

Blend shortening and flour with a pastry cutter until crumbly. In separate bowl combine salt egg, vinegar and cold water. Add to flour and shortening and mix until just combined and no more. The key to dough is to handle it as little as possible. Form dough into a ball and wrap in cellophane. Place in freezer for 10 minutes. Roll dough out on a floured surface to about 1/8" thick. Cut out circles and press into a greased muffin tin.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Pour boiling water over raisins and let sit for 5 minutes and then drain. Stir together butter and sugar. Blend in corn syrup, eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice. Stir in drained raisins but don't stir so much that the mixture bubbles. Fill pastry 2/3 full. Bake 15-20 or until pastry is golden.

1 comment:

  1. How did you make the hearts on the hot chocolate? I suck at making things look pretty