Wednesday, December 27, 2006

christmases long, long ago

Many Christmases ago when I was a little girl - 5 or 6 I think - I received a set of Mr. Men cookie cutters for Christmas. Who could have guessed that all these years later I'd still be playing with them? I have no idea how many times I have made cookies with this set but one thing I always wanted to do was to outline the details in black and do fancy run-in work to ice in all the colours. I can remember my Mom saying many times what a lengthy process that would be and suggesting straight-up buttercream icing as an alternate. My Mom, as I have long known, is a wise woman. But this Christmas I decided to take the long route, just for fun.

Kendra had always wanted to try exactly the same technique so over Christmas this year we pulled out the vintage cutters and got to work. I have to say, in writing and for the record: Mom was right. It took AGES!! First there was the careful outlining -- no easy task on Mr. Small let me tell you. And then run out work which it turns out should be called painstaking - guiding - tiny - drops - of - icing - around - with - a - toothpick work. It was probably madness even to attempt it, but even as our fingers began to cramp it was great fun and the results as you can see above are quite impressive. True, the recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies and we probably got around to icing about half that, but that's really not the point :)

In news of a Christmas decidely more recent I am delighted to have spent another wonderful Christmas with my other family. It is an amazing thing to be able to spend Christmas with people on whom you have no claim -- in blood or the law -- but who have invited your into their hearts willingly. What a great way to acquire extra family. There were aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and sisters, presents and baking and puzzles. The TV was off for three days straight and no one noticed. Merry Christmas indeed.

For my parents, here are the photos of me opening the enormous present you trekked most of the way across North America for me. It was so big we'd nicknamed it "the giraffe" but it turned out to be even better than that.
Imagine you remembering on your far away holiday that my old hammock had finally given up the ghost. I can hardly wait for the weather to clear up enough to go and hang this in the backyard. I have just the right spot. Could there be anything better than a shady spot with a hammock to read in?


JAnie & DAve said...

Those cookies are phenominal! Just fantastic! Although the process was lengthy, the product is a great pay off for the time! WOW... i am stunned. I have always wanted to decorate cookies very detailed as well, but never end up doing it either... But you have done it now! Great job.

Nice Hammock. That will be so comfy and relaxing. Wish i could sit in it and laze the afternoon away with you. That is, when the sun is warm on the earth again!

I am writing this from our NEwest new mac, just came this morning. A little weird still, but here and wonderful. Also worth the extra time it will take to master it.
GOod night now though, i must hit da sac.
Love Jane

Sue said...

i am soooooooo impressed by your cookies!! wow. karla ann would love those! hahaha, i will have to send her to your site to see them. heeehee.

you are creative, wow. lovely hammock as well, hmmm....i can just imagine rocking back and forth beneath a big west coast tree....aaaah, splendid.

merry christmas dear! :) from the nauslings.

Amanda said...

Auntie Claire, for the record, I think you are blood related to us...just because you FIT IN SO WELL...and you manage to put up with our constant goofing off and geekiness.

ANyways....LOOOVED having you out for shall I describe! (i can't spell...)

Love you so much! Have an awesome year!!! (HAPPY NEW YEAR!)

Darcy & Sharon said...

Very cool cookies! They turned out awesome! The girls loved watching and "helping". Thanks for sharing!

Janice said...

Claire..those cookies are the absolute coolest! I just love reading your blog and catching up on your life. I know it's been forever and a day since we've actually seen each other, but I miss my Clair-inet! Glad you had such a wonderful Christmas! Janice

the salmon said...

i think those cookies look awesome! good thing there is a blog to spread the news of your very meticulous and cool cookie art :)