Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cookie Countdown, Week 2: Chocolate Gingerbread

I had considered starting this post out by apologizing for yesterday's rather whiny and self-indulgent post, then I thought better of it. Everyone has crappy days or weeks or months. When you're walking around with your right arm clamped to your side like Herr Flick of the Gestapo, and feeling downright sorry for yourself for that and other reasons, it's hard to put on a happy face and pretend all is lovely and magical. Plus it's not all that honest.

Rachel made this suggestion in the comments: "...think about maybe not reading those blogs that get you to feeling like who you are and what you do is not enough. There was a blog I used to read for my daily flogging of self-doubt. And then I had to make myself stop reading it. Maybe this blog gives others inspiration and warm fuzzies, but for some reason it made me feel crappy." I know exactly what she means. Only I might need a 12-step program to give up those blogs.

I do a fair amount of showing-off here on this blog (because goodness knows no one around here is all that interested, and besides I do enjoy seeing what crafts and foods and projects and writings other bloggers produce), but I would hate to give the impression that it's all a home-baked, hand-knit wonderland here. That is part of our reality, but only a tiny part, jostling for space against the fighting boys and the cranky mama and the messy house and the white-trashy yard and the nights I'm just too tired to cook and instead bring home ham Italians from the local sandwich shop (and get treated like a queen for the day by those boys, or at least as long as the Italians last).

I would certainly never want this blog to be the place that anyone goes for flogging and self-doubt. So, along with the showing off, I'll continue to share the bad days too.

But for now, more showing off. For my second batch of Christmas cookies, I took a much less complicated path than last week, and made chocolate gingerbread boys and girls and babies and trees and stars (recipe courtesy Martha Stewart). E and I mixed the dough Saturday afternoon and rolled and we all cut the cookies while breakfast cooked Sunday morning. I got smart and cut out the first round of cookies myself, to maximize the use of the first roll-out of dough, then I let the kiddos have at it with the cookie cutters every-which-way on subsequent rollings. This worked well and the whole thing went very quickly (of course anything will feel quick compared to Spekulatius!)

These ginger cookies have been a tradition in our house ever since the recipe first came out in a Martha Stewart magazine several years ago--they are that good that you want to make them again and again!


  1. I sort of do have to flog myself after reading your blog, but I know you try not to sound as perfect as you are and I love you despite your mad skillz(:

  2. I totally get what you mean about the self-flagellation. Some days certain blogs make me feel inspired and other days they make me feel pathetic. But I just keep trying to remind myself that I am where I am and to take joy in my own process. And that if I want to get to that place where I dream of my life being I just need to keep making baby steps of progress (and win the lotto . . .)
    Lately especially, with there being no employed person in my household (and me being 8 months pregnant), the stress is always threatening to overwhelm me, but I just try to focus on what's great about this time, and how much we are learning about what we really can do without, and I think what a better position we will be in, when we do have an income again.


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