Sunday, 21 December 2014

on baking and on being a Grinch

It has been a good pre-Christmas weekend! With a few hiccups as you will see but nothing out of the ordinary.



I finished work at lunch time on Friday and after walking Jack we set off to find the perfect Christmas tree. As tradition dictates, the heavens opened the moment we get to our local small garden centre to choose a tree. I am calling it garden centre for lack of an appropriate name, it is really just a wee shop tucked away in shed behind two houses. The helpful owner has huge umbrellas for such rainy moments and the buckets catching the water from the leaking roof inside are comforting in their own peculiar way. We took our time choosing because real trees cost and arm and a leg (unless you are more organised than us and pop out to Ikea and get yours for £25) and it has to be just right. We got home shivering and wet but we do now have a tree and I am pleased to say that now, on Sunday evening, it has finally made its way into the living room. Winter Solstice is just the perfect day for decorating a Christmas tree, isn't it?





I stayed in bed until 9 on Saturday, and, feeling energised and noticing the sun outside my bedroom window immediately rounded up James and Alistair and the dog up for a walk in the woods. Sunshine is rare these days and there was no way in the world I was going to miss the opportunity to spend an hour outside without getting soaked or having my coiffed hair ruined by the wind. We did of course get soaked because the sun was an illusion that disappeared almost as soon as we got to our walking destination. Oh well, it was worth a try. At least to puddles on the road are always deep enough to wash muddy wellington boots before clambering back into the relative dryness of the car.

I left the offspring to their own and spent the afternoon baking. I like baking Christmas cookies in true Swiss fashion and have only got the jewels of the lot to make now, the Spitzbuebe.  I'll bake these as soon as the oven is free. I made the ones I like most because I probably eat the most (from left to back right): Chräbeli, Brunsli, Mailänderli, Pfeffernüsse.


I enjoyed some with coffee later on. What I liked most of all is that I could listen to my audiobook undisturbed for the entire afternoon. I immersed myself into the fantastic story of peculiar children recommended by Tammy (Mrs Peregrines home for peculiar children by Ransom Riggs). I listened for nearly 4 hours, lost in the story and in my baking. I had to download the second book because I wanted to know what happens to the children and was still listening at 2 am.

Today was yet another stormy day with the rain lashing against the windows and the wind howling in the chimney. Not a day for walking that is for sure. I took the three younger ones to see Paddington this afternoon, to get out of the house at least. I really enjoyed the movie, it is funny and not boring at all. Some children's films are dreadfully dull and ever so unbearable. This one wasn't.


Annie and I argued a bit on the way home. Quite unnecessarily so, it was about eating popcorn too greedily, but there you go, we are good at getting cross with each other. I am not always very grown up and continued to be annoyed when we decorated the Christmas tree. I quite like taking my time, she was hanging the most beautiful ornaments as quickly as she could.....at least this was my childish grumpy thought, Annie was just exited really..... then there was the laundry. I swear Annie puts more clothes in the laundry basket than she wears..... then I got cross with Sam for not putting any washing in the laundry basket and leaving wet towels to fester on his bedroom floor..... then I got cross with James for winding the dog up...... then I got cross with Richard for leaving the dismantled little people beds in the middle of the hallway (the have now big boy bunk beds). He countered that I had said to leave them for the time being, until they were freecycled. I did indeed but didn't mean right in the way..... Then I got cross with the dog for peeing on the kitchen floor. .... then I decided that I hated my life..... Alistair was lucky, he had done nothing to annoy me. Then I had dinner and felt better and I baked some more cookies. Tomorrow, when everybody is up I will apologise to my poor family for being such a Grinch. I will not listen to my audiobook until 2 am again.


So, a perfectly normal weekend comes to an end. The fire is on, the tree is decorated, I knitted a repeat of the fiendishly difficult Celtic cable pattern (for my December sock), the house smells of baking and life is good once again. How was your weekend? Were you rushed off you feet with last minute preparations for Christmas? Or did you sit back and relax? Maybe a bit of both?

I hope you can enjoy the last few days before Christmas! Cx

23 comments:

  1. I can relate to virtually everything you said in this post. I've been fuming all day because my husband used one of my kitchen dishcloths to "wash" a dusty table. I just bought these cloths a couple of weeks ago, after using the previous set literally to death, until they were in shreds. I'm cheap and I like to use things up. I finally "splurged" on new ones and now one of them is completely ruined, stained and gross. I washed it in hot water with bleach, to no avail. Yes, I know it's just a dishcloth but it's the principal. I told him he can take my bathroom-scrubbing rags next time he wants to wash a table - which shouldn't have been washed in the first place but that's a whole different argument! Ugh. Your cookies look so nice. I baked another batch this afternoon myself, peanut butter with Hershey kisses on top. I have to start cooking dinner a few minutes. Later, I'm going to watch TV and crochet. I have to take my car to have the oil changed in the morning. Just another weekend around here, I guess. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My other half used a perfectly good tea towel instead of a rag the other day. I'm still cross.

      Delete
    2. Daniel uses the clean tea towel for everything from mopping up spills on the floor to wiping his dirty hands and then hangs it back on the stove, drives me mental! :-)

      Delete
  2. Your cookies look so good I can almost smell them. Oh the rain, it started here today and they're saying it will last at least till Christmas, that always makes me grumpy. My back is still bothering me and I'm trying very hard not to take it out on my family.
    But being together, making special meals, enjoying the tree it all helps.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have days that sound like your grinch day, I deal with it by trying to stay away from people but that must be hard with four small people and a dog...

    Hope your tomorrow goes better

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your honesty Christina! My husband and I rarely argue, as we both find the aftermath so stressful, but yesterday we had a silly argument over how to extend the kitchen table to make room for everyone for Christmas dinner- no 2 am audiobooks for me but I am very tired just now and I am sure that was a contributing factor! Your cookies look so festive. Hope you all have a wonderful time together at Christmas X

    ReplyDelete
  5. What gorgeous cookies, and I absolutely love the names, especially Pfeffernusse, excellent. Worth making for the name alone, so that when someone comes round I can say, "Oh those, yes, they're Pfeffernusse of course". I know what you mean about the tired grumpy thing, I don't always sleep well and it makes me feel quite irritable sometimes. I remember a couple of years ago we bought our tree at winter solstice. Up at the little independent garden centre near here you can see all across the rolling countryside. We were there as the sun set, it was utterly magical. Wishing you a good, calm, happy day. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think it's perfectly normal to have a short fuse at this time of year. So much to do and all before that December 25th deadline.
    I admire your baking and holding off buying the tree until yesterday!
    I'm trying to stay calm but Joe had acquired a ride-on police motorbike with a very noisy siren which sets my nerves jangling. The batteries may have to come out!
    Have a lovely week.
    S xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My tip, cover the speaker with sellotape, it muffles those noises nicely. Only don't let them see you do it or it might get peeled off! :-)

      Delete
  7. it's a stressful timeof year, take care, be gentle on yourself and eat cookies xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Those cookies look so delicious! Don't worry, we all have our Grinch moments x

    ReplyDelete
  9. Those cookies look amazing, Christina. I'd be feeling the same as you if I'd been up til 2am, just can't cope without enough sleep. xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like a good weekend. All put to rights in the end. I was determined not to pay a fortune for our tree this year. We normally pay 50 to 60 quid. I found a lovely tree in a local farm shop for 25. Then I wanted another tree for my handmade decorations so we cut a tree from the garden! My weekend was busy - either visiting with others or them visiting us. I really need to get some mince pies baked. All your cookies look amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My favourite thing about living in Germany was the bakes goodies at Christmas time - yours look amazing! And don't worry, it's just that time of the year when the smallest of things become big annoying things x

    ReplyDelete
  12. We are baking today and all is cool and calm here. Happy Christmas Love Jo x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well, it sounds like a full and busy life! Some rain, some mess, some chaos - glad you had all of those cookies to enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds like 'situation normal' at your place Christina!
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  15. A full, busy and sometimes happy family is the stuff of life. I love the names of your biscuits they are wonderful.i think my weekend was a bit similar to yours bits of shouting, rushing around but ended with peace. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I don't suppose for one minute that you are a Grinch of any kind!!! I refuse to believe it! Just tired and too busy! I hope that you can find some time for relaxing over Christmas and doing nothing or what you want to do. Happy Christmas!! xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your sweet treats look yummy! The books sound great, I've added them to my queue (which is very long!)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Be easy on yourself my friend, it is just such a difficult time of year when so much needs to get done. Yes the audiobook might be a wee bit of the reason, but the big reason is that Christmas is overwhelming. I like how you tell us the reality of life, not everything is pastels and hearts like on some blogs. I wish you a wonderful day today, where you can be relaxed and everyone behaves. By the way I bit my husbands face off last night, I swear I was tired and cranky.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just stopped by to tell you I received your lovely Christmas card and to admire your cookies again.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I know I shouldn't have laughed reading your post, but I did. We've all been there at one time or another, and it's usually a lack of sleep that causes us to be so cross. I've had my share of Grinch moments as I've been preparing for the arrival of 13 people for the holidays. So many, in fact, that on my "to do" list today is a phone call to my dear friend so I can apologize to her for all the whining she has had to listen to from me over the past couple of weeks. Have a wonderful Christmas with you family!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx