Friday, December 08, 2006

Bohemian by default

This week, for the first time in a while, I was actually busy. I was, if you will, a woman on the go. (I miss you Barb.) I got some freelance gigs, I ran dogs a few times and yesterday I did some Christmas baking. Now, I like Christmas, don't get me wrong. But gone are the days of panicked shopping, wrapping, consuming, buying...for me at least. Again, I like Christmas but in a mellower sort of way than even just a couple years ago. I guess it was Finland that made me see that you don't need all the crap to enjoy the season. We exchanged small, mostly homemade gifts, had a sauna and ate a fine meal. We still worked, just not as much.
So yesterday, I went out with Meg (Mumpkin) and got some neat second-hand decorations as well as some funky new ones that were half-off. It's not much but it's nice and it's enough. Then Meg and I tried our hands at making Christmas candy. Some of the candy was good. Some was really, really bad. I made a spicy peanut brittle, which is good, and some hard-rock cinnamon candy, which was bad. Meg made some cheesecake bites, which were good and some truffles, which weren't as good. The cinnamon candy didn't harden (I don't have a candy thermometer) and I put too much cinnamon oil in it (on Meg's insistence) and when I tried the goopy, red candy it burned my mouth really, really bad. Meg caught the whole thing with my camera (me chugging water from the tap and then chugging milk from the jug), but the pics are a little too dark. There were some useable pics of us showing off the goods however.

Here I am with my too-hot cinnamon candy. If this doesn't put hair on your chest, nothing will. Oops.

Here's Meg's tasty cheesecake. Well done.
Here I am packaging up some peanut brittle for Kelly in Whitehorse with a special ingredient from me.

And in it goes...I'm just kidding!!! We all know Kelly's not getting any. (I didn't actually lick it, either.)Move over Martha! That, by the way, is my fake smile. The thumb's-up is real but I much prefer the high-five.

A few days ago I ran Ken's Iditarod dogs while he was away and man, it was a lot of fun. There's still no snow, so we're still training with the ATV, which is really not much fun anymore, but running teams of strong, fast race dogs made me realize how much work training the yearlings really is. The yearlings are great and it's exciting for me to see them progress but they're still young and there are minor problems are just about every run. The race dogs however, know exactly what to do and they just go. Fast. So Ken's back now and it's back to training the yearlings for me which is good but I have to prepare myself for some tangles and fights and chewed lines. If anything, I'm learning how to stay calm in stressful situations.
Today, I'm making more candy to send out for Christmas and getting ready for John's birthday party tonight and a Christmas party tomorrow night.
Tis the season.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's better to listen to Meg. Meg would rather see Jill made speechless by too-hot cinnamon candy than whine and stomp her foot about it not being flavorful enough.
Meg always has strategy.
Or, as our president says, "Stra-te-gery."
And lest her fans think Jill suffered too much due to the biting sting of the over-seasoned cinnamon candy, when Meg told Jill to take another bite so Meg could capture the pain and angst on film, Jill happily obliged. (Meg did give Jill an alternate recipie for candy; hard maple candy. Meg is really, REALLY hoping JIll tries this recipie considering her pedigree with maple syrup and plentiful stock of it in her fridge.)

Anonymous said...

Good to catch up on the Fairbanks news and see you all. I forwarded a bit on Christmas baking and Im hoping you get more that a pile of crumbs ... Mom came here for Christmas and i had an open house at my place ... Gene, Moyra , amy and Mike and a few more of the pills. It was nice ... Great to be back here. I made some Very tastee canapies out of the salmon and everyone loved them.
Happy New Year love to ya both Mary Foxx