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December 20, 2011

Holiday Baking


The past few days have been very interesting...and by interesting, I mean stressful. I had two migraines within 3 days, and then on Sunday afternoon, we discovered the Bumpus hounds underneath our house. It took me a while to figure out what the heck was going on, because I could hear a wild dogfight going on somewhere nearby, but there weren't any dogs outside. I started yelling down the hall at Ray because I thought maybe he was watching another documentary on Alaska/The Iditarod at an obscene volume, but he swore up and down he wasn't. And then...I felt a bump from underneath the house and heard a clang as something hit our pipes. The pack of vicious mongrels wasn't on TV, outside my sewing room window, or in The Christmas Story where they belong. They were in the 2 ft space underneath our elevated house attacking something, and whatever that poor creature was, it wasn't going down without a fight God bless it. Ray ended up having to go outside and scream at the top of his lungs while beating the lattice work around the elevated opening with a broom for a full ten minutes, and eventually they ran out the front and he chased them off by screaming and flailing his arms wildly, lol. So that was intense. And then I was upset the rest of the day that some poor creature was dying a slow and painful death under our house. I tried to talk Ray into crawling under the house to check on it, but he was like "uhh...no...if it's still alive, it's not going to be happy to see me."

Life is never dull amongst the Telschow clan, that's for sure.

Also, I was cussed out (and flipped off for a prolonged period of time), by a 70 year old man at a stoplight today. Which, honestly, was more amusing than it was upsetting. I worked as a bank teller every summer in college, and I'm pretty well desensitized to being screamed at by members of the public. It was literally all I could do to keep a straight face the entire time, because I kept thinking, "what if his dentures fly out of his mouth while he's screaming at me?" And once that mental image was in my brain, there was no going back...it was so freaking hard not to laugh in his face, but I had to fight the urge because it probably would have resulted in him ramming my car like Tawanda.

So instead of coming home and sewing my backlogged Christmas presents, or working on the mountain of dirty clothes in our bedroom, I did an indecent amount of baking.

Sugar cookies for my coworkers (and a small plate for Ray *wink*)


and some warm Seven Grain & Seed Bread for us to munch on with salted butter. Yum.


My bread turned out looking more like a quick bread than a yeast bread this time, because my clumsy self bumped the loaf pans and degassed them right before they went in the oven. D'oh! It was still tasty though :)

The bread recipe is Nick Malgieri's Seven Grain & Seed Bread from The Modern Baker, and I don't remember where the sugar cookie one is from...I think maybe it was given to me at one of our wedding showers 6 years ago. I absolutely love the sugar cookies because they hold their shape, but are still chewy. And the flavor is very simple and buttery - almost like shortbread.

Sugar Cookies
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder.

Beat butter and sugar in mixer until fluffy. Add eggs (one at a time) and vanilla extract. Beat until combined. Gradually add flour mixture until a smooth dough forms. Divide dough in half, wrap in Saran, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Flour your work surface and roll out one dough ball at a time. Cut into shapes and decorate with sprinkles if desired. Place on greased cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes (this keeps the cookies from losing their shape when baked).

Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned at edges. Let cool on rack.

7 comments:

  1. Sounds like you have had an interesting time. I wouldn't have went under there either. Sugar cookies are one of my favorites. Just wish I didn't have to chill the dough and then roll it out. I like the plop it and bake it kind.

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  2. TAWANDA!!! I'm older and I've got better insurance. HA! :)

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  3. Ha! I laughed at your Christmas Story reference - that's a favourite movie in our house! I can just imagine the noise those animals were making under your house. How disturbing.

    I'm going to try your sugar cookie recipe. Can it be refrigerated for a day, do you think? I thought I'd make the dough tonight and bake tomorrow night.

    The bread looks gooooood!

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  4. Oh my goodness mercy, friend, I so needed that tonight :)!! You are the best!! I hope your stressful time is a bit better now- those cookies and yummy bread would definitely make it better for me :) hehe!! Oh, I seriously laughed out loud- and am hoping that you don't have any more dog or denture episodes in the near future :) Here's to a RELAXING holiday in the Telschow house!!

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  5. Wow it all happens round your place! Hope whatever was under your house survived ok. Actually when stray cats fight with our neighbours cats it can be scary to hear and watch but normally they all walk away ok.

    TAWANDA! I was just telling my other half about that bit in Fried Green Tomato's just the other day!

    Your cookies look yummy! So festive looking too. Here's to a quieter Christmas with no more migraines!

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  6. Oh, man. You crack me up. I'm sorry it's been a stressful few days, but I'm glad you found relief in some baking. It's a very good thing you didn't laugh at the ranting driver. ;)

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  7. I am watching A Christmas Story right now and thinking about you! Our house is also above ground, and cats fight like crazy under there all the time! LOL

    You should consider linking up to A Quilter's Table blog, Tuesday at the Table, your recipe would fit right in!

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