There are going to be times in this life when you have to make a choice between one thing and another. I still struggle with the idea. I like to think that I can work like a maniac and still spend fruitful and relaxed time with my son or, make dinner and make 5 or 6 kinds of Christmas cookies to wrap and ship. Why make a choice when you can just do it all? I’ll tell you why, because unless somebody gave you Superhero boots that came with the phone numbers of about 20 elves to call to pick up the slack, it just isn’t possible.
Here’s some tricks:
1. Set up an automatic tape recording that goes off when it’s closing time at the home office. Try something to the effect of “STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER” through a bull horn.
2. Forget dinner. Make hotdogs or scrambled eggs with mashed potatoes and get out the cookie cutters. Gingerbread are the best if you have to pick just one. You can hang them on the tree, they pack well, they look just as good without the frosting, and if you can’t find the cutters, you always just roll it into snake shapes. In Umbria, they make serpents for Christmas to represent the eel in Lago Trasimeno. You can either make them out of one part sugar to two parts ground almonds, and just enough beaten egg white to make a very thick dough, or Faye style, out of gingerbread. For the almond batter, roll them into snake like shapes, use raisins for the eyes, slivered almonds for the scales, and a slivered almond for the tongue. Bake at 350 until slightly golden.
For the gingerbread,
2 1/2 cups of sifted flour, (but if the dough seems really sticky, add another 1/4 cup of flour when everything is mixed together), 2 teaspoons of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg (mix together these dry ingredients), in another bowl, mix 10 Tablespoons of butter, 2/3 cup of brown sugar, 1 egg , and 1/2 cup of molasses.
Mix wet ingredients and dry together. Refrigerate for an hour and roll out to 1/4 inch. Bake at 350 degrees.
If you are shipping, pack them in single layers, each one wrapped in wax paper, and pack in popcorn or shipping peanuts.