Month: December 2012

teeny little gingerbread houses from a raisin & a porpoise

holiday baking: tips for success

The holidays can lead people to try their hands at baking projects that may be beyond their limitations of time and ability.  Christmas is behind us, but there is plenty of entertaining yet to be done.  Straight from the R&P test kitchens, here are a few handy suggestions to help you keep your efforts in line with what is possible, reasonable and comfortable for you. 1. If the instructions are in Polish, then Well, you see, I don’t really need to say anything else, do I? 51 weeks of the year, that there would be my tip-off.  Not the week of 12/25!  That is the week when it seems feasible and even desirable to try to construct teeny tiny gingerbread houses to perch on the edges of our cocoa mugs.  Secretly.  Commencing late in the day on the 24th.  Using a recipe written in a language I do not speak. 1. If the instructions are in Polish, then familiarize yourself with how the Polish alphabet renders the words “make sure they are damn tiny and …

winter salad

what we have

Last week my firstborn got her driver’s license. The Motor Vehicles office is about 45 minutes from our house, and the whole process took a couple of hours. I whiled away the time running various romantic errands.  Bank deposit. Look for a new dish-drain.  Get the oil changed.  Run down the to-do items for our pared-down but still impending holiday.  The oil change (“do you want us to change the air filter?  grease your sparkplugs? file your jamlocks? overwhelm you with add-ons, upcharges and options for only 39.99 more?”) came with a coupon for a free car wash (“do you want to upgrade to the Executive Sparkle Package by scanning your barcode, keying in your ATM pin number and texting us a picture of your left ear?  press 1 for yes!”) and while I sat in the car as it was splashed and jostled, I enjoyed the curious sense of peace that comes from your inner and outer circumstances lining up perfectly, even if those circumstances are not actually peaceful. It’s hard to take one …