It gets a little crazy around our house at Christmas-time, a fact for which I fault my mother, grandmother and all the great-grandmothers that went before them. It’s them, and the Internet that are destroying my culinary peace-of-mind.
To start with, I down-sized my Christmas baking years ago when I realized it was up-sizing me. Where the Christmas season was once a parade of cookie-swapping coffee klatches, recipe recognizance missions and so many rolls of shortbread frozen in my freezer that at first glance the shelves looked to be full of cellophane-wrapped snowdrifts, now it is a more restrained affair.
At least, that’s what I tell myself and anyone who will listen.
The truth is that Christmas baking has the same compelling instinctive powers as a Canada goose’s winter migration, and so I am well into the shortbread baking and have even started experimenting with new truffle recipes. None of this is my fault, you understand. My maternal ancestors started planning their Christmas baking sometime in July, gathering recipes, holding shortbread summits, ordering cookbooks, clipping articles from Better Home and Gardens and Chatelaine magazines, all the while unwittingly imprinting their baking mania on moi. What is a girl to do but pick up the Mixmaster and have at it?
This week, chocolate has seized my soul and on the slightest encouragement – this time a recipe link posted by a friend on a Facebook account – I tried out an Oreo and cream cheese concoction, of which roughly 2/3s the batch made it onto the sheet for chilling. The other third is now situated somewhere over my back (there’s no room left on my thighs for fat storage). After chilling, the truffle centres were supposed to be dipped in chocolate, but something went horribly wrong with the chocolate-melting process, so I ended up topping the truffles with a rather clumpy, nasty mess of dark chocolate. It didn’t work, not a bit.
And so we chucked the Oreo-chocolate truffles. It’s heresy, that’s what it is, but in the past those kinds of kitchen failures were still consumed, just not by company, ergo the development of new fat storage units on my neck and ankles.
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