Today is National Bake Cookies Day. Seems to me we just celebrated cookie day. *scrolls back through previous posts and discovers it was Homemade Cookie Day*
Not that I’m complaining, mind you. One can never have too many cookies. Unless one eats too many and one feels ill afterward. Glad that’s never happened to me. Certainly never the still-warm cookies that require taste testing.
This is prime baking season in my house. My fruitcake was baked a month ago and has been “fed” with whisky every Wednesday since. Why Wednesday? Why not?
I’ve baked these chocolate chip cookies twice in the past month. I’ve also baked a test recipe for America’s Test Kitchens, and a batch of Pecan Fingers. Yesterday I baked Swedish Christmas Cookies and a second batch of Pecan Fingers. I predict there’ll be at least one more batch of Pecan Fingers before the end of the year. They’re hubby’s favourite.
I don’t often veer from the tried and true cookie recipes. They’re part of what makes this season so special. A real tree in the corner, a turkey in the oven, and a plate of sugar cookies, shortbread cookies, and Pecan Fingers all combine to make the season bright. <grin>
Do you have foods that scream “Christmas” to you?
According to a list of weird and wacky holidays and celebrations, today is National Noodle Ring Day. Um…I need a bit more information. Is it the case that we’re celebrating ring-shaped noodles? Is the creation of ring-shaped noodles so noteworthy we need to devote a day in celebration? I think someone is pulling our collective leg. I certainly won’t be running out to purchase a can of the famous chef’s ring-noodles-in-sauce to serve at my banquet.
I mailed my Christmas cards today. The list of friends and relations getting an actual paper card in the actual mail is shrinking as we move more and more recipients to the email version. I think that’s sad in a way. Receiving an email card just isn’t quiet as satisfying as a paper card. And you can’t prop an email card on the mantelpiece, or stick it in a decorative card holder (ours is a wreath topped by a snowman), or suspend it along with its fellows on sewing thread around doors and windows. But with the price of postage increasing, and the relative ease of sending an e-card, using technology to spread cheer and holiday wishes makes sense. We’ll also save a few trees. Except that will mean less work for the foresters and pulp mill operators and the greeting card manufacturers. A conundrum.
Do you send greeting cards? Paper, or via the Internet, or a mix of the two?
Here’s an excerpt from the upcoming release (THIS FRIDAY!!!) of my next book, Love and Turmoil. You can pre-order now if you'd like to be one of the first to get your cute little hands on this fun story.
Arabella and Sam are discussing a way to protect her family.
“We’ll be affianced for a few hours at most. There can be no talk of—of—love. Or any other nonsense. Please, don’t mention this in front of the girls.” She licked her parched lips. “Not until I’ve had a chance to explain—”
“Arabella.” He clasped her hand, enveloping it in his calloused grip. “I was speaking in jest.”
“Oh—I see. Forgive me.”
“There is nothing to forgive.”
“Thank you.” She suspected she could lose herself in his eyes if she allowed it. Deep blue with silver flecks. Just like the ocean on a summer day. She focused on his hand as it held hers, large, tanned, strong. A man’s hand attached to a man’s body, with all its man parts.
Here’s what the story is about:
Six months after burying her wastrel husband, Lady Arabella Woodbridge has resigned herself to a lonely life in the countryside with only her two adopted nieces for company. Being a young, respectable widow is – frustrating. Then the charming and wickedly handsome Samuel Payn takes up residence in the neighboring manor house.
Retired explorer and occasional pirate Samuel Payn is on a two-fold mission – retrieve buried loot, and locate the father who abandoned his mother to a life of poverty. But a gang of murderous villains is also after the buried treasure. And someone is threatening to tear apart the lovely widow’s family.
Will Sam’s single-minded determination to uncover his true identity threaten Arabella’s happiness - and his life?
Yup, empty brain. And I didn’t do much of anything over the weekend.
Except write 8600 words!
The pressure is on, people, with the end of the month four days away. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) <link> in which one writes fifty-thousand words in November. That’s enough words to make a short novel if one ended there. But most people I know who do NaNo use it as a starting point, getting the first half or two-thirds of a story on the page. They’ll then finish the story on their own time.
Let me tell you, getting the beginning of the story sorted and on paper (or screen) and doing so quickly (only one month – most books take several months if not years), is huge. Even if one ends up chucking half the words, the basic story is written.
Some have complained about NaNo being held in November, alongside US Thanksgiving, Black Friday madness, and the start of holiday preparations. It certainly tests one's dedication to one's craft. If you do the math, 50,000 divided by 30 equals 1667 words per day. If I’m in the zone and know where I’m heading, I can whip that off in a couple hours. If one misses a day of writing, one's daily goal increases to make up for the shortfall. Miss a few days and, well, you get the idea.
I missed a few days last week when we were taking care of house stuff and other business. Hence the weekend of mad typing. I haven’t caught up but I’m close enough to make it, by midnight on the 30th. Eep, I’d better get to it.
Do you work well under pressure? Or does your task seem so daunting and impossible that you seek refuge in the land of Pinterest and YouTube?
I can’t recall if I’ve shared a picture of the ferry that connects Long Island, NS with the mainland.
I bring this up because we’re heading across Petite Passage today to run a few errands. There has been talk over the years about building a bridge to the mainland because the distance isn’t that great. A bridge would certainly change life for the island’s inhabitants. And I can say, after living here for the past six months, that a bridge would be fabulous. Organizing one’s life around the ferry schedule is a royal pain in the arse. If you miss the boat you wait an hour. Not fun. Makes for some rushed mornings. And some lead feet on the drive coming the other way.
But at the same time, having to take a ferry to get here makes this place special and I’d hate to see that changed. Of course, I’m speaking as a short-term temporary resident so I don’t have a dog in this race.
In other news, the men and women lobster fishers are gearing up for the start of the lobster season in this area of the province. “Dumping Day”, the day the first traps are dumped in the ocean, is next Monday. We’ve been watching trailer loads of traps heading up the road to the wharves to be loaded on the boats.
Do you eat lobster?