On Saturday the sun was gloriously out for the first time in aaages, so I left Matthew snoring gently at about 9:30am and popped to the corner store for some baking supplies. As per our last blog post, I diligently selected some new recipes from The Book, and got to work.
I love festive baking, but my mouth does not water for plain shortbread. It's just to ...plain. So I respected the recipe, but I also zested a massive orange and splashed my newly-purchased orange essence liberally. Voilà orange seasonal shortbread. Voilà also a lovely wintery scent which lasted most of the morning and came back in the evening when I finally got around to cutting and baking.
I also make r&r truffles. One thing I passionately yearn for from Australia during the Christmas baking season is pure cream. Does not exist here. I made do with 'whipping cream' which is only 33% and contains skim milk and *shudder* carrageenan. What is carrageenan anyway? Don't tell me. I don't want to know. Also, skim milk has no place in cream. Long story short, they were ballin'.
|Festive and fortifying.|
Matthew surfaced in the pm, and we headed for Value Village (Canadian version of Savers) on Victoria St for some appropriate attire for Matthew's work Christmas Party next weekend. Although both our sweaters are definitely ugly, mine is also angora leopard-print, so it's on trend as well. And Matthew's actually suits him, so I'm going to encourage him to wear it after the affair is over. Judge for yourself:
|Also, Matthew's mustache is Back, and luxuriant as ever. <3|
Cousins Shannon, Eleanor, Carolyn and Emily came over and made beautiful work of the tree trimmings and window decals. We rewarded them with r + eggnog, champagne, and ice-your-own-shortbread. (Yes, we did give them dinner, and dessert. But yes, they did most of the work by far.)
|Shannon and Eleanor in front of the naked tree.|
|With Matthew, adding the awesome vintage lights.|
|Carolyn decaling the door with snowflakes|
|Carolyn and Emily without a drink in their hands... how did this happen?!|
|The solemn decoration of the winter orange shortbread stars|
|Favourite picture: me taking my hostess role seriously, Eleanor saying 'when'.|
|Emily and Shannon decorating their stars|
|Matthew's stunning macro photography of his spontaneous shortbread frosting sandwich.|
|The finished tree! And our new poinsettia (thank you Emily!)|
On Sunday morning, again beautiful and sunny, we woke up to the most beautifully decorated apartment, full of festive cheer. Thank you to Carolyn, Eleanor, Emily and Shannon for making our apartment ready for the season! We think of you whenever the tree lights are on (every evening :)).
This evening we ran out of baking (I know! How could this happen?!) so I make the second iteration of the applesauce ginger cake I first tried last week. It was even better this time. (Long story: it's a 'copy recipe' Starbucks ginger cake. Last year I kept making excuses to 'get a coffee' which was code for 'get cake', but in my internet wanderings I discovered it is full of evil petroleum byproducts. So I made my own. It's pretty similar. No complaints from the 20 people I've already fed it to.) We put it to cool on the balcony because it's snap-freezing out there this evening. These clear nights! Bracing!
|Matthew iced this. He is my champion baking decorator. It's all that Warhammer, such dexterity, such an eye for detail.|