19 December, 2013

ice queen

headed out this morning with crusty juggler for another day of shoppingery and hilarity: the morning was, so far, the coldest of the year - -38ºC with windchill, if i recall correctly, and i was just a tiny bit apprehensive when i set out. alas and alack, the day, utterly devoid of the slightest bit of moisture was glorious: the air was crisp and slightly shocking on the lungs, but gods above, i do love me a dry cold. for those of you who find the idea of -38ºC shocking, please believe me when i say that this morning was far far more pleasant than the soggy humid mess of a weather we had last week at -4ºC. there is a way one can bundle against a dry -38ºC that is impossible with a soggy -4ºC. if you've never experienced a glorious sparkling dry cold winter, you must take it on faith. please do, because once i scraped the frost off the car and stomped the snow off my boots, i felt filled with the kind of joy only a perfect day can bring. when crusty juggler joined me she said she knew i'd be in a good mood precisely because the mercury had finally dropped. she does know me well, that one.

we had another fabulous day of shoppingery - clothings, food things, drink things and other things. after i dropped her off i had to make two trips to bring all my purchases into the house. alas, i made a rather elementary mistake of putting a plastic jug of milk in the same bag as not one but two saws* which resulted in milk spillage. word to the wise - a saw and a plastic jug do not mix well. at my advanced age, i should have seen that coming.

later in the afternoon, i met my past summer student co-worker for drinks at my new favourite edmonton watering hole where the drinks ain't cheap but they sure is good, and where the cheese is plentiful and rich. we ate, drank and partook of the cheese, and lo, it was good.

once home again, i began baking - an extra spicy gingerbread (2 loaves) and many lots of earl grey shortbread cookies are cooling as i write and almond crescents are readying in the fridge while i listen to the signal and write.

tomorrow beckons with a visit to the acupuncturist and more cookery and baking and crafts with crusty and her man. life, my darlings, is such a blessed thing. i feel much compassion for the crying beast i was in the months before - gladness at being here and now is a glorious understatement. it's cold. tomorrow it'll snow. life - a multi-faceted thing that sparkles when the light hits it just right, and it's hitting it right these days!

*crusty juggler had a problem with her christmas tree. i don't judge, i just lend saws.


Alison Cross said...

I am intrigued - TWO saws?! What is crusty juggler doing with them? Are they forming a band?!

Minus 38. I would DIE. I am complaining when my frost light comes on in the car (3 degrees)

I might need to know those two recipes btw - Earl Grey shortbread and almond crescents. But only if they're easy to make lol!

If I don't speak to you beforehand - have a marvellous Christmas and New Year!!!!


Geneviève Goggin said...

Shopping days before Christmas and -38 I can do without, but your baking would be most welcome. You be a good baker woman. Do you have an excellent ginger bread cookie recipe?

polish chick said...

the shopping was fabulous because it wasn't christmas shopping. christmas chopping is another sort of beast entirely.

-38ºC feels rather lovely, but i know that people just don't believe me, so i'll give up.



the almond crescents are a bitch to make and even though they're delicious, i am never making them again. EVER. so no recipe for you.

shortbread cookies (these are my go-to 100% effective, easy to switch it up):

3c flour
1lb (454g) butter, room temp
½ c cornstarch
1c icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

whip it all up, drop on cookie sheet and bake at 325ºF for 15 min.

sometimes i use a very good quality stone-ground whole wheat flour, and then i add a cup of crushed nuts.
this time i added 2 tbsp finely ground earl grey tea
sometimes i make them plain and top with a fresh cranberry (people tend to put those vile maraschino cherries on them, but i think that's just inexplicable and icky)
i was also thinking of making another batch with cardamom and lime zest.
and finally, if you're ambitious and have the planning mojo - you brown the butter beforehand and then cool it to room temp. that will raise the cookies to glorious heights.

merry christmas!

Zhoen said...

I get it. As long as there isn't a strong wind, especially a strong wet wind. Bundle up, and that kind of cold is bracing and oddly comforting.