Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Post. Just add 15 minutes.

Yesterday we went to a potluck. I love potlucks. We go to one at least once a month. Are potlucks a small town thing? Or are they enjoying a resurgence of popularity everywhere?

For this occasion I made chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies.  Zarf (age 10) contributed cinnamon buns. Previously he'd made cinnamon buns using a recipe out of Step-By-Step Breads. The final product was tasty. This surprised me since the dough was tough and the whole process took 6 hours. SIX HOURS. Maybe they tasted good because they were seasoned with my tears of frustration?

This time around I pulled out my copy of "The Joy of Cooking" from 1964. The publication date explains why this is one of the reviews on the inside cover:

"Joy of Cooking is fast becoming an institution almost as essential as the kitchen range." 
-Clementine Paddleford
This Week Food Editor. 

This batch (of certifiably tear-free) cinnamon buns was a great hit. This is the recipe we'll stick with in the future. They were so good, there was only one left over at the end of the party. I squirrelled it away and ate it as a bedtime snack.

As I'm typing this the house is full of the aroma of the Parker House Rolls I have in the oven. We'll have them for dinner with pulled pork, shredded cabbage and sweet potato fries while watching "Arthur Christmas." Hopefully the boys will have an early night as they spent the day downhill skiing.

I do not downhill ski. I use to ski when I was growing up in Alberta. As soon as I started paying for my own lift tickets, I soured on it. The death knell came when I returned home from a trip to Fortress Mountain and calculated the amount of time I'd actually skied. Conclusion: I'd spent a lot of money to stand around in lines waiting for fun to happen.

I started cross country skiing after that. It's cheaper, self-propelled & there are no line ups.

Briefly while dating Mr Wrath, I took up his hobby of back-country telemark skiing. I never really enjoyed it as I was and am very paranoid about avalanches. We took a course on backcountry avalanche safety. The model for the classroom instruction was "This type of terrain/weather/vegetation/season means avalanches are unlikely and you are safe. Now here are 12 cool personal anecdotes I have about avalanches happening despite these supposedly safe conditions." This did not help with the fear.

Not long after the class, Mr Wrath and I got married and I figured it was safe to stop pretending I enjoyed that hobby.

(Saskatoon? REALLY?!)

Which is why the highlight of my day was going to the library and discovering one of the staff at the rec centre is a huge trekkie. Also: the dog and I went for an hour long snowshoe. Also: I did baking.

Time's up!


  1. A couple years back I got rid of all but two cookbooks. One is a VERY involved & completist cupcake baking & decorating book, the other is Joy.

    I don't screw around. Joy never fails me (except the banana bread recipes, but we all have faults).

    I don't ski. Ever. I hate snow. I avoid it at all costs. I do think I'd enjoy snowshoeing though & every year I idly talk about us all going to Mt Hood to snowshoe. My family also hates snow & are highly unmotivated to take me up on that offer. Quitters.

    1. I have a very simple, never fails recipe for banana bread if you'd like it. Comes from a cook book I bought for my kids when they were starting to get interested in baking.

  2. SASKATOON?? Someone is confused.

    I love cross-country skiing. Have never tried downhill, have no interest in it. Don't like heights, sometimes get scared tobogganing.

    I tried mailing you a Xmas card, but it got returned! Then I tried emailing you on FB, but I don't know if you got it. Your Xmas card is now sitting in my kitchen, sad because it couldn't fulfill its Xmas destiny.

  3. I used to love cross country skiing but haven't for years. I should probably get the kids into it. I don't think Saskatoon really looks like that, but okay. Her outfit is fun.

    "essential as the kitchen range" - hee

    Telemarking! That's hard-core. I am also terrified of avalanches so no telemarking for me. Also it seems really hard.

    Merry Christmas, my friend!

  4. It never snows here so I no longer have to make up excuses for not wanting to go out in the freaking cold weather to risk breaking something.

  5. I made those same cookies this year!! They were good, but I'm not sure they will go into my "every year" recipes. Today I'm making more peanut brittle, those cookies you bake in the mini muffin tin and stick a peanut butter cup into, and possibly some caramel snack mix. Tis the season to gain a few lbs.

  6. Never tried downhill cross country though haven't done it in years. For our friend Christmas dinner we do potluck and I love it because so many of our friends are great cooks! Your card is on the way...mailed it a little late. Have a wonderful Christmas!