Monthly Archives: December 2020

What to do on Boxing Day

summary: We have snow!! It’s Boxing Day; St. Stephen’s Day; warm up by helping to feed/clothe everyone;

Forget Boxing Day Sales! Let’s emulate Good King Wenceslas, and get back to the true origins of Boxing Day.

:hohoho:
The Gate of the Old English Gentleman - illustration by  Robert Seymour (1798-1836)
:hohoho:

[T]he country gentleman stood of old, at his own gate […], and superintended the distribution of alms to the aged and the destitute. The hall, prepared for the festival of himself and his friends, was previously opened to his tenants and retainers; and the good things of the season were freely dispensed to all.
 
– Thomas K. Hervey, The Book of Christmas, 1888

(continue reading )

Wild Times with Lussekatter (BBB December 2020)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for wild Lucia Buns based on Swedish JG’s mother’s recipe; difficulties with enriched dough – so what else is new? still staying at home where there are an unbelievable number of rabbit holes; I’m posting late again! Really late… one of these days I may learn to plan ahead; …maybe; information about Bread Baking Babes;

Santa Lucia

Dagen skall åter ny, stiga ur rosig sky,
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.
(A new day will rise again / From the rosy sky, Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia.)

Here it is at last, as promised, the long long long long version:

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Lussekatter (St. Lucia Saffron Buns)

Wild Lussekatter (BBB)

With COVID-19 numbers rising alarmingly, cold weather setting in, and strict government orders to stay at home as our part of the province is in the Red Zone (physically distance, mandatory mask in indoor public spaces, avoid non-essential travel, no visiting any other household or allowing visitors in our home, only go out for essential reasons, such as: work – but preferably work at home, school, groceries, pharmacy, health care, outdoor exercise), we neeeeed comfort and joy. And what could be more comforting, and more joyous than sweet saffron buns? (continue reading )

Really Really White Bread

summary: Really White Bread, following the recipe for White Bread with Poolish in “Flour Water Salt Yeast” by Ken Forkish – to the letter; wow, that’s slack dough; hazards when halving the recipe; using instant yeast for the first time; I am a slow learner;

Here’s a tip: instead of relying on your terrific steel trap mind, when halving a recipe, write the new numbers down…. :lalala:

White Bread with Poolish

I know. I’m supposed to be reporting about our BBB Lussekatter right now! But I couldn’t not talk about using commercial yeast for the first time in ages. And not our usual kind of yeast; I used instant yeast. Because so many breadmakers say it’s better. Also, there was a special request for white bread. White bread with no grains or seeds or lumps.

I decided to make a half recipe of Ken Forkish’s White Bread with Poolish. (continue reading )

…it’s about time

BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: other BBBabes have managed their time…; what I’ve been doing instead of making Lussekatter; a promise to make them soon; information about Bread Baking Babes;

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley.

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Lussekatter (St. Lucia Saffron Buns)

I WAS going to be on time. I really was!

But this is the problem with having way too much time on my hands. I have learned how to grossly mismanage it. Hence, there are no beautiful (I hope) BBB Lucia Buns to display. Yet. They WILL be forthcoming. Soon. Ish.

In the meantime, this is what I’ve been doing instead:

A Cat Can Dream
Packages Ready for the Mail

Hmmm. Shall I copy Kelly to say that the cat ate my homework? (Perhaps not. It’s a little too close to Santa’s visit for me to to be telling untruths, isn’t it?) (continue reading )

Solo Flying On Annual Cake Day

go directly to the recipe

summary: annual Cake Day; revised vinarterta recipe to add weights; staying at home again; Amaretto to the rescue; What? No Scrabble??

I made this cake on 15 November. Because I have WAY too much time on my hands now, it has taken me this long to write the report….

Vinarterta 2020

This is the first year in ages that my sister and I have not arranged to have way too much fun with our annual Scrabble Clout and Cake Making Day. It’s all due to being under quasi house-arrest again because of COVID-19 lockdowns. (Shouldn’t they change the name to COVID-19-20??) :stomp: :stomp:

Of course, we’re still allowed outside, and we’re still allowed to go to the grocery store. But are in a “red zone” and have been advised by the government to “Limit close contact to your household (the people you live with) and stay at least 2 metres apart from everyone else and not visit any other household or allow visitors in [our] home. If [we] live alone, [we] can have close contact with only one other household“.

At first, when my sister and I agreed that we would not be making cake together this year, I announced via email to everyone that we just wouldn’t make the cake at all.

  • My Reasoning:
    » Rationing has been imposed.
    » I would have to make the cake by myself and have no Scrabble game as a reward for my labours.
    » With the continued COVID-19 gathering restrictions, we will have nobody to serve the cake to.
    » Half of our family think my ground almond substitution for almond extract is wrong.
    » I can’t stand almond extract and…
    “I won’t!” said Mary.
     
    “I’ll make you,” said Colin. “They shall drag you in.”
     
    “Shall they, Mr. Rajah!” said Mary fiercely. […] “I’m going,” she said. “And I won’t come back!”

There it is then: The real reason for me refusing to make Vinarterta this year is the idea and memory of the revolting stench of almond extract.

And then T reminded me that we had said we would try using Amaretto in place of the vile extract. He was so excited about the prospect that when we went to the liquor store to get wine, along with the Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons, he slipped a bottle of Amaretto onto the cashier’s counter.

So. Yeah. (heeheehee – I love starting and ending a sentence with “So” followed by “Yeah”) This year, I ended up making vinarterta after all. In November! On the 15th! In plenty of time for it to cure properly for Christmas. (continue reading )