Wednesday, December 23, 2015

counting down

Whoa. Is it just me or did December just whoosh by at super sonic speed? I am so behind on all my Christmas list - just getting the tree decorated and the cards sent but my usual cookies

 have been baked and given and parties and concerts have happened. This year I spent the first part of the month getting ready for a craft show

 and then worked as an assistant elf on a school event that happens every December. 

It's called Santa's workshop and basically families donate stuff to be given as presents. Every year the request is the same, give donations that can be gifted and that you wouldn't mind getting back as a present. Or as a friend put it, you give stuff and get other stuff back.

But I did the math, we are a net giving family as we get back two presents with one child but as my friend has three children in the school, she gets back twelve gifts (each child buys for parents and siblings). It's a wonderful day after loads of hard work sorting, washing,
bag of stuffies for washing

 packaging and decorating when the children come into the gym/workshop to choose gifts for their parents and siblings starting with the kindergardeners. The little ones come with their big buddies (kids from the upper grades) to help them choose and wrap, and for the day, the kids wear their pajamas and it is all feel good, in a gooey, marshmallowy way. 

This year our boy is a big buddy to a kindergardener so I saw him twice - once when he was helping his buddy and then when he was shopping (I wasn't allowed to watch).
 As volunteer elves helping the kids, we do have to manage the gift tables so that the big kids who come last still have a selection to choose from, which gets tricky with teen boys and dads especially. All the gifts are $2 each with the money going to various charities - this year our sister school and refugees. At the end of the day anything left can be bought for a loonie ($1) in loonie madness. Fun. After the dust settles all books go to the school library for the book sale and all other gifts are donated.

Then came the class party and now school is done for the year and we are relaxing at home - well after the decorating, gift wrapping, baking and grocery shopping is done. The dog got his Christmas hair cut

 and we had a bit of snow. We spent a couple of days visiting family on Vancouver Island

 and now are home for the holidays.

 My husband's new job in retail means he is working most of this week and next.

Last week I made a holiday version of my scones, adding hazelnuts and chocolate to them.

Chocolate Hazelnut Scones (adapted from Recipes Only Cookbook Caroll Allen- June 1989,Mcgraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd edition. )

3 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 c brown sugar
1 c butter
1 c milk
1/2 c finely chopped hazelnuts
1/2 bag of chocolate chips

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, baking powder and brown sugar. Pulse to blend well. Add the butter and pulse until well-mixed in. Add the milk and pulse until a dough just forms. Add in the hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Dump the dough onto a counter and pat into a 3/4" thick rectangle. Cut into triangles and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 deg F for 10-15 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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