December 19, 2008
I have been busy in the kitchen lately. It has been a regular Santa's bakeshop around here. I decided at least a month ago that all of my gifts this year will be homemade. So if you're reading this and you are expecting a gift from me, this is a SPOILER: your gift will be so delicious.
That's because I had a marathon baking day with my good friend and stellar baker, Betsy. She roped me into baking for a neighborhood artisan market last weekend where all of our cool, hip neighbors sold their artistic wares in a new vacant building space in East Nashville. It was a very fun community event and I was glad to be a part of it. Not only did I hawk a few baked goods, but I met many nice people and was reminded of why I love this 'hood so much.
Betsy and I made s'mores in the shape of little houses with homemade graham crackers, homemade marshmallows and chocolate. She made the most beautiful linzer tortes with a X-mas tree on each piece.
We made a lot of yummy things, including two kinds of biscotti: almond dipped in chocolate and chocolate-orange-pistachio.
We made mini cranberry walnut loaves and maple-glazed pumpkin spice loaves (the best-seller of the day), and our baker friends Lisa and Tom joined in the fun and made cheese straws, chocloate cookie crisps, sugar cookies, walnut fudge and apricot-pecan bread. Our table was overflowing with homemade goodness. You should have been there.
With what I have leftover, I am giving all kinds of nice presents to friends in the coming days. It's the perfect year for making homemade gifts, really. Not just because we're all broke, but because it recalls a time when life was simpler and giving the gift of something made with love in your home kitchen was greatly appreciated.
I hope this year is no exception.