Early thoughts and plans of Christmas

Holy smokes! Its December and the goose is getting fat, put another penny in the old man’s hat

Holy smokes! Its December and the goose is getting fat, put another penny in the old man’s hat.

Now, where did that come from? The “Holy smokes” is from my Dad, and the rest, I think, is from a children’s book I used to read to my children as Christmas approached.

Terrifying thought, Christmas. The past few years I’ve been sending non-gifts, that is, a notice to each of our off-spring telling them that a gift (that they will never see) has been given, in their name, to some child in Africa or somewhere in Asia or South America, where there is need. This is done through an organization called World Vision. I believe this is an honest organization, but this belief is based on hope as I have never received a thank you from any person in a foreign land. But you don’t give to receive thanks, so one has to have faith that what World Vision claims is truly true.

I wonder what this Chrismas will bring, and I don’t mean gifts. What will I do? My daughter (who lives with me) and I, have been invited to my son’s home in Vancouver, where there will be a lot of people.

Maybe I should stay here and invite some people in for Christmas dinner. The thought of cooking a turkey, candied sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, mashed white potatoes and probably canned corn appeals to me. But from here it seems like a lot  of work and I forgot to mention the Christmas pudding and hard sauce for dessert.

Now I am tired.

Never mind, it will all work out and maybe I can farm out some of the preparations, like the Brussels which could easily be re-heated. Just a passing thought.

Today I’d like to pass on a recipe that I use to make cookies to send to a grandson who is crazy about them.

In my cook-book I’ve written beside the recipe “these are bliss.”

Maybe you would like to try them. They are best made a couple of weeks before the holiday as the flavour seems to improve during storage in a jar or cookie tin.

Almond Cookies

1 cup of butter (I never said these were cheap to make)

1 egg

2 cups white flour

1 level teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup ground almonds

1 tablespoon cream of tartar

1 cup of white sugar

Mix in order given. Knead well. Pinch off about a teaspoon of dough. Roll between fingers and put on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten somewhat with a fork.

Half an almond on each looks nice but isn’t necessary.

Cook about 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Enjoy!

Year-Round Harvest

In 10 sessions, Linda Gilkeson will cover from Seeds to Harvest for large and small urban gardens. The mild winters of Coastal British Columbia make it possible to grow and harvest vegetables all year around.

Learning how to provide your family with nutritious, organic food will fill you with a sense of accomplishment.

The sessions are being put on by the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific in Victoria.

They run Jan. 20, 2013 to Oct. 6, 2013, Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. HCP members: $425; Non-Members add 40 per cent.

For more information call 250-479-6162 or visit www.hcp.ca.

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.

 

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