Christmas baking

Yesterday marked the seventh day that I have spent baking shortbreads. I started on November 7. While the world is nowhere near back to normal yet–if it ever will be again–we are far ahead on the road to recovery than where we were at the same time last year. At the end of 2020 stores had closed to in-person shopping, the Y had closed for the second time, and Christmas looked as if it was going to be a lonely isolated affair. With everyone in lockdown I had time on my hands to stay indoors and bake. I made 49 tins of cookies, the most I had ever made since I took over my mother’s Christmas tradition in 2015.

As November approached I realized that there was no way I would find the time to make the same number of cookies again this year. We are now able to go out shopping, to visit, go to the Y, go to the Scrabble Club, skate indoors and see hockey games. I want to do all of that as well as carry on my mother’s tradition. I realized that I would have to reduce my cookie quota for 2021 unless I wanted to make this year another lockdown Christmas.

So after many revisions and reconsiderations I have reduced my Cookie List to 31–the same number of tins I made in 2016. I wonder if I will be able to stick to this number. I have finally come to accept the reality that I cannot maintain such a high number of cookie recipients year after year.

It has taken me seven years to perfect my mother’s recipe such that so far–after 30½ tins–I have produced no “rejects”. None. No brown cookie bottoms! No rejects means I don’t have to make more to replace the bad ones.

I have given my brother Grant and sister-in-law Evelyn the first batch of 2021, then to Mark, and this weekend I will mail five tins to friends in British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario.

A sheet of gluten-free shortbreads

28½ tins of shortbreads (the Santa tin on the top right in the front is half full)

My theme this year is blue mini lights with a few strands of colour with decorations made of glass or silver.

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