My kitchen is so damn cozy lately. It's so glorious to be an unemployed baker this time of year. I get to actually bake things at home and enjoy it! I've been a professional baker/pastry chef at various restaurants and bakeries for the last 13 years, and up til now this time of year has been truly awful for me and my family. When the rest of the world was most enjoying itself, celebrating, visiting, giving presents, and all the rest of it, I was slogging away at making all the stuff that people use to further their enjoyment! I worked overnight shifts! I worked 12+ hour days on my feet at all times! I had to send Sister out to others' houses because I didn't have time to be home with her! My husband was always sad that I couldn't be home with him or that my schedule made it so hard to travel anywhere! It was bad, bad, bad for many years.
But this is a new era. I'm getting more sleep now as the stay-at-home-mother of another baby--even one who still doesn't sleep through the night--than I ever did as a baker. (Which is perhaps why it doesn't bother me nearly as much as it should that my 8-month old doesn't yet do this...) And just in the past couple of days I've made Mexican wedding cakes, chocolate-speckled meringue kisses, white chocolate peppermint cookies, chocolate crackle cookies, hazelnut sandies, and the dough for spiced almond cookies. Oh, and I've brushed my fruitcakes for the second time with liqueur and rum. My house smells so good when you walk in, what with all those spicy, sugary smells plus the Christmas tree smell on top of that. I might turn out to like Christmas after all.