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It’s beginning

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The stress of the last few months has lifted today! Chloe wrote her last exam first thing this morning and handed in her last essay directly after and, as of 11am, she’s free as a bird. She is also half way thru her fourth and final year of her bachelor’s degree! Hooray for the clover!

To celebrate we decided to make some gingerbread cookie dough and chill it till tomorrow. Tomorrow we’ll bake and ice the cookies. Anyway, it’s December, which means “bring on the cookies” in any language, so gingerbread today and tomorrow, followed by shortbread and several types of traditional Czech cookies.

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I always use the same Martha Stewart recipe. A tried and true sort of thing, I suppose. Do you do that? Stick with one recipe for years and years? I do. The way I figure, there are probably millions of gingerbread recipes out there with some sort of variation, like less ginger, more cinnamon, one egg, two eggs, no eggs…gluten free…eeek… but how much difference can there really be?

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The dough in this recipe needs to chill and so C and I decided to do some Christmas decorating round here.

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C climbed into the loft above the garage to retrieve the Christmas boxes and the artificial tree. Our rule for Christmas trees is, if Christmas is in Vancouver, it’s a huge Norway spruce; all fragrant and shimmery, but if Christmas is in England then our artificial tree comes down and does us wonderful service. Along with the tree came five boxes of glass ornaments, (yes I’m addicted) and my aunts beautiful painting of the Sistine Madonna.


It’s such a thrill to open the boxes and remember all the beautiful ornaments; the treasures of trips back to Prague, vintage finds, special place/time commemorations…special ornaments, some of which were from my childhood. And along with them one huge living room mess.

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The tree is almost done. The Sistine Madonna still provisionally propped up on top of the carved desk. I’m not sure where to hang the painting yet and C’s been walking around the house holding it up against the walls for me to decide.

Maybe in the dining room.

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Comments: 8

  • December 6, 2013

    Hi Veronica…your photos are so clear and evocative of Christmas (especially to me who’s up in the tropics right now)…thanks so much for sharing šŸ™‚

  • December 7, 2013

    Oh boy! I’m loving it!
    It is fantastic when the house is all aglow and smells like spices from cookies. Mmmmm

  • Catherine Llewellyn

    December 7, 2013

    That tree is just ridiculously gorgeously festive! ā€¦ and this is your backup tree??? – blimey X

  • December 7, 2013

    Same old same old simnel cake for Christmas here – rich fruit cake with a deep vein of marzipan running thru it. Viva traditions!

  • December 7, 2013

    Well, ditto for the comment I left above that evidently went to FB! And Mimi Defee? We’re the same person, that’s just what my grandkids call me so that’s my name on FB.

  • December 9, 2013

    beautiful … i can smell the gingerbread baking!

  • December 9, 2013

    Oh Christmas Tree!! So beautiful šŸ™‚ We decorated our (artificial) tree this weekend too. I love the memories hiding in those ornament boxes! Happy freedom to C and joy to you too.

  • December 9, 2013

    Whoops! forgot to answer the question. In baking I always use the same tried and true. For dinner, I have some I use over and over, but I get bored, and go searching for new.

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