Monday, November 26, 2007


Winter has arrived in the Bag Lady’s neighbourhood. The little skiff of snow we had last time was just a precursor. It was fairly mild from then until now. The grass was still poking through the little patches of snow. But the temperature dropped steadily all day yesterday, and it started snowing in the late afternoon. It is still snowing this morning, and the temperature is minus 20C (-3 F). The wind is blowing, so with the wind-chill it feels more like minus 30C (around -22F). This does not make the Bag Lady very happy, but she realizes there is nothing she can do about it. Well, actually, that’s not true. She could move to warmer climes, but that is not feasible. Sigh. Looking on the bright side, winter arrived a full month earlier last year.
So the Bag Lady will distract herself with other things and try not to look outside too often! She has two orders from the craft sale that she needs to fill, and can always find something else to do.
Of course, once the sun comes up, she will have to bundle up and go out to feed the cows. And sweep the steps. This snow is of the light, feathery variety that is easily swept away.

The weather has turned the Bag Lady’s sights toward Christmas. She and the Cowboy are spending Christmas day away from the ranch, so the Bag Lady doesn’t have to do much in the way of decorating or cooking. She will do some baking – Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas for her without butter tarts and shortbread cookies. Perhaps that is a good project for today…

What constitutes Christmas for you? Do you love fruitcake? Or is it the sugar cookies cut into Santa Claus shapes? Gingerbread? Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas for the Cowboy without his mother’s Steamed Carrot Pudding with Caramel Sauce. (That is one of his family traditions that the Bag Lady embraced with enthusiasm!) What's your favourite Christmas food?


Leah J. Utas said...

dfBag Lady - I am terribly spoiled in that Mike does the Christmas baking and does it well. He makes fruitcake for me along with lebkuchen and linzertorte. He's tried his hand at Bishop's Bread and some other goodies as well.
We also make breadmen for Nicholas Day on December 6. Can't think of the German name for them right now, but they are tasty as all get out and we usually make critter as opposed to human shapes and have taken to calling them Mouse Buns.
I miss the dark fruitcake dad used to make and that's why Mike has taken up the fruitcake mantle for me.
Done properly fruitcake is good and it isn't Christmas without it.
Sorry to hear about the lousy weather, but at least it's normal weather. If that helps at all.

Hilary said...

Sounds like a perfect day to do that baking.. how about you come do it here? ;)

the Bag Lady said...

dfLeah - the Bag Lady is jealous of your Mouse Buns. And the other things Mike makes for you! The Cowboy does not bake, although he does a fine job of breakfast...

Hilary - is it warmer in your neck of the woods? The Bag Lady will gladly come and do her baking there if it is!

Hilary said...

It's significantly warmer here today.. we're expecting rain. At what temperature do you want me to set the oven.. ?

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

My mom makes something she calls fruitcake, but it's really just gingerbread with candied fruit mixed in. It's not that all-fruit, all-nut combo that can be so hard on one's teeth.

My preference is panettone, though. I've never made it myself, but given how expensive it is, maybe I should start!

the Bag Lady said...

Hilary, I don't care what temperature you set the oven at as long as it's warmer at your house than it is here!!
Hi, Bunnygirl! The Bag Lady really doesn't like fruitcake, dark or light. Something about those candied cherries turns her off. What the heck is panettone? The Bag Lady has never had that. (She lives a sheltered existence up here in the frozen north!)

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Bag Lady,

I am so far behind in my reading and posting but I had to tell you this:

I have been shouting to all that my cartsmart bags arrived last week. I showed both to my daughter in law and told her she could have one. She choose the denim and I was secretly happy because I love the railroad stripe.

The best part is that I went to the supermarket and the bag is perfect, just perfect. the pictures don't do it justice, the bags are so roomy and you can adjust everything but the best part is that the handles really cover the shopping cart handle. No germs! None! I don't have to keep my hands on a particular spot because the handle cover is wide and roomy.

You are an artist!

And thank you for the smarties for the grandkids. the New York grands loved them and I saved four pack for the two Florida grandkids as I am going to visit them Saturday.


Reb said...

Our snow started last night and is still going, it is about -18c and I too want to be somewhere warm. Alas that ain't gonna happen!
I'm with you on the fruit cake, but mostly because it has fruit cooked in it. Don't like my fruit cooked, um, well the few fruits I do like.
I miss butter tarts, there is no point making them, because I am the only one that would eat them, then I would never like them again.
Shayne & I are going to make Lefse this year, and that will probably be it. I haven't found a shortbread recipe that I can use the mixer on yet and I can't stir left handed.

Anonymous said...

No snow here, just dreary rain. *sigh*
My mom used to make killer chocolate chip cookies. As much as I tried, I could never duplicate her recipe.

the Bag Lady said...

dfTerrie: The Bag Lady is so happy you like your bags! Thank you for your compliments - she is blushing. And she is also glad the grand-kids liked the candy. Hope the Florida kiddies do, too.
Reb - The Bag Lady envies you your Lefse! She hasn't gotten around to doing any baking yet today. Still working on bags to fill orders. She doesn't think this cold weather is going anywhere anytime soon, though, so baking day will come!

the Bag Lady said...

Missicat! Know what you mean about duplicating something mom made. No matter how hard the Bag Lady tries, she cannot duplicate her mom's fabulous, flaky, absolutely delicious pastry. Those butter tarts were out-of-this-world. Sigh.

Oh, and Terrie, thank you for not rubbing the Bag Lady's nose in the fact that you are on your way to Florida! It is still really, really cold here, and will probably stay that way for quite awhile.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Is this too terrible to confess?

We have this weird tradition now (gosh, guess it's been about 15 years) where Christmas Eve we go over to visit Lobster's Mother, and dine with her on sourdough bread, Caesar salad, champagne....and (ulp) cracked Crab! .

I could never admit my cannibalism on my own blog. (But mmmm...crab is tasty!)

Hilary said...

Crabby, I find that terribly disturbing. I mean really. My mind is trying to grasp this very WRONG image. Truly, I would have never had you pegged as drinking champagne.


the Bag Lady said...

Gasp! Crabby! Caesar Salad?! Sourdough bread?! (what's the Lobster's mother's address again?)
The Bag Lady loves all those things mentioned...hmmm, maybe she can talk the Cowboy into a new tradition!
(Well, except perhaps the Caesar Salad - he doesn't care for it!)
I'm with Hilary - shocking news about the champagne! Who'd a thunk it? But your secret is safe with us...