Wednesday, December 21, 2005

christmas travel

our car is an older model bmw. we named it sparkie, years ago...but that sprightly name is becoming less suitable for this venerable snaggletooth. not very sparkie these days; must be the upcoming 8 hour trip to northern ontario. this trip should have commenced about 24 hours ago. the car had other plans. the clutch cylinder which left us in the lurch last saturday, is now repaired and on the creditcard. the breaklight problem, though, is brand new. won't shut off. so sparkie is with his new best friend walter the repair-man for another visit.

to be looking on the right side of things, we are very fortunate that neither of these little issues came up during the trip, we have enough time to remedy them, and a creditcard with some room to spare.

walter is a very lovely german fellow, likely in his early 70's, mindful of a customers' dollar and very fair. he speaks english with a light dusting of his first language, and presents a tally of services written in impeccable european script by his thick-skinned oil-cured hand. he always offers this hand at the end of an exchange. hell. no wonder sparkie likes him.

so when david and sparkie return, we will try once more to hit the highway.

thanks, walter.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

spicy gingerbread things

so, i have been through a few recipes in search of the tasty cookie swap winner. in my haste to create during young esther's nap-time, i made a variation of gingerbread house cookies...yes, with mustard. the jar said ginger, in my own handwriting. very convincing. and yet, mustard. i picked most of it out successfully...but still a little spicy. another attempt, with actual ginger, produced a lovely crisp cookie with the seasonal flavour i was seeking...

1 cup margerine
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 cup molasses

sift and add:
6 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp ginger
1 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves

chill overnight, roll, cut and bake.
350 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

fancy up with royal icing
beat til foamy:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup merangue powder

add cup at a time til you like what it looks like:
up to 4 2/3 cups icing sugar
until stiff peaks form.