The smell of Baking December 8, 2020

The smell of baking December 8, 2020
My husband is a baker. He will make bread. The aroma of warmed bread from kneading, creates a yeast aroma through the house. .Creating a basel bread using fresh basil, he adds the scent of herbs to the yeast potpourri.
/But this time of year, the baking smell are all about Christmas Cookies. I am not talking about the frosted sugar cookies but the cookies from our youth. These include date\nut cookies, pfefernuse, nut balls and springerles. They are a Polish tradition.

The springerles cookies are a lemon\anise cookie. The fragrance of lemon wells up form the mixer. The subtle of anise combines in the dough . The mixture is cooled for an hour before caked. The cookies are rolled and cut into shapes with cutters. When the cookies are removed from the oven the anise taste and smell is prominent. This cookie gets better with aging. The flavors blend and the cookie becomes softer.

Pfefernuse cookies are made with strong coffee, brandy , cloves, all spice, cinnamon and black pepper. This group of ingredients combined to make a delightful ball shaped cookie. The cookie is dipped in powder sugar for a final touch of sweetness.
The original recipe for date\nut cookies was a a bread. Making individual cookies makes storage easier.
The nut balls are mostly ground walnuts, butter and flour.
They are dipped in powdered sugar after baking . The cookie melts in your mouth with an explosion of buttery nut flavor.
But the best scent is from making peanut brittle. Starting with raw peanuts or cashews, corn syrup and butter are brought to 240 degrees. The nuts are poured into the hot liquid. The syrup continues to heat cooking to 300 degrees. The last ingredient is a mixture of baking soda and water and vanilla. This changes the color and causes the mixture to develop bubbles. The mixture is poured over buttered cookie sheets and allowed to cool. The large piece of brittle can be picked up and broken into pieces.
You may ask, what do you do with all the goodies. That is where the fun begins. We package the treats and deliver to friends and neighbors . In this time of distancing , we hang the treats in bags on the doorknobs .Afterward, we text the recipient of the treat. This is our way to bring smiles and joy to others.
So what do you do well? Do you write poems? type one roll it up with a ribbon and delivery to your friends.
Are you able to draw? Make a small illustration to decorate a Christmas note and deliver or mail them.
Even if you think you have no special skills, you can call a friend or write to a distant friend to see how they are doing. The gift of yourself will be appreciated.
So what are you waiting for? Spread some good cheer, You and others will feel more connected to each other.



Sharing Gifts

A crisp new snow set the mood
So little time, so much to do

Rising bread and brittle to make
I sip some coffee and take a break

A missing ingredient eludes, peace, love and kindness too
they are the reasons for what we do

Putting down my cup, I grab the phone
To call my daughter inviting her home

Together we knead the bread and pour warm brittle too
We laugh and talk til our work is through

packing it up, topped with a bow
We make deliveries, through gentle falling snow

Carol farnsworth
copyright 12/8/20

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