21 December 2017

Cookbook Club Cookie Exchange

December is a busy month and, while I didn’t want to skip the library’s cookbook club two months in a row, I didn’t want to overwhelm library patrons with additional holiday cooking. So I decided to forgo the usual potluck supper and cookbook discussion format for a cookie exchange. Everyone likes cookies, after all.

On the morning of the event, sixteen patrons were registered. Twelve excited patrons bearing trays of delicious-looking cookies turned up that evening and that was fine as I’d planned ahead for no-shows. That was why I had instructed everyone neither to portion their cookies out ahead of time nor to make a specific number of cookies. Make whatever your recipe says it makes (or close enough) and we’ll divide by the number of people who come, I said.

As I'd expected, it worked out well that way. I had pre-printed small signs that said “take __” and, after all the patrons had arrived with their cookies, I divided each batch of cookies by 12 and filled in the blank. Obviously, not everything divided evenly and there were leftover cookies, but I just let the patrons go up again at the end and take whatever they wanted. It was an friendly crowd and I wasn’t worried about anyone coming to blows over the Italian Christmas cookies. (Amusingly, they kept trying to get me to take cookies, too, but as I had not baked for the exchange I did not feel I could rightly take any).

The library had provided cookie tins for everyone who turned up. I’d found some nice, seasonal plastic ones printed with candy canes and ornaments at Stop and Shop for $2 each. I bought twenty tins and just returned the unused ones after the program. We don’t have the space to keep the extras and budgets, etc being as they are I don’t want to plan too far ahead, anyway.

Budget-wise, this was more costly than the regular monthly cookbook club meetings, but still less expense than, say, any of the Doctor Who programs I’ve done. About $75 for twenty cookie tins, seven disposable seasonal tablecloths, seasonal paper napkins, chocolates, satsumas, and a cheese and cracker tray. Coffee and water is always provided by the library, so those were not factored into my costs.

Aside from the seasonal tablecloths and paper goods, I didn’t have much going for seasonal decor and the program room looked a bit drab. Happily, I remembered the wall-mounted flat screen TV had integrated Internet so I pulled up a long-playing YouTube video of a crackling fireplace set to instrumental carols and that was that!

20 December 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Tree's Up!

Actually finished decorating the tree before Christmas Eve this year. Last few years, it's been a mad sprint to get it decorated before guests arrive. Sometimes, I am tempted to have a tree decorating party ... but that feels rather too much like Tom Sawyer and the fence.

13 December 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Cards

Getting the Christmas cards out a little late (again) for international delivery. It's the thought that counts, right?