FULL THROATED PANIC

All the stitching on Don’t Panic is done! It now goes into the “finish me later” pile. This one will be framed, with a mitered fabric border all the way around. Not sure what color for the edging yet, but I’ll go for complementing rather than matching the deep green thread:

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To answer a question, it’s about 8 inches across from border to border.

But I’m still not stitched out. The next one is the Clarke’s Third Law sampler. This one will be a large filled cloth, covered with various patterns in my usual haphazard style, probably a bit less symmetrical than the Do Right piece. I’m thinking that the saying will meander among the patterns rather than being rigidly confined to horizontal rows. It’s on a finer count linen than Panic, stitched with two strands of standard DMC floss. I present the very larval beginning:

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It’s yet another strip pattern from TNCM, this one of grapes (Hi, Katheryn!). No, beyond folding the cloth in half to determine a rough center, I have not established a size, alignment lines, border areas, or done any other planning whatsoever. (Purists who baste in their center grids and edges are shuddering in horror right now.) I haven’t even decided whether the final piece will be displayed in portrait or landscape orientation. It will be an adventure.

In other news, in spite of another spate of horror deadlines looming from now to mid January, splatting directly on what was to have been a week off from work, I have started holiday cookie prep. Long time readers here know I aim for 10 types each December, to satisfy the family’s desire for lots of variety and to have plenty to give to family, friends, and co-workers.

This year’s line-up includes the traditional faves, plus a couple of new items. The standards making their annual appearance are chocolate chips, pecan sandies, peanut butter, Buffalo rum balls (so called because my ancient recipe copy is noted as being from the Buffalo Evening News, sometime in the 1960s), earthquakes (very similar to these chocolate crinkles), sugar cookie cut-outs (standard Joy of Cooking recipe, this year with new snowflake cutters), and oysters. Linzer cookies are making an encore appearance, too. The new ones are rolled gingersnaps (using an odd European cookie roller) and date nut rolls (from Tatte Bakery in Brookline, as published in the Boston Globe). Also back by popular demand is the panforte I’ve made before. Oh. And fudge to use up leftover chocolate and nuts. I can hear Elder Daughter hyperventilating over this, all the way from her dorm…

This weekend we baked the two items that improve with age – the rum balls that need to cure to lose that raw rum edge, and the panforte because we’re soaking it in Calvados this year. The others will follow, with the longer keepers like peanut butter being done first, and the tender ones that go stale quickly last (Linzers and the date nut roll). I try to have all baked by the weekend before the holiday. Deadlines willing.

And not to forget this week’s holiday:

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Happy Latkes to everyone!


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4 responses

  1. The Pecan Sandies are a staple here every Christmas. We also used your Rum Ball Chart to make the Amaretto version a couple of years ago, only we changed to the Famous Chocolate Wafers. Wow. This year it’s too expensive to use the choc wafers so we used vanilla wafers. The Christmas Cookie Count this year is about 15 types if you count brownies and some Red Velvet Whoopie Pies. It’s all your fault! (plus owning a deep freeze)

    Love the grapes (natch!)

    –Kathryn

    turning 60 today –I’ve known you since you were 19, I think. Egad.

  2. You were the one who got me hooked on Panforte a number of years ago, thank you.
    But how are you going to soak it in Calvados this year? Do you mean the fruit before you bake or the finished cake?
    Thank you.

  3. Oh, that sounds wonderful! I am going to try your technique.
    Thank you very much for answering so quickly!

  4. Esther – I soak both the fruit before, and drizzle the liquor over the cake after baking. I give it a light sprinkle each morning in between baking and making the chocolate covering/serving – for roughly a week to 10 days. -k.

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