Energizer Bunny for Xmas (plus a thank you)

For the last week, week and a half really, I’ve been in a bit of energizer mode. Alyssa calls it my productive phase.  We’re celebrating the holidays at home this year. For the first time in a while, and I don’t want it to feel like we’re just too poor to go somewhere like some holidays seem to feel. The sad truth is, though, that we are broke. We haven’t really been able to afford to get each other gifts for some time.

Still, I’ve been diligently working on trying to make it feel like the holidays, while also putting together little somethings for the wonderful people in our lives. And that has meant – cooking. And baking. And some crafting.

It’s been serving two purposes. At the same time that I am making a whole host of Christmas food, I’m also making a bunch of frozen meals and whatnot for future low spoon days. So far I’ve managed to freeze some Kluski (Polish Potato Dumplings) as well as some fries that just need to be popped in the fryer. All at the same time as preparing the filling for a batch of pierogi: which I haven’t really made since that time years ago when I sold them for a while and ended up making over 744 pierogi by hand.

Christmas time in my family is always accompanied by very specific foods:

– Barszcz
– Pierogi
– Bigos and/or fried cabbage

Usually there is also a lot of fish, but I never really liked fish. I might see about making some crab sushi though.

On my mom’s advise I decided to try and make my own kwas this year. I’ve put together two containers of beets, with garlic, and bay leaves, and pickling spices, some salt, and hot but not boiled water.

two jars of beets for kwas

After everything is set up, you top it with a slice of yeastless rye bread.

I don’t know what will become of this. If it will end up being good. But I have backups just in case. I also made something like 40 or 60 Liters of Chicken Stock. Most of it is frozen as regular soup, and some I boiled down into frozen stock cubes.

I have the stuffing for pierogi, but I’ve been procrastinating on making the dough. Mostly because I keep planning on working on certain things before sitting down at the big table to roll our my dough. But then I get tired from working on the early in the day things and never get around to the pierogi..

I’ve boiled and fried a bunch of cabbage, though I still need to add some bacon.

I’ve also been working on desserts to give to people as gifts. I’ve made mountains of meringue mushrooms, and am working on making macarons as well. 

Meringue ushrooms with red caps with white dots.

Box of macaron with passionfruit and guava buttercream

I had been thinking of a fun idea for some time, and in typical Ania fashion, I decided that the perfect time to try it out would be an hour before we were supposed to be at our MP’s and MPP’s Volunteer Christmas Party. In 1 hour I managed to bake gingerbread cupcakes from scratch followed by icing them in the shape of poinsettias, and also breaking apart a wire candle holder and using it to connect two plates into a display plate.

Two tier plates: Top plate is meringue mushrooms and bottom row cupcakes

I’ve also been working on making the boxes a little more diverse. I still have a lot of soap stuff left over from my soap making days. I want to make some fun things for people.

I’ve started making bath bombs. These ones are scented with eucalyptus and peppermint and have oatmeal for moisture.

blue bath bombs

I’m also hoping to make some lip balm using beeswax and coconut oil, some shower steamers. I also want to try out this lotion that uses spicy peppers as a warming agent for sore muscles and joints.

I also want to say thank you to whoever sent me the kitchen mandolin. It took a bit of a circular path to get to us, but it made it eventually and already has come in useful. Thank you. It was my first ever surprise gift off of my wishlist. 

Picture of Mandolin

Energizer Bunny for Xmas (plus a thank you)

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