I don't know any other time when the house has been this tidy. Usually, with only mum and I here during the week, and dad home on weekends - my sister home once or twice a year - it stays clean. Especially compared to friend's houses who have little brothers and sisters running throughout the house, throwing toys around and a constant stream of visitors coming and going.
It started Thursday night with mum taking the afternoon off work to tidy and wash, vacuum and scrub the kitchen spotless. I came home from school to washed floors, and had to fight my way into the only dirty spot of the floor to put down my wet and muddy shoes. When the dog came back from playing around outside, dripping wet, she had to be towel-dried quickly before she ran across the wood floors and left little soggy footprints all across.
The house was being cleaned for today, finally the day when my sister comes home! However, the lovely weather outside, a constant drizzle of rain which sometimes switches into a light snowfall and heavy winds, has delayed flights and ferry schedules. Mum and dad remain on Vancouver Island at the moment, stuck between halted schedules due to delays from winds and weather. I couldn't be more surprised, I always thought ferries were very reliable. To make matters more confusing, I couldn't even understand the logistics of it when mum explained, my sisters flight has been delayed as well - I only hope it's not for too long, so that she can still make the connection of her flight to Vancouver. It's only a question of who will actually be on the mainland to be able to pick her up.
And I sit here, the focal point of their return. I woke up early in anticipation, I am so excited to have everyone home again, and to celebrate Christmas before the day with baking and decorating, and hopefully tomorrow we'll even go and get a tree. I've decorated the house with holly branches, of the ones that I could find with berries on, and have begun making Christmas presents. Scraps of fabric litter the craft table - I'm so happy we still have a craft room! - and decorations lay on top of each other across the floor. Two presents per person I've decided, which means lots of time in the back room with busy hands!
This morning I took my dog for an aprés-birthday walk, she turned three yesterday, and we battled the slanted rain and whistling of the wind through the forest trees. In my wool scarf, Olympic mittens from 2010, a red wool headband to cover my ears, big black rubber rain boots and an oversized rain jacket, I braved the weather, and the long walk there and back in the rain. It was a little frightening walking through swaying trees on my way down to the Chocolatier, as I was planning on warming up halfway with the best hot chocolate around, and my dog began darting quickly through the ferns, excited by the smells which were brought in my the movement of the wind, but also began to become wary of the sounds and air gushing past her and pushing her around.
She wasn't very good as I left her outside the shop to get my hot chocolate, and instead of sitting nicely, patiently like other dogs, she howled, whined and jumped up in a flurry of anxiety at being left alone. She could even see me from where she was sitting, through large glass windows, but it wasn't enough. I had to quickly order and pay, comfort her, return for my drink, and leave to soothe her again. She jumped up and pawed at me in excitement, as if I had just returned from being gone a week or more!
Now, she sleeps soundlessly on the rug, tired from running excited circles around me, and pacing lengths of the trail, back and forth past me.
I've dug up a recipe from a while back now, as my day seems to be filled with crafting and putting together Christmas presents while I have the time, and while no one else is home who will spoil their surprise for Christmas Day.
Print recipe here.
A sweet and delectable treat, that can be made for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or for a tasty appetizer at any party... Your Christmas party may even be the perfect time to whip out this recipe and bake for friends. Soft and chewy, I love macaroons when I crave something sweet, and so do others!
Makes 12 macaroons.
2 eggs whites
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c brown sugar (I often find store-bought macaroons to be too sweet, so I lowered the amount of sugar in this recipe, however if you would like more sweetness, increase the sugar to 1/2 c)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 3/4 c shredded, unsulphured coconut
Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl beat together egg whites, vanilla, sugar and nutmeg.
Add coconut and stir to combine.
With a large spoon, drop mixture onto baking sheet, and leave in irregular shapes. Repeat for the rest of mixture, leaving 1 -2 inches between each macaroon.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are golden.
Allow to cool for 10-20 minutes because they will be quite crumbly when they first come out from the oven.
Best served with a steaming mug of a Homemade Chai Latte or Spiced Pumpkin Latte.
Labels: baking, Christmas, coconut, cookies, easy, ferry, macaroon, party, raining, snack, sweet, walk