Good afternoon from New York and a very Happy Christmas to you all.
Perhaps some of you all remember my photograph of a little cyclamen plant that I bought in hopes that it would inspire my Christmas tea cup cards this year.
Each of these watercolor cards is painted individually, so that although somewhat alike, each one is different. Just like flowers, themselves! I do the paintings on Arches watercolor paper and manage to fit four on each sheet of a block of this paper.
The weeks since I returned from my U.K. holiday have been filled with multi-task juggling. I am still so happy to have gotten my FoakleyArts shop up and running at Etsy, but also very glad to have been able to fit in visits with New York friends, Christmas gift shopping and shipping and painting the tea cups.
Today I commenced cookie baking, an intriguing project given the minuscule dimensions of my kitchen. New York City kitchens are small. Mine is very small. I have a sturdy butcher block table in my little living room. Surrounding this table is a wooden shelving system made many years ago for me by my late father. This duo serves me well in general food preparations, but baking requires me to rearrange many items that the butcher block table normally holds.
It's an adventure! An adventure that is best begun when I've got plenty of time and patience.
I thought you might be amused to see some of the cookie baking process. (I mixed up the basic brown sugar, butter, vanilla, egg, cream and flour dough early this morning. It's been chilling in the fridge for hours.)
I like using star-shaped cutters for these cookies, and add green or red sanding sugar to the cut out starts before they are baked ... for about 9 minutes. You may have spotted the Glenmorangie, but do not think that any sipping of the malt accompanied the baking. No indeed. This project requires a clear head.
This tin of cookies is now ready for the oven.
Here's the first batch of red stars cooling on a paper towel. This occurs on a sliver of kitchen counter next to my sink.
I assure you that I did nibble a couple of the stars just to make sure that they did taste all right. They did.
As I write this post I am also alternating my laptop activity with additional tins of cookie baking. Multi-tasking. The sun is beginning to set.
The following photo shows you all a bit of the complex storage maneuvers that take place on the shelves above the butcher block.
On the lower shelf, you will see a pretty blue enameled multi-purpose jug. In one of the first pictures you'll perhaps see a pale rose enamel vessel. These two very welcome additions to my kitchen equipment arrived yesterday...from Amsterdam. They are part of a collection of Riess enamel ware that I was very fortunate to win an a giveaway from Yvonne Eijkenduijn, who writes the delightful yvestown blog. Yvonne is also the creator of the 2014 Mollie Makes calendar, which will soon be pinned to my kitchen wall, replacing the 2013 MM calendar.
I promise you all that I will find a place to keep these lovely prizes and look forward to making great use of them. The porridge pan will be perfect for my morning oatmeal! I am very grateful to Yvonne and feel as if Santa has already arrived in my home.
Many thanks also to all of you who've been visiting my posts. I love getting comments from our world wide community. My hope is to create another post before Christmas. Meanwhile, best wishes to all for a wonderful Christmas time...even if you are also practicing multi-tasking!