But the little care packages my mom sends around Christmas always make the holiday for me.
When we were little, Christmas was like.. the day where NO ONE cooked, and you ate junk food all day. It was great. Except it wasn't just chips& crap. It was all home-made cookies and candies and baked goods. Really great stuff. There were different things every year, but there were ALWAYS a few select things that became tradition. Mom's homemade fudge (So good! I loved it when she put walnuts in it), Monster cookies (Oatmeal, peanut butter, raisins, M&Ms, all sorts of stuff. I think it's my grandmother's recipie), and Baklava. Considering one side of the family is very German, and the other is French-Canadian, I don't know where we got this yearly tradition for a greek pastry, but I don't care. I love this stuff so much. I could eat a whole pan full on my own it I thought I could get away with it. Some years, there would be traditional decorated christmas cookies, or unpronouncable german things that were really good.. or the traditional "Booze Cookies" (Really tiny fruitcakes in tiny tiny cupcake paper things that were marinated in like.. brandy & triple sec for like a month before you eat them). I never got into the booze cookies. I always thought those candied fruits that come in unnatural colors and go into fruitcake were hideous. I always avoided them like the plague during the holidays.. lol
When I moved out and mom started sending me the care packages (usually with family members or in person), she started putting those in. I felt bad telling her I really didn't like them that much XD But man.. I wouldn't eat them. Matt wouldn't touch them.. the only person that would eat them was Nick, and he moved up to Denver with Makoto& Ringo XD
So, more for her I guess XD
But anyway.. back to the Baklava
I found some phyllo at my local grocery store. I'd been thinking about trying to make my own for a while now. Mom's is WONDERFUL, but since it's split up over the family, I totally bogart it and feel bad because Matt only gets a few peices before it's gone XD
So.. I bought some extra honey, the walnuts, and the phyllo, and went home to try it out. Unfortunately, I realized way too late that all I had in the way of butter was a tub of country crock, and NO pastry brush. I figured.. what the hell.. and gave it a go anyway.
I figured since I knew the basics, I could probably just make it work on my own, but boy was I wrong XD
In the end, the honey turned really dark and gooey ( I think it had started to carmalize), and only the top layer of phyllo turned out crispy like it should have. The bottom was a gloppy brown mess that never ended up rising. :(
I'm going to go buy a brush so I have more control as to where the butter goes.. and remember to buy some real butter this time. XP
Also- I miss real butter! D: We only have margerine at the house, and since I don't go through it all that quickly, it works for most things. It's really not the best for others, though.
Like.. I'll use the margerine for everything from cooking to grilled cheese sandwiches, etc..
But if I had some real butter, I'd be using it for cooking and toas. Both are things I don't do that often, so the few times I've brought some reall butter home, it's sat in the fridge. And the fridge is no place for butter you want to put on your toast >:O
I liked having the butter out in a dish when I was at home, because it was always soft enough to do whatever the hell you wanted with it. But the natural enemy of a room-temperature stick of butter is a cat. XD
I want a butter bell! D:
Butter bells are some wacky french invention that keep your butter fresh& at room temp. It's like.. a ceramic cup with a lid on top. When you pull the lid off and hold it upside down, there's a smaller cup on the inside. you fill that smaller cup with butter, and the bigger cup with water, and it keeps the butter at room temp and unexposed to air.
I have no idea why the butter just doesn't drip into the water, or get all melted and slip out when you open it. Mysteries of science, I guess. But I want one D:
I don't know why, but the idea of REAL soft, salted butter on my toast is so exciting right now.
Plus, I bet with the amazing powers of a pastry brush and some real butter, I'd have a little better luck with the baklava :(
I'm going shopping for the Thanksgiving dinner for me& Matt later this week. I'll probably pick up some real butter for cooking, try to find a brush, and then feel bummed about not having a butter bell D: Maybe I just won't get one, so that when a family member (usually mom) asks what I want and I say "I don't know XD I'm happy right now and I don't want anything) I'll have an answer this time around XD lol
But now that I've made it public, I will get like 20 butter bells this year, and will be renamed the Empress of Dairy
Oh.. short post script:
Waco has stopped selling Johnsonville summer sausage. Like.. as of 4 months ago, and it's pissed me off >:O I love that summer sausage. And I miss fresh cheese curds, but I could never get those in Tx anyway..