The rain continued today as promised with a brief respite during the couple hours we were out. Though I had planned on us starting some Christmas baking, I realised I needed more time to prepare for our time in the kitchen. We needed a few more ingredients, most of which we procured this dismal Sunday.
I had awoken early having fallen asleep shortly after dinner. It is during these sleepless nights that I take to the Internet to do some research. This morning's curiosity centered on Christmas cookies in European countries and the Danish practice of hygge.
I found a few recipes for Danish Christmas cookies in addition to the traditional ones found in both Slovakia and Croatia. I made a note of them and decided we needed fresher spices than the ones from last year and the year before. We also needed hazelnut meal and vanilla beans.
'How many eggs do you want' I asked my son as he lay awake in bed.
'Ten', he replied and I thought he was being funny. He was not. I talked him down to four hard-boiled eggs of which he ate three due to the fact that he also ate bread with cheese and a few bites of my kajgana which is a Croatian version of creamy scrambled eggs made with buttermilk and sour cream.
After our hearty breakfast I let my son watch The Lego Movie on the bed as I continued the process of cleaning the kitchen so we can have space to cook and bake together. As soon as his movie finished, we headed out into the cold 9 degree Celsius weather to gather our needed ingredients.
Whole Foods was first on our list of stops. We put the lingonberry and black currant jams into the basket along with frankincense and pine incense. The next stop was the spice shop but Sagey was sidetracked by the temporary toy shop a few doors down.
He wished for some games as we had only but a handful in the garage. How I wished his father was not so selfish to keep all of the games to himself. I still remember the children telling me they were not allowed to take any games or toys to my place since they were all purchased with his money. Petty and selfish indeed. I assured my son that we would buy some toys on Amazon this week as they cost less than at the stores.
The spice shop was abuzz with shoppers making their holiday purchases. I ran around gathering the ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and Madagascar vanilla bean jars and set them on the counter so they could be measured into the smallest amounts available. Though I had those Christmas spices from two years ago, they lacked the potency that the freshly ground spices provided.
Trader Joe's was to be our last stop but I had not realised they did not sell hazelnut meal. We walked out with chocolate shortbread stars and Dijon mustard. Since we needed the hazelnut meal for some of the planned recipes, we drove the distance to Central Market only to find out the bulk bin was empty and no other options were available in the baking aisle. I vowed to return later in the week to see if it had been restocked but we managed to find a few other items to add to the pantry.
On our way home it started to rain. We hurried inside to our warm home and had a late lunch. Sage retreated to the bedroom and fell asleep shortly thereafter. I joined him for an hour or so until my husband called. We chatted for a short while before Sagey and I sat down for our chocolate shortbread stars and the mini chocolate mint stars. Our first December Sunday was over but our week together had just begun.