Cookies and Eggnog and Grading (oh my!)

The holidays are getting into full swing around the Suri household. Our tree is up and decorated (so pretty!), I’ve finished all my holiday shopping, and I’ve made my first batch of homemade eggnog. Today is Cookie Day.

Every year Sid and I throw a big Holiday Party at our place, where I serve eggnog and bubbly and tea sandwiches and…cookies. Now, I’m not usually a cookie person. They’re a lot of work and, in my view, not as good as cake or creamy desserts. But at the holidays, cookies are a must. This year I’m trying two new recipes, Lisa Dupar’s “Crack Cookies” and Carmelitas (both on my sister’s recommendation).

I’m endeavoring to make all the cookies today and then freeze them for next weekend’s party (when I’ll be busy making the aforementioned tea sandwiches, which – btw – are a shitload of work but so worth it).

The house is warm from the oven running all day and smells like ginger and cinnamon and sweet cream cheese and caramel.

These little treats (as, of course, one must taste, taste, taste when cooking) are helping the weekend’s other big project along — grading. We’ve come at last to the end of the semester. My final exams are still looming, but I have a big ole pile of research papers to get through by Wednesday.

In between the cooking and grading (and Pilates classes!), I have gotten some writing done. Actually, I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough on Project Awesome and pounded out about 3k this weekend. As regular readers know, I’ve been getting stuck and unstuck and stuck again on this novel draft A LOT. So, for now, I appear to be unstuck. And that, dear reader, is worthy of another celebratory cookie!

Happy Holidays 🙂

The calm before the storm

All remaining midterms, quizzes, and research papers have been graded.  All final exams have been written.  There are no more lectures to prepare and nothing left to do but wait.  160 final exams will come rolling across my desk next Tuesday, but until then…I am freeeeeeeee!

What to do with this wonderful little lull, this calm before the storm?

Well, of course, I shall write.  That goes without saying.  I have a new short story I’m working on, and the poor characters in ABSENT have been stuck in the Ices Ages for months and months freezing their patooties off – some of them are in limbo just waiting to be killed before the third act.  How cruel of me!  Obviously something must be done.

Also, we’re having our annual Holiday Party this weekend.  So cookies and candy will be happening in Miranda’s Kitchen of Culinary Delights and Disasters.  Today I will tackle 2 types of bark: chocolate toffee with sea salt and chocolate macadamia nut.  I’ll also be trying two new cookies — a Finnish brown-butter sandwich cookie with blackberry jam filling and a Welsh griddle cookie.  Tomorrow, the Great Eggnog Caper begins, in which I make my famous (at least in my mind) homemade eggnog and then attempt to refrain from drinking it all before the party on Sunday.  Oh, and fillings for tea sandwiches are on the docket, and Christmas music, and a few last gift purchases, and…well, you get the idea.

So, that’s my next four days.  What have you all got brewing?