I love to bake. I find that there's so much more creativity in baking than in ordinary cooking, and I'm constantly inspired by others with new recipes and techniques. So naturally, baking is a huge part of the holidays for me.
Ever since I was a little girl, I loved watching my mother in the kitchen during the Christmas season - and I loved helping even moreso! I learned so much from her, watching her mixing doughs and icing the cookies. We all looked forward to Christmas Eve when she would set out a giant platter of all of the cookie varieties for us to eat. I can still picture her with one of her holiday aprons on, spoon in one hand, bowl in the other...while Christmas records played on the stereo to create the holiday aura...the delicious heady aroma of cinnamon and sugar emanating from the oven. It brings back such fond memories.
I look forward to this time of year so much. As soon as the stores begin stocking their holiday baking aisle, I'm in Heaven. All of those glorious rows of sprinkles, frosting, sugar crystals, and sacks of flour send me into a tizzy! And I simply can't neglect to mention the gorgeous holiday baking magazines that come out every fall; I'm a sucker for any holiday cookie magazine! Like I said, I love to be inspired, and I'm constantly finding a new recipe or icing technique that I've never seen before. I try to add a couple of new recipes to my holiday repertoire every year.
There's something so domestic and fulfilling about donning my favorite Christmas toile apron, digging out my favorite wooden spoon and all of my holiday recipes, powering up the KitchenAid mixer, turning on some Christmas carols, and baking for my friends and family. It's part of my Christmas traditions ~ and it brings me such satisfaction and joy!
Even if you don't consider yourself much of a baker, I invite you to try even a simple recipe. Get your husband and children involved in the process and make it a project for the entire family. The joy you'll get from making something warm from the oven for your family is pure holiday magic!