Having fun with a chalk board
He was a little too small then, to be put in charge of chalk, but at two 'n a-half now, he's only broken them a couple of times. Which just makes the chalk easier for small hands to hold. He loved drawing and erasing his work. A step was required to help him reach the top of his board. There was drawing paper on the other side, but he was more fascinated with the chalk board.
We were planning a barbeque for Christmas lunch, so on Christmas eve, we got the old barbeque out, to see how she went.
Mud adobe village
When we popped the top however, we found mud wasp central! I wondered why I hadn't seen them building on the house bricks, like usual. Thankfully, after some cleaner, elbow grease and determination, the barbeque was ready to cook on Christmas day. Thank you David. Though it was a family affair to clean up the mud wasp nests, from the verandah.
But now its time for my favourite part - those old traditions, which always tells me its Christmas.
Like baking gingerbread men! Only this year, they had a twist. Not only did I give them blue overalls, but they were also gluten free. They didn't taste like gluten free either. The trick was the moist dough, which needed chilling to work with. Otherwise the dough would stick to everything.
Lots of gingerbread
There were enough gingerbread men to last after Boxing day. Peter was funny when we first gave him one though, as he didn't want to eat it. He wanted to play with it instead, and got stressed when he saw any of us eating one. He got over it by the next day though, and happily ate them like any other biscuit.
I was also up early Christmas morning, to make a special treat, thanks to this recipe.
We used our own cherry tomatoes and basil, to make this delicious loaf taste even better! I was grateful for all those volunteer tomatoes which I was able to raid the evening before.
Ready to go in the oven
I did something different to my loaf, than the recipe called for, as I like the pull-apart ability of, well, a pull-apart loaf. In my baking days, we would call these peasant loaves. If you want to know the technique of how to make one, I demonstrated in this tutorial. Though you probably want to lay your slices against one another, like the above picture - which was taken after an hour of proving (or, "rising", for the baking novice).
Recipe made two loaves
They came out beautifully too. Though I would deviate from the baking times the recipe called for as well. It recommended 40-45 minutes. Mine were starting to be overdone by 30 minutes - which is when I pulled them out. They did taste really delicious, I'm told. I couldn't eat any, given they're full of gluten.
When my in-laws learned I had baked the loaves myself, my mother-in-law exclaimed, she needed to change addresses. ;)
Tomatoes in the kitchen
I was grateful for our volunteer tomatoes again, when I had enough to slice for our barbeque steak burgers. I picked them in the morning and sat them on the stove, which wasn't going to be used that day. I didn't realise until I posted this picture, how they complimented the tea towel and hand towel, David gave me for Christmas.
I really had to push myself to make the treats I did, as we were pressed for time. I'm glad I did though, because it wouldn't have felt like Christmas otherwise. Nothing says, home, quite like a tin full of gingerbread men, tomatoes from the garden and fresh loaves, dripping with cheese.
I hope your Christmas was a time of joy, even if it wasn't a time for peace and quite. Stay safe over the holidays, everyone.