Friday, December 24, 2010

Preparing for Christmas

Here in the hen house we have been spending our time getting things ready for Christmas.  Of course that means we are spending our time finding the perfect gifts for all of our friends and family out among the crazy crowds of people; West and Ruby have their own ideas of what would be perfect, however I am thinking some of them would not really be very practical. 
This also means that we have been doing some baking!  We love to bake in this house (West I think the most out of all of us) which means that all of the gifts that we gave to our friends were baked goodies wrapped in a wonderful hand-made drawstring bag. 

West and Ruby pitched in on helping with the bread since this is basically a weekly ritual and so they both pretty much know what they are doing. I figured I could leave them to their own devices in the kneading of the bread dough area, and this way they can say they helped with some of the gifts.  In my opinion, what a great way to show them what Christmas is really about!  West of course had to put his own style into it!

Once the bread was baked (and for some reason this took two rounds since the first batch grew so big the loaves would not fit in the bag) we put them into these great little cloth bags,

and added a little jar of apple pie to each one and proceeded to hand them out.  I love the looks on peoples faces when something is given to them that they were not expecting in the least but you can tell they love it!
These little apple pies were loads of fun to make.  West, of course, helped with these as well and did a fabulous job!  Ruby helped after they were done by stealing one and eating it before I even knew it was missing.  It's a good thing we had two extra!

And since we had four extra loaves of bread that were so big they really could have been about a loaf and a half, we made French Toast with one whole loaf.  It was so good!  I cut nice big pieces and they were so much better than any store bought bread I have ever used.  To be honest, these kind of ruined French Toast made with regular bread from the store.  And then to top it off we put butter and Maple Syrup over the top and then added a cup of coffee or milk on the side!  Man-oh-man, I am quite please that we messed up on the first batch of bread.

And since of course all that baking and wrapping and gift giving was done our house was a bit of a disaster.  So, this afternoon while Ruby was napping West and I cleaned the house from top to bottom.

Tomorrow of course we will be doing some of our own baking, things like snicker-doodles for the rooster, and dough for rolls, and pretzels dipped in almond bark!  We may end up having to clean the house tomorrow as well!

And in amongst all the chaos that is the Christmas season we all needed some peace and restfulness and this song seems to have done the trick for me every time.  Please enjoy, and may it bring you some of your own peace.

From this hen house to yours, Happy Christmas! May it be merry and full of joy!

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