I decided to start my Christmas baking on Monday....it didn't go so well. First off, I was looking for recipes that do not include egg as Eli has an allergy. I found what I thought sounded good; butter, brown sugar, milk, graham wafer crumbs, chocolate chips and walnuts. I mixed up the batch and baked about 4 1/2 dozen mini baking cups of these cookies. I thought there was an odd smell in the kitchen as they baked but decided it was my imagination. After they cooled, my son and I both tested them. Eww, there was something off and we both agree it was the chopped walnuts. I went to the garbage bin and pulled out the bag, checking the best before date - October 2016. Oops! How did I miss that when I did my last fridge clean out? Suffice to say that batch made its way to the bin, pronto!
Thankfully the following day I had better luck with my first batch of shortbread. While I used a new-to-me recipe, it turned out very well. I love the buttery taste of shortbread and so does my son, so I'm know this batch will disappear in short order. It may be the first batch but it won't be the last.
Later in the week I made a pan of a gingerbread cake. Another oops! Somehow or another, the oven got turned off in the middle of baking. When I finally wized up and realized it, and finishing cooking the cake the outside was a bit well done but at least the center was cooked through. But that wasn't the end of it. I turned the cake out onto the board, flipped it over and part of the top came off. It sure doesn't look pretty but it tastes fantastic While I intended to gift most or all of it, this cake won't be going anywhere. At that point, all I could think was hopefully I'd have better luck with the next one!
By Friday afternoon, I'd baked another gingerbread cake, another batch of shortbread (using my tried and true recipe), made a pan of butterscotch taffy, and had cookie dough chilling in the fridge. AND everything looked and tasted great! But that wasn't all the excitement that day, as I received a frantic call from D that morning. A water pipe had burst in the house, the water was flowing throughout the main floor and the basement had several inches on the floor as well. She was trying to mop it up but was overwhelmed by the flooding. We didn't know where the shut-off valve was, so she called a plumber who came over and shut it off.
He discovered a pipe in the bathroom off the kitchen had literally "popped off". This wasn't an old pipe from when the plumbing would have put into the house, probably in the 50's or 60's but a PVC pipe from the 1990's. D called the insurance company to make a claim while the plumber went to his shop to get some parts. He returned and left the old pieces with D, in case the insurance company wanted to see them. In the meanwhile the insurance got in touch with a local restoration company to get the process of cleaning up the water, checking the furnace and water heater in the basement, and for any damage upstairs. They will prepare a quote for the insurance company but based on D's conversation with the adjuster it sounds like they will approve it all.
After the restoration company had arrived and done their walk-through, D called me. Oh boy, this is going to be a real process. Both the furnace and water heater will need to be replaced even though both are functioning at the moment.
ALL of the flooring on the mainfloor will need to be replaced as well, as there was already buckling in the dining room, and the flooring goes throughout the main floor. In addition, they told her they want to start ripping out the flooring today because of mold concerns. So D and Eli went for a drive to a larger center, where she did some Christmas shopping, to allow the guys to get the work done. Luckily the temperature was hovering above freezing so the cats could hang out in the sunroom and out of the way of the workers. When she returned a few hours later all of the flooring was up, and the fans were in place. Amazingly they worked around her furniture and everything was back in their normal placement as well.
I did get out of the house as well this week. Groceries were picked up on Tuesday, I met friends for breakfast and went to stitch and chat on Wednesday. Friday evening, C and I went out to the Regina Golf Club to the annual dinner put on by our local AirForce association. The dinner brings together young air cadets, their cadet leaders, members of the Snowbirds including pilots and aircraft technicians, AirForce assocation members and friends. This night, the guest of honor was our Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, Russ Merasty and his wife Donna. The meal was great and we had a good group at our table.
I got started on a new cross stitch project at the afternoon stitch group. I'd picked up the kit at the Salvation Army thrift store for just a few dollars. I've finished up a few projects and simply grabbed it to give me something to do.
In the meantime, this is one of my latest finishes. I had lots of this orange yarn, so I crocheted myself a slouchy hat. It's bright enough I shouldn't lose it anywhere, right?
I used the same yarn to make matching beanies for my D and Eli. I actually made the larger one first thinking it might fit Eli, but I could wear it, so I revised the pattern slightly to make the smaller version. I've started crocheting a pair of mittens for Eli of the same yarn since I still have some left. I've never crocheted mittens, only knitted, so these are an experiment in the making. So far, I've unravelled the first mitt twice because I wasn't happy with the way it was looking.
Sunday is shaping up to be a relaxing day, at least most of it. I got a notification just before 8, that CBC was live streaming the quarter finals of curling from an event in Halifax, so I have that running on my laptop as I write this. Later there are two football games, the East and West Division finals, and our Riders are playing the the second game. You can bet I'll be glued to the television and the poor cats will be running from the room as I cheer from my couch.
Enjoy your day everyone!