It’s the 8th of December and Adam and I haven’t put up a christmas tree yet. That’s not to say we haven’t made a valiant effort. The first weekend of December we had a neighbourhood get together and we couldn’t make it out to get a tree before then, however I did get out all the other decorations. Then this last weekend we were out of town saturday and sunday.
So, last night we ventured out after work to a u-cut tree farm we had seen a sign for up the road from us. By the time we got there it was dark, and the signs that lead us up the street and around the corner appeared to be misleading.
We couldn’t find the house or farm, and there were no signs of a christmas tree farm anywhere. We went to another garden centre and contemplated buying a living christmas tree to use outside afterwards, but the lady informed us that it needs a couple weeks to acclimatize before bringing it inside, or else the needles might all fall off. So that was a no.
We finally went to home depot for some wood and took a look at the trees, but they were all so sad looking, slumped up against the side all wrapped up. It didn’t feel like the christmas tree choosing atmosphere i had hoped for. So, we left empty handed without a tree.
I’m hoping this week or weekend we can make it out to a tree farm in the daylight to choose a tree.
In the meantime i’m trying to get some christmas baking done for our staff party this weekend. This year my favourite flavour has been gingerbread. Usually i don’t make any gingerbread men or houses, but the flavour combination definitely feels like christmas to me. I adapted this smitten kitchen recipe to make cupcakes. They were perfect. Deinitely a christmas recipe keeper. You can also make it in cake form.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 1 cup unsulfured molasses
- 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add baking soda — it will foam up! Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in butter until melted. Whisk in dark brown sugar, molasses. Mixture is usually just lukewarm by now, but if it still feels quite hot to the touch, set it aside to 10 to 15 minutes to cool further before using.
- Place flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and baking powder in a fine-mesh strainer or sifter.
- Transfer molasses mixture to a large mixing bowl. Whisk in eggs until just combined. Sift dry ingredients over wet, then stir the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared muffin tin, bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Frost with your favourite vanilla buttercream, or cinnamon buttercream!