19. December 2022 · Comments Off on It’s Beginning to Lot Like Christmas · Categories: Domestic

Well, this next weekend, is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and I think we have just about everything squared away. The last of the gifts that I ordered after doing so very well at New Braunfels’ Heritage Society museum last weekend were delivered on Friday, wrapped and set under the tree, near the tree, hung from the stocking hangers (to escape a pee-blessing from one of the cats establishing possession) or in the Christmas stockings for the designated recipients. The care-packages of Texas foods to my brother and to my sister’s families were mailed on Monday. The tree is up and decorated, my daughter’s Christmas village is laid out … and I have spent the last four days making fudge – the gift that we have been giving to friends, neighbors, establishments that we do business with … it seems that we can afford to give this bounty this year, having stashed away certain essential ingredients. For a good few years, we cut bite-sized bits of fudge and put them into paper cups, packaged in tins from the Dollar Tree, which made a pretty presentation, but that has just turned out to be labor-intensive, messy, wasteful and eventually too expensive. We’ll go with two- or three-inch square chunks wrapped in saran wrap and labeled with what flavor that it is, and stacked in pastry boxes … less messy, that way.

(Note to self – must do a separate nut-free package especially for the partner at Brakeworks, where all the routine work on our cars has been done for at least two decades. Justin is allergic to tree nuts …)

One last batch of fudge, to replace the one batch which has turned out to be less than optimal – there is always that one batch which fails to solidify properly. We did something wrong in following directions, mistakenly didn’t simmer the basic sugar-butter-condensed milk/crème mixture long enough to congeal, added a critical ingredient at the wrong time … or as mostly turns out with one of the most temperamental fudges, the Chocolate Mint Bavarian, didn’t melt the milk chocolate in a microwave… or over a pot of simmering water. There’s always one batch which has to be thrown out as a flat failure. This we have come to accept.

And Saturday, we checked the last item of the list, driving up to Boerne so that Wee Jamie could have his picture taken with an obliging Santa. It took us a bit of time to have the Santa tracked down to his lair at J-Fork on the Main Street – we had thought to have lunch in Boerne, but all the places which served food which we might have relished were crowded … and eventually, we settled for some pastry at Richter’s, and resolved to pick up something to make supper out of at the meat market in Bergheim on our way home. That enterprise is now in the building which served as the general store, which was dim and cramped and had a bit of everything … but now is open under new management and is bright and airy. Honestly, I hope that they can keep it all going. The ground chuck that we bought for patty melts was fabulous., and Benjy the Dog is still working away at the length of cow leg-bone that we bought there for him.

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