Tuesday, December 18, 2018

It's Christmas Cookies Time

Began a beautiful, sunny December morning with breakfast and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. Everyone on Sesame Street is looking forward to a joyful holiday. Big Bird, however, is worried. Oscar the Grouch told him that if Santa can't get down those skinny New York chimneys, no one will get any presents! Snuffy, Kermit, and one of the kids try to help him figure out how he does it. Meanwhile, Ernie and Bert sell the things that mean the most to them to buy Christmas presents for each other, but Mr. Hooper has a surprise that'll make their Christmas merrier. Cookie Monster wants Santa to bring him lots of cookies, but he keeps eating the writing utensils.

Went into the Merry Christmas Molasses Cookies as soon as I finished eating. Like the sugar cookies I made for Halloween, these are a cut-out cookie. The original recipe in The Betty Crocker Cooky Book calls for honey and lemon flavoring, but I prefer the spicier variation that uses molasses, ginger, and cinnamon. It's like a crispier gingerbread cookie. Unlike the sugar cookies, these came out perfectly. I thought they were too dry, but the batter rolled just fine, and nothing fell apart when I cut them out.

Put on The Bishop's Wife while I worked. The bishop in this case is Henry (David Niven), who is desperate to get a huge new cathedral built. He spends all his time trying to convince stuffy old rich ladies like Mrs. Hamilton (Gladys Cooper) to donate funds and completely ignores his wife Julia (Loretta Young) and daughter Debbie (Karolyn Grimes). He's at the end of his rope when salvation arrives in the form an impossibly suave angel, Dudley (Cary Grant). Dudley says he's there to offer Henry guidance. Henry thinks he's there to help him get his cathedral built, but what Dudley really wants is for him to realize how important his family is. Dudley, however, ends up falling for Julia, making Henry finally see just how much he loves her.

As much as I enjoyed The Preacher's Wife, this one is equally good, if not a bit better. Grant in particular makes a great angel - check out his quick method of decorating Christmas trees!

The movie ended just in time for me to pull the cookies out of the oven and finish the dishes. Headed out as soon as I was done. I had enough money of my own left to have lunch at Phillies Phatties. Despite it being 1:30, they were already busy with kids from the school down the street (and a lone mother) having lunch. (I later discovered they let out early for parent-teacher conferences this week) I had a tasty thin-crust slice of pepperoni and white broccoli, along with a fountain Mountain Dew.

Next stop was the Haddon Township Library. They were the quietest I'd ever seen them. Most people are focusing on baking or shopping this week. Not to mention, the weather, while not as warm as yesterday, was otherwise much nicer than it was over the weekend or it's supposed to be on Thursday and Friday. I think there might have been two other people there besides the librarians and me. I shelved the few adult DVD titles and made sure they were all organized properly. Headed out after a little over a half-hour.

(I didn't take any DVDs out this week myself. First of all, I have plenty of holiday programming to watch at home. Second, I have no idea what my schedule is going to be like next week. I don't know if I'll have time to return them.)

Stopped at Target on my home for flour and a few other things. To my embarrassment, I once again had no money. I left with nothing.

Cheered myself up at home with the last of the Christmas cookies. The Cherry-Coconut Bars are also from The Betty Crocker Cooky Book. They're basically lemon bars with a super-sweet cherry-coconut filling instead of a custard-y lemon filling. Even with spraying the bottom of the pan, they still crumbled when I tried to take them out, but not enough that I couldn't give at least some of them away.

Did Jack Frost while I worked. This oddity from Rankin-Bass has the title character falling in love with a human girl who claims she can only love Jack Frost. He gives up his supernatural powers to live among humans as a tailor. Not only does he end up having to defend the girl against the nasty Kubla Krouse, but she ends up falling for a handsome, more traditionally heroic knight. Jack gets Father Winter to restore his frost abilities in order to keep Krouse snowed in, but his efforts might melt away, if he can't make one certain groundhog see his shadow...

Worked on writing while the cookies were in the oven, and then as they cooled. Lady Gerda invites Leia and the guys into her home for some rest and lunch before the Queen arrives. Han and Chewie turn her down, but Leia and Luke are eager to see her beautiful stone manor and her conservatory filled with hothouse flowers.

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Had leftovers, then got the cookies into bags and tins as best I could, given the mess they made. I did manage to get them all put away and all of the bags tied and tagged. (The cheap wire flaps that were supposed to tie the dollar-store cookie bags down would never have held them until Christmas Day. I tied them with red curling ribbon and tie tags instead.)

Ran the first two episodes of the third season of Laverne & Shirley in honor of Penny Marshall, who passed away today. "Airport '59" has the duo taking over for the pilot when he's knocked out, even though neither of them have any idea of what they're doing and Laverne is terrified of flying. "Tag Team Wrestling" proves to be even more hazardous to their health when it turns out that the women they're going up against in an exhibition match for a charity drive are the very ones Laverne insulted earlier that day.

Finished the night with the classic holiday musical White Christmas. I go more into this beloved favorite at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

White Christmas

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