Christmas Cookies, 2014 Edition

What kind of Christmas cookies am I making this year?  Lots of them.  That’s what kind.  Thirteen dozen cookies so far, and six dozen left to make.

There aren’t any recipes here.  But this year’s baking bounty includes gingersnaps and orange cardamom shortbread.  The gingersnaps are from Chez Panisse, via David Lebovitz, and are my most favorite gingersnaps in the world.  And the orange-cardamom shortbread is homegrown, available here, and may be my very favorite winter cookies hands down.

Christmas Cookies, 2014 Edition

Bake and enjoy!  I can’t send you all cookies, alas.  But by making them yourselves, you all get the added bonus of rescenting your house with the not-too-saccharine smell of holiday cheer!

Beet Pancakes with Orange and Tarragon

Beet Pancakes with Orange and Tarragon

My kitchen sometimes seems to have a problem of over-abundance. It’s not a bad problem to have, you understand. It’s much better than the other thing. But in part because of where my produce comes from — CSAs, farmers’ markets, Sarah’s garden, and the like — I have a kind of limited control over what comes into the house. Which means that fairly often, I end up with strange surfeits or even stranger imbalances.

Six pounds of cabbage and no onions, you say? For me — not an uncommon occurrence.

This is a problem, I seem to recall, that I wrote about last summer when the issue of the day was squash. Zucchini has notoriously high yields anyway, I think I said. And by the height of the season — just about the time it’s no longer novel — there’s so much of it around that farmers are selling it for next to nothing, and you’re forced to resort to leaving midnight care packages on your neighbor’s steps just to keep your own stock under control.

Carrot and Coriander Soup, Not Once But Twice

Carrot5 small

When I lived briefly in England, more than ten years ago now, I used to love a wonderful Carrot & Coriander soup. It was bright and light and warm, like spring and fall in the same bowl. And it was everywhere: in the pub, at the sandwich shop, in cartons in the grocery store. And everyone made it well. At least, in my memory they did.

I miss it, on and off. I never see it on menus over here. I never see it in recipe books. I don’t know why my carrot soup hasn’t translated, when potato & leek is so common but so much less interesting.