Into the New Year

Posted by mrssmythe on January 10, 2019 in Baking, Celebrations, Crafting, Critters, Seasons, Week in Review |

“Cozy” is the worm I’d use to describe our New Year’s Eve this year. For us, it was a rainy night with lots of wind – the perfect weather for hunkering down by the fire and watching old movies…which is exactly what we did. After a very busy and full Christmas season, having a night for the family to just sit and relax together felt like an enormous luxury. I highly recommend it.

Here you see Manny pretending he is a lap dog.

That dog loves the fire. The minute we light one, he plunks himself down in front of it, or near enough to catch some of the warmth.

A highlight of our evening was the Black Forest cake I made.

Doesn’t that look impressive? Here’s a secret: it’s from a mix. Can you believe it? It was a German mix that I picked up at Yankee Candle. You can find the mix online, too. It’s the Kathi Black Forest Cake Mix. And, while it’s a step up from the cake mixes you find at the grocery store, it’s still pretty easy to put together. A warning, though – it’s not nearly as sweet. In fact, we ended up adding powdered sugar to the whipping cream that you use to frost the cake. (The mix didn’t call for any sort of sweetener). Also, the maraschino cherries were my idea. You were supposed to use cherries from the canned ones you used in the filling, but the canned cherries we had were flesh-toned and not very pretty on their own, so I went the maraschino route.

And how did it taste? Delicious! I would absolutely make this cake again.

Shortly after New Year’s Day, all of the Christmas decorations came down.

Well, not all of them. I left the twinkle lights up, and the front window boxes are still filled with their greens, the sled remains on the front porch, and all of the candles are still in the windows. Basically, anything that wasn’t too Christmassy got to stay – especially if it kept things feeling cozy. We’re heading into the bleak winter months now, and anything that can help dispel the gloom is most welcome.

Something else that is dispelling the gloom – a new knitting project!

This is the camel yarn that Pepper gave me for Christmas. She knew I’d lost the camel yarn hat I’d knit several years ago and had been lamenting its loss ever since. This yarn is actually 100% camel – and baby camel at that – so it’s very soft and knits up like a cloud.

So far, I’ve finished a hat to replace the one I lost. With the remaining yarn, I plan to make some fingerless gloves. I haven’t quite settled on a pattern, though. I hope to have pictures to show you in about a week.

So – that brings you up to date. I hope your New Year is off to a wonderful start and that you, too, are relishing these cozy, quiet days after the holiday season.

From the dining room table, getting ready to walk the dogs,

Mrs. Smythe

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