Just a quick, short holiday post as I'm trying to clean house and do all my chores in one day. Blogging is a great way to temporarily avoid housework.
We got our tree up--well, that sounds a lot more impressive than it is, because we just have a cheap little tree sans decorations, although I also got some cheap little clear plastic boxes with twinkly lights inside to be the "presents" around the tree. But at night it does look sweet. And if I get more ambitious, I might even put out some of my hundreds of other holiday decorations like little Santa candles and so on.
And yesterday, I spent some time making minature moss gardens to give as gifts. The substrate is some old bark from trees decomposing in our woods, then I added the moss which grows everywhere here.
Finally, I added some more small fragments of bark to act as tiny tree stumps growing out of the mossy ground. They came out a lot better than I thought they would. For the jars themselves, I used some Weck canning jars. I ran out of the rubber gaskets to use them "for real" for canning, so I'm putting them to good use, now, in another way.
As far as care, well, they don't need much. Just a little watering now and again and indirect light. The bigger jars were old potpourri jars that folks gave me over the year. The largest jar has an additional "boulder" at the base of the "tree stumps" to give it a little more interest.
So if you're running out of ideas for gifts, this is one. Of course, I'm also encouraging folks to get their very own copy of my cookbook, The Rowley Cookbook, available from Amazon.com. It's got a bunch of old recipes that you probably won't find elsewhere, although there are plenty of the more common ones as well. Most of the recipes are from the years of the Great Depression, so there are a lot of "hot dishes" (i.e. casseroles) that make the most of a few ingredients.
But one of the better reasons to buy it during the holiday season is the huge number of cookie and cake recipes. My grandmother always baked boxes of cookies for the holidays--so many that the house had a delicious aroma of cinnamon and vanilla all through the Season.
I'm hoping to make a few of her recipes this year--since I'm being severely stricken with nostalgia. (I'm also stricken with a complete inability to spell, but that's another story.)