12/12/12: My list of 12

December 12, 2012 – what a great date! To commemorate, here is my list of 12. 12 what, you ask? I don’t know, 12 whatevers.

1. The chickens are off their latest molting strike, and we are back in egg production. Yipee.

2. I have so much honey from this year’s harvest that I have worked out little honey gift packs for holiday gifts. Includes a jar of honey, plus a jar of honey, ginger, lemon mix to use as a hot toddy starter when winter colds set in.

3. Jam Labelizer makes my holiday gift giving easy, providing easy labels for jams, pickles and honey. I print them on card stock, then cut out the circles and tape to the lid of the 2-piece jars. Allows jars to be used over and over again (stickers on the side make that a pain)

4. Sort of excited that I have my Christmas shopping already done. The holiday cards are not ready to go, but I have my shopping done, by golly!

5. Hosted a cookie party this weekend, an annual tradition since 1998, and made two winners – Chocolate Dipped Nut Bites and Brown-Butter Cookies. Served Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potatoes (recipe coming soon), baby kale/persimmon and walnut salad, and a wedge of Cow Girl Creamery Mt Tam with Bosc pears from Frog Hollow for dessert.

6. Farmer’s Market Sunday mornings are fun – we always run into at least a couple people we know. Love the farmer with the plethora of greens, Coke Farms with all sorts of lettuces and root vegetables, the pumpkin guy with such an inspiring selection, the date guy who can be gruff, except when you talk with him about dates, and all the other farmers that make our market so diverse and inviting.

7. Looking forward to a great 2013 with lots of travel already planned. The Big Guy suggested we aim for 13 new cities we visit as a family in 2013 – we might have that covered with Salzburg, Munich, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Tokyo, Denver, Copenhagen, Malm, Stockholm. Need 4 more, husband keeps suggesting places in Minnesota and North Dakota we haven’t visited. Humm.

8. Overheard the husband suggesting to the Big Guy that all the Green Bay Packers really need is a small back who can run really fast. I think my husband’s dreams have come true – a son who loves the Packers as much as he does. Or more.

9. The Satsuma mandarin orange tree in the backyard is exploding. With fruit. I might see if I can trade the neighbors for Hachiya persimmons.

10. My favorite kitchen gadget of the moment is the Adjusta Cup measurers (both 1 cup and 2 TBS versions). Work great for measuring any semi-liquid item, like almond butter, pumpkin puree, honey, coconut oil, maple syrup, vinegar, and so on.

11. CostCo now carries my favorite butter in a 3-pack – Kerry Gold salted butter, which I find delightful for all my holiday baking. Speaking of which, I also have a supply of quatre épices to make Pain d’épices, a recipe from Chez Pim, who was also the recommender of Kerry Gold butter for everything.

12. You may not know this, but I have the best brother ever who I love very much and am very proud of. He is so great because he reminds me so much of my mom with his giving and helpful personality, and being around him makes me happy and smiley.

Hope you enjoy this special day and manage to celebrate with your own 12. Please report back!

P.S. Thinking about dinner tonight with 12 different foods. Might mean the salad is quite well stocked – lettuce, persimmons, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, fennel, shredded carrots, parsley – 7 already, now just need 5 more foods for the rest of dinner!