Today I sold more herb tea. To a friend. I guess that still counts. I trust that she wouldn't have bought some for her own holiday gifts if she didn't love it. Maybe this is how all businesses get started... you give away the goods for holiday gifts for a few years, and then sometimes people want to order more to share with their friends.
I also made five nectarine-oat coffee cakes to give to friends and relatives today. Perhaps you remember the nectarines I canned with my friend S? I also froze some, and boy do nectarines ever freeze like a dream...
For the coffee cake, I modify Deborah Madison's Oat and Brown Sugar Coffee Cake recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. The batter is sturdy enough with the oats that I am able to make a couple of layers of batter/sliced nectarines before I put the streusel on top.
It felt weird to make five huge coffee cakes, though. I never bake in an organized way. The house smells amazing. I am *exhausted.*
Soon we'll go up to my mom's house for a relaxed dinner and let my nephews and E open up a couple of presents. My mom says my brother is bringing lasagna -- a big wow on many levels. I made a salad (and I'm okay with that small contribution because I've been up since 5am making coffee cakes so that a few people I love can having something sweet and sunshine-y tomorrow morning).
The trip to the coast requires another post probably. We made a good try there. The house was amazing, but it felt icky to us. We realized too late that the house's owners weren't yet comfortable having people stay there even though the words coming out of their mouths made us think we were truly invited there. We ended up spending most of the time being afraid to use the bathroom, over-cleaning the place (like removing our germs and a lot of theirs, too), and wishing we were back home. There also was a mildew problem in one of the rooms downstairs that made it impossible for D and me to sleep anywhere but on the very uncomfortable couch in the living room. So we didn't sleep very much for a couple of nights, and we're even more tired than two really nice middle-aged people who just got the wind kicked out of their stomachs would be otherwise. We don't blame our friends because we understand how difficult it is to trust and to share a living space, but it helped us understand how much we really needed a soft, welcoming landing-spot for a couple of days. We'll create our own soft cushion instead.
I wish you much hope and warmth as the year ends. I hope next year is good for all of us.