Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Cookie Baking in a Kitchen Repaired After the Worst Winter in 180 Years!

Tis the season!

Nothing spells the holiday season to my family and me as the baking of cookies post Thanksgiving.

The cookies we give out to neighbors and friends as a thank you for their friendship throughout the year.

This year, it has been a bit challenging since some of you may recall that the winter of 2015 was the worst winter in Massachusetts in 180 years in terms of snow and record cold temperatures! Plus, there were many homes damaged in the Amherst area due to ice dams on the roofs, including ours.

Luckily, our contractor, who is great and likes us,  managed to repair both our family room and kitchen, both of which sustained major water damage through flooding last winter. Some of the major repairwork began in our kitchen on the first day that I was teaching this Fall and the flooding happened last March. The past few months have been an experience in terms of observing project management in action and all the things that can go wrong (it took 2 months for the new fridge to finally arrive after we placed the order) and also right (we loved the new kitchen floor and granite countertops although our daughter, who is majoring in geology, says that it is actually another kind of rock).

This baking season was the first in which we used our new stove and appliances and, frankly, it took a while to even find some of the baking trays and other items, which had been put away during the repair and remodeling work.

Last night we did the shopping for all the cookie ingredients and this morning woke up with a lot of enthusiasm and the plan in place.

As an operations researcher, I love to do things efficiently and, in that way, you can also get more done in the time allotted!

This morning, with great music in the background, the cookie baking project took place, and soon we will be delivering the first batch.

By lunchtime, most of the cookies were baked and that included the pecan sandies, cherry-centered almond cookies,  chocolate-dipped macaroons, mitten sugar cookies, nut chocolate rum balls, and raspberry jam filled Swedish cookies, the recipe for which I got from my wonderful administrative assistant, Wivvian, back at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden (where I spent the past 4 years as a Visiting Professor).

I love the logistics of baking cookies, from the shopping for the ingredients, to the project layout, to the baking, decorating, and delivery to our neighbors and friends!

It was interesting baking cookies in the new oven but the day was a success.