This morning I awoke to the sound of the snowplow rumbling down our street and I instantly knew what that meant...we are going to have a white Christmas! This is the first snowfall of any significance here in western Pennsylvania this winter and I'm so glad our house and yard will be blanketed in white for Christmas week. Of course, I don't have to go out today, so I would probably feel differently if I had shopping to do and errands to run!
My ornament for the week is from Plum Pudding Needleart's "Candy Cane Wishes" chart. It may be miniature, but this turned out to be one of my favorite finishes of the year. The little gingerbread boy is stitched "one over one" on 28 ct. Country French Cafe Mocha Linen (I love the name of that linen and I don't even drink coffee!). I used the suggested DMC threads and backed it with the burgundy checked fabric shown behind the finished ornament. Gingerbread boys (and girls) have always made me smile--there is just something impish and endearing about them (kind of like my three sons when they were little boys!).
Do you have one special food that just says "Christmas" to you? For me, it has to be my grandmother's caramels. I whipped up a batch on Thursday evening and most of them have already disappeared--they've either been sent off for gifts or eaten by my youngest son. I had to hide the last dozen or two to be savored on Christmas day! My dear grandmother would make countless batches each year--mailing many off to friends whose Christmases wouldn't be Christmas without the gooey treats that they had come to expect from her each December. Each Christmas morning, the four of us kids would shout with delight when we spied the plain white box in which she had carefully wrapped dozens of caramels in wax paper~ each like a little present. They were, far and away, everyone's favorite gift year after year.
Gram passed away 26 years ago and that was the last time I tasted her caramels. I've made them many, many times since, but although they are good, they don't quite taste the same as hers. Making caramels is a true labor of love--you have to stand at the stove and stir the mixture over low heat for almost two hours! If you try to rush them you get caramels that are so hard they'll pull out a filling or so soft you have to eat them with a spoon. This year's batch turned out perfectly--it was almost as if Gram was right there, whispering in my ear to just be patient and keep stirring until they were just right...