Glad tidings, old and new.

I love old cookbooks. Especially the ones that are nearly falling apart, covered in butter splotches, stuffed with recipe clippings in between the pages, and have handwritten notes in the margins. When I went to return some cake pans that I had borrowed from my friend, Pat, just before the holidays, she excitedly reported to me that her family had recently given her a new copy of her favorite cookie book.

The original had belonged to her grandmother and had, after several lifetimes of love and frequent use, completely fallen apart. A beautiful mess, I had to take its picture.

Only a piece of blue twine held the book together.

Generations later, the book is still in print with all of the original recipes. A tribute to the fact that classic things never go out of style!

December has always been a time for homemade treats. Many folks are at home in their own kitchens, with their favorite cook books creating plates, jars, dishes and pans of their family's holiday favorites. It has been a blessing in disguise to have a very manageable number of orders over the holiday season. I've been getting to enjoy some actual downtime. (Something that I've never been good at carving out for myself unless it's forced upon me.)

8" flourless chocolate cake with whipped cream and raspberries.

This cake was part of an outsourced catering project for my friend and classmate, Brett. Also in the order were cinnamon rolls and lemon meringue tartlets. However, The Little Catering Disaster That Could left me without time to take pictures of either of them. (Don't worry, it all worked out!)

This is my one and only picture of a charming little New Years Eve Eve cake. (Yes, that's the night BEFORE New Years Eve.)

10" Prince Cake (a Princess Cake without the marzipan.) Chiffon cake with raspberry jam, pastry cream and whipped cream. "2011" is made of silver dragées, and the top is sprinkled with gold "Disco Dust." Everything is edible.

And to you, dear readers... I wish you a happy, healthy and celebratory New Year! Most especially, I hope that you get to relax after the holiday mayhem.


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