...And I have chocolate-orange shortbread
baking in the oven - well, orange shortbread, anyway. The chocolate gets added after they come out. And a really, really random mix of Christmas music on, which includes everything from the Mediaeval Baebes and Loreena McKennit to various noisy punk and/or industrial manglings of Christmas carols, and everything in between.
I actually completed most of my shopping yesterday, and the few bits I still had to do today didn't involve going anywhere horribly crowded, for which I am eternally grateful. I do not do crowds well, and the amount of running around I had to do yesterday and the day before was fairly stressful.
The un-fun part of things peaked after my last stop yesterday, when, coming out of the health food store, I hoisted my two gigantic Shopping Bags of Holding, and proceeded to twist my ankle, so that all of a sudden it would barely even bear my own weight, let alone that of all the stuff I was trying to carry (partial list: two 2-litre bags of soymilk, a big bag of cat food, a crate of clementines, a kitchen sale, and about 20 other things). So I flagged down a cab, and thankfully got an awesome cabbie, who when he realized I was hurt, not only got out and carried my bags into the cab for me, but brought them all the way up to my apartment when we got there. And tried to refuse my efforts to give him a larger tip because of it.
Probably the part of yesterday that was simultaneously the most stressful and the most awesome was going to the LCBO store in the Manulife Centre. Stressful because: holy crowds, Batman. I had to resort to my crowd-coping techniques of (a) every now and then, closing my eyes and taking a couple of deep breaths, and (b) when that didn't work, digging my nails into my palm periodically to ground myself in my body and vent some anxiety. Not hard enough to break skin, don't worry - I suppose it's still a minor form of self-injury, but sometimes it's the only thing that works. But as I said, it was also awesome, because they had a crazy variety of really interesting-sounding beer. The main thing I'd actually gone there for was to get a little bottle of some kind of sherry or sweet wine, for the sweet potato recipe, but I'd figured I might as well check the beer situation while I was there and maybe get some interesting drinkables. And it was soooo hard to choose - I ended up with the crème brulée imperial stout that curgoth
posted about a while back, a blackberry porter, a smaller bottle of a Scottish stout, and something that shall remain nameless since it's going to be a gift for someone.
Also got the above-mentioned kitchen scale, two cooling racks, and some better measuring cups to replace the mostly broken ones I had, and yesterday also a better muffin pan and a sifter. I am starting to feel like I may actually be approaching the status of being a Person Who Bakes, as opposed to a Person Who Has No Clue About Baking (But Every Now And Then Attempts It Anyway For Some Bizarre Reason).
Today, I was not enamoured of the idea of going out at all, even though my ankle seemed fine, but I did have a few last things to pick up (notably, more sweet potatoes, since the recipe I want to make for the potluck Christmas I'm going to tomorrow calls for two pounds, and my newly acquired kitchen scale revealed that I only had one). But fortunately they could all be acquired in my own neighbourhood.
The best part of today happened pretty much spontaneously: ( Random acts of kindness )
And with that, the second batch of shortbread has just come out of the oven and the Scottish stout is empty, and I need to haul two large bags of laundry to the laundromat before starting in on the vegan "Dulce Sin Leche" cupcakes (i.e. like Dulce de Leche but without milk).
Hope everyone out there who celebrates Christmas has a good one, and everyone who doesn't had a good whatever-else-you-do-celebrate (all the other major December-ish holidays are past now, correct?).