Come October, and my mind is already buzzing with ideas for Christmas. Blame it on a kid who is completely enamoured by this festival – the decorations, Santa, Christmas parties, cookies etc! I get started by going through my collection of Christmas recipes, from newspaper cuttings, cookbooks, e-books, scribbles on the back of envelopes, you name it!
Cookies, holiday gifts, Christmassy desserts, breads, fruitcakes, stollen, there are so many things to choose from. If I ran a gourmet bakery, I could indulge in the luxury of making them all. Given that I don’t have an army to feed, I print out the shortlisted items, pin it where I can see it and mull over it, and then finally settling on a select few to make for family and friends.
Having a print out of the goodies to be baked with a list of ingredients etc. on the fridge, lends to the festive decor in the kitchen too, doesn’t it?! Not to mention, being more organized about stocking up the right quantities of ingredients to get started with the baking, so that one doesn’t need to run out to the supermarket or to the neighbour’s house because you fell short of one cup of sugar.
Last Christmas, the star of the party was an orange spiced marmalade cookie.
This time I’ve decided to make Holiday Special Cinnamon Rolls with an Orange-Rum glaze. There’s something about the mix of citrussy orange and warm cinnamon aromas that scream Christmas, especially for me. And it’s a natural aromatherapy for the kitchen when you are playing around with these ingredients.
Talking of aromatherapy, I have a small tip for you. In a saucepan, place orange peels, few eucalyptus leaves, 2-3 cinnamon sticks and few cloves. Add 3-4 cups of water and allow this to come to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and allow the vapours to permeate the kitchen. This is a natural air freshener for the kitchen and all the smells of baking without even starting the oven. It’s okay to omit the eucalyptus leaves if you don’t have access to them.