I am happy to report that Paris does not seem quite so hell-bent on doing a full -on Christmas press as early as we do at home. However, I have noticed guys preparing the trees on the Champs-Elysees for their regalia of lights, as if to compensate them for their dwindling foliage.
My friends in London sent me this gorgeous picture of Harrod’s, which was lit this Saturday night.
Chez Mai is completely devoid of any sign of Christmas, as is appropriate for November 5. However, Martha and I did get a hankerin’ for one of our favorite cookies, which make the house smell like Christmas no matter when we make them. I’m talking about gingersnaps, friends. Yes, the very ones that many of you have been the lucky recipients of in Christmases past. I don’t anticipate doing any holiday baking for delivery this year, arriving as I do on the 17th of December, so I give you the gift of the family recipe. Easy, delicious, and very freezeable, they are good any time of year and are always a welcome gift. At least, that’s what you guys told me when I brought them each year.
3/4 c. shortening (don’t start with me, people)
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. molasses
2 c. flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Chill dough. Try not to eat more than a third of the dough whilst chilling. Roll into balls and roll into sugar. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Share with lucky friends or eat them all yourself, as the spirit moves you.
A footnote- there is no Crisco in France. Martha and I were sore afraid we were not going to have snaps this year, until I spied some Crisco (a pack of three sticks) at a tiny store hawking American goods. I also saw a fridge pack of Diet Dr. Pepper, which is Mark’s
only biggest vice. He has been unable to find it in this city, and I knew I would wrangle with my guilt for weeks if I didn’t buy it for him. So I tossed both items up on the counter and handed the woman my card. As I waited for the bus to go home, I casually examined my receipt. Care to guess? Anyone? 31 euros. Equals around $40. Whoa. And it gets worse. Martha popped open a can of DDP tonight, and it tastes totally watered down. Neither of us could even drink it. I guess there is the possibility that the other cans won’t be more of the same, but if not, Mark is going to be drinking 11 cans of ickiness and thanking me for each one.
Now go make some cookies. You’ll be glad you did.