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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘sweets

Cookies Galore

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She’s done it again! Cyndie moves like magic in the kitchen when her weekend of Christmas cookie baking arrives. She made a noble dent in the project all by herself on Saturday to start, then, with the help of friends and family yesterday, achieved a record number of total recipes baked when the flour dust finally settled.

It was a sight to behold, but don’t take my word for it. See for yourselves. (Thank you to Melissa Williams for sharing pictures she took of the extravaganza!)

For the first time ever, Cyndie baked meringue cookies from her gramma’s recipe. They come with a memory of being told, as grandchildren, that they needed to be very calm and quiet while meringue cookies are baking in the oven or the cookies would be wrecked.

After her first try success, Cyndie is inclined to think the strict constraints placed on them back then could very likely have been a ruse by her grandmother, taking advantage of an easy opportunity to command good behavior.

More power to her, I say.

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Written by johnwhays

December 10, 2018 at 7:00 am

Surviving Halloween

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Today is the first day of November, so that means last night was candy-stravaganza! It also means the next week or so will consist of people trying to unload leftover treats.

All holidays are challenging for those of us striving to conquer cravings for sweets, but Halloween is particularly ominous. There tends to be an overwhelming amount of bite-size treats in seductively colored wrappers well within reach at every turn.

I have been enjoying uncharacteristic success with my self-control in the days leading up to last night. I celebrated by raiding Cyndie’s secret stash of Reese’s Peanutbutter Cups hidden in a drawer. I ate exactly one and was just fine with that.

I think I’m getting the hang of this routine. The longer I go without consuming more sugar than is healthy each day, the less my body craves.

On the way to the airport on Tuesday morning, I mentioned that I would be home alone on Halloween and Cyndie told me where I could find candy if anyone decided to venture up our long driveway and knock on the door. No one did.

In the six years we have been here, we have received a total of two visits on Halloween night. Both were by the same family that lives around the corner –a couple of miles away– on two successive years. It’s the only time we have ever talked with them.

I’m guessing their son is old enough now that he doesn’t want to be dragged to all these strangers houses by his parents, just to listen to them gab for 20 minutes at each stop. It wasn’t as much trick or treating as it was social networking.

Now, after the sun comes up, if there is no toilet paper hanging in our tree branches, and no egg stains on any of our structures, that will be the true, full measure of surviving Halloween.

The next thing I need to do is survive the days after. In the end, that’s possibly the bigger challenge.

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Written by johnwhays

November 1, 2018 at 6:00 am

Sweet Work

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This time of year, I don’t think a day goes by without something extra sweet going on in our kitchen. While I continue to monitor and moderate the total amount of daily sugar I consume, I have not gotten to the extreme of completely avoiding treats. In a way, that means I face a greater need for self-control to manage my goal.

 It would probably be easier to just completely refuse any of the sweet things that Cyndie prepares, but I’m not sure. On an annual basis, it’s not that much of an issue for me, but in the weeks around Thanksgiving and Christmas, it does require greater effort on my part.

DSCN4179eLast night I sat at the counter with Cyndie, cutting and wrapping the last of the caramels she made. I think we did it at a good time, because I was stuffed from having just finished eating dinner.

I didn’t eat a single one.

I mean, an entire single one. There was one that came out a little too wide, and needed to be trimmed.

I suppose that fraction of a caramel added a few grams of sugar to my daily total. I probably worked that off in the calories I burned working so diligently on cutting and wrapping.

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Written by johnwhays

December 8, 2015 at 7:00 am