Good morning once again all of my dear followers. I am happy to say that the weather here is still co-operating and is quite lovely. I am looking forward to a productive day at the paint table and perhaps will be able to get outdoors to spray paint some items as well. I am preparing a new story for Sunday about Christopher Columbus and will get some research in as well.
As for today's blog, I was thinking about a trip that I took to a charming little town up in Cedarsburg, Wisconsin. I go up there usually once a year with my friends. We spend the day going in and out of these quaint little shops. There is a winery there that makes the absolute best Christmas Spiced wine that I have ever tasted. I am not an officianato by any means. If I have 2 glasses of wine a year that would be considered a lot. But I do have 2 favorites, and the spiced wine from there is one. I love going through the shops..one in particular carry my favorite violet candies and I like to go and pick that up to send the granddaughters. I love to hunt out tea bag holders and cheese spreaders for my collection. They have a number of sweet shops in which to do that. There is a creperie there that makes amazing crepes along with other quaint restaurants.
My absolute favorite place to go though is called Downtown Dough. Now this place is the most unusual place I have ever seen. I make sure when I go to Cedarsburg that I take along a couple of good coolers just for my stop at this store. You see, inside this shop there are hundreds and hundreds of cookies cutters. Chances are if you can't find the right one there...you might not find it. There are aisles and aisles full of every cake and cookie decorating implements, sprinkles, and even frostings. They are sold in containers and come in various colors. The best part of the entire place is found at the back of the store. There is a complete wall of freezers filled with frozen cookies, pastries and breads. They are all ready to go into your oven at home. From delightful shaped Christmas sugar cookies to chocolate covered coconut cookies that taste just like an Mounds bar. Their Strawberry/cream cheese stuffed puff pastry is absolutely out of this world. Breads of every type can also be found there. I go crazy shopping there. The cookies are flash frozen and so you are able to remove as many as you want to bake at home. It is so nice when company comes and you can pull a few of this and a few of that out of the bags and place on a cookie sheet and viola...you have a plate full of freshly made cookies.
Now, one year, my children came here for the holidays and they were expected to come about noon. Well, the doorbell rang at nine in the morning and there were. I was still washing down a floor. Well, that just threw everything off for me...so what the heck....the kids were so far from home, I decided that we would make cookies. We were supposed to have had a day earlier to do it and the opportunity never arose. I went down to the big freezer and pulled out the cookies. All they had to do was place them on the cookie sheets and into the oven they went. While they were baking they helped me pull out the frostings and the sprinkles and get everything ready to decorate. We made some hot chocolate in the meantime and anxiously awaited the bell to ring on the stove. They aroma in the house was just wonderful. It really made Christmas come to life. I had stacking cookie shelves ready to place them on to cool and the girls were now tasting the frostings to make sure they were good. Finally they were cool enough to frost and decorate. The girls had a ball. They were designing their little hearts away with colored sugars and Christmas shaped sprinkles. We made some of the chocolate chips and the Carmel chipped cookies as well as my favorites...the chocolate coconut. They were so proud to arrange the cookies on plates and carry them into the living room for us to share as we opened the Christmas presents. That was a hard year. My mother had passed away that summer and I was holding the memorial right after Christmas...that was why they were visiting here from the south. So with them having driven here, I had to be creative in what their gifts would be since there was not a lot of room going home in the car. Plus, my son-in-laws side has a large family and there would be gifts from them. That year I decided to buy them tickets to Disney world. But opening up one gift certificate each would not be a child's idea of fun. So I decided to make it a game. I bought the gift certificates in smaller amounts...one to cover Disney world and one to cover Animal Kingdom. I decided to have somewhat of a treasure hunt for them to find their gifts. I wrote this treasure hunt making them search the clues, taking them from one place to the next. Each clue was hidden someplace that they needed to find before they could go onto the next one. The final ending was the I had gloves made in a package that looked like Minnie Mouse and the gift Certificates were inside. It took them about 1/2 hour to find it. They were so excited and thrilled. It was fun taking pictures of them as they searched and tried to figure out the clues. Next they went on another hunt. This time I did the same thing, only the end result was that on the Christmas tree I had personalized jungle animals that held the gift certificate in its hand to Animal Kingdom. There were squeals of joy by the end of the hunt. I explained that the rest of the gifts were smaller items that would be easy to take home. What an amazing time we had. I was so pleased at the memory that I was able to give them in the search and of course when they finally used the tickets for the trip. Christmas is a special time of the year memories are what keeps it so vivid in our minds. I have such wonderful memories of my childhood Christmas' . I hope that that one was one they will treasure for always.