A sad truth about me is that I am not very emotionally flexible. Or mentally flexible? Um... I have a hard time with change, is what I'm saying. Any change. Even good change. I hate hate hate when plans change. Like even if they change to something better. Once I seriously burst into tears because we had been planning to stay at home and do nothing all day (pre-Emperor, when this really meant doing... nothing) and Josh was like "hey let's go to the beach and look at tiny lobsters in tide pools." That is a far superior plan but things changed and I have trouble with that!
(I think the Emperor has made me a lot better about this, though; when one's schedule is primarily dictated by a small human tyrant/madman, one becomes used to letting plans go.)
What I'm getting around to is: we were supposed to get our Christmas tree this weekend. But, fates conspired, stars aligned (misaligned?), I got paid half a paycheck, etc, and the tree just necessarily needed to wait until later in the week. It's not really a big deal to wait 4-5 more days for a Christmas tree (esp. after SEVEN YEARS of no tree!) but I was having a little meltdown about it on Friday until I realized... OH MAN!!! this is actually a GOOD thing because I don't have ornaments yet! And what is sadder than a naked Christmas tree?
So we made flour-salt ornaments this afternoon to guarantee that our tree will not be sad and bare. I looooove making flour-salt ornaments but again, it's something I haven't done in forever. (Since high school, when I made a couple more every year.) And so the Emperor and I sat down and cranked some out this afternoon. He had a great time and stayed occupied for almost an hour... pretty close to a record for anything holding his attention, heh.
He only actually produced one ornament-- he kept making interesting shapes that I tried to take from him and put on the cookie sheet, but he didn't want me to have them. He would make something cool and then look at it for a minute and then squish it back into a ball of dough. Oh well, whatever, he had fun!
We used this recipe for the dough and it worked quite nicely:
Flour-salt ornament dough
2c flour (I used a mix of AP and bread flour, because I only had about half that of plain AP)
1c warm water
1 tbsp cardamom (for a slight amount of color & scent!)
Mix it all together, shape, bake at 250F for 1.5 hrs.
We got one pretty full cookie sheet worth of ornaments out of that much dough. I'm thinking these plus some plain colored bulbs and lights will probably be enough to cover our (intended to be smallish, but we'll see what we end up with) tree.
For dinner we had chickpea soup with black rice. Basically, I halved the recipe for the Arabian Lentil-Rice Soup from Appetite for Reduction, used black rice rather than brown, and put chickpeas in instead of lentils. Delicious! And a half recipe was perfect for us. Josh & I had seconds and the Emperor had um, one bite? And aside from the three bites he didn't eat (I don't serve him much of anything to start with), nothing went to waste.
Here he is while making ornaments. I think you can tell he's having fun: