I am beyond distraction lately. It's all due to wrapping my head around a short move, trying to cram an ever-expanding to-do list into my daily routine, training my replacement at work and trying to act like everything is normal and I'm not actually beyond distraction.
All of this distraction isn't such a bad thing. I've done desperately needed chores such as finally taking the pesky little Tiny Tim to the vet for his necessary shots and surgery. We're not sure, but we're hoping that decreasing his testosterone levels will discourage him from appearing at the very top of our screen door meowing loudly for attention. You would think he was at the very brink of death, you would think he was being drawn and quartered in our backyard, you would think he was being eaten alive. I kid, I kid. But he does have what some might call quite the personality. Let me tell you, it's frightening to hear a thud against the house and realize this cat has flung himself yet again onto a window screen, clinging to it for dear life. All the while, our two cats are inside meowing loudly and batting at the windows. It can make one think they're hearing voices. Fortunately the voices have yet to lead me to kitty homicide. I do love our little Tiny Tim, I just wish he were a little easier to love is all. So there you have it, Distraction 1, Tiny Tim 0. We hope it's a good thing for the little guy.
It's also a good thing that I'm leaving my job. My job has been very very good to me. It's been patient as I've almost literally wandered to the ends of the earth and back, chasing whatever came into the horizon. I'm over the moon and beyond thrilled to pass my job on to someone... and not just any someone either, but a very good friend who will be good to the job (and I promised him the job would return the favor and be good right back). But I've got to say, training someone is exhausting! I've clearly lost my grasp on the English language. I mutter and point, trying to convey frenzied ideas on such expansive topics as invoicing and international tax treaties. I've realized I never really did have the proper vocabulary to discuss financial matters, and thankfully no one asked... until now. So I look forward to leaving and look forward to the time I'm no longer stretching to find such mundane words as debit and reconcile. I look forward to moving forward.
Acting like I'm not so terribly distracted has only deepened my distraction. I used to love (please don't hate me) love love cleaning the kitchen. It just happens to be my favorite room with my favorite things in it, and if I get hungry snacks are very very close at hand. Snacks are extremely important to me. My biggest fear about the GRE was, will I get hungry while taking the test?? Yes, I brought a bag full of snacks to the testing center and yes, I was reprimanded for eating them inside. But see, there, it happened again - I became distracted! What was I saying, oh yeah. Let's just say the kitchen needs a lotta lotta TLC. And another thing, I have only been to the grocery store once a week for the last few weeks. That's not just out of the ordinary for me. That's down right weird. And no one likes to be weird, so I'm planning a mid-week grocery store trip for tomorrow, just to feel like me again.
But you want to know the worst thing about my distraction? It made me so distracted that it wasn't until Monday that I mailed off my second to last Christmas package (if you're following at home, that means I have one more Christmas package to go, and I might just let it slide at this point). It was a package of cookies that I baked just the other day. After an entire month of baking I mustered up the energy to make just one more batch of cookies.
To tell the truth it wasn't that hard to pull myself together to make these cookies. I love them, everything about them. I love their buttery honey-laced scent. I love how you can just detect a hint of nutmeg while they bake. I love how subtly sweet the cookies are. The honey and nuts linger in the background letting the pastry make a statement.
So am I sorry I was too distracted to send these at Christmas-time? Not really. It's just as well with me if my house smells of butter and honey year round. And it's just as well with me to surprise my friends throughout the year with gifties. Now who's going to complain about that??
Adapted from Rose Bakery by Rose Carrarini
For the pastry
150 gr (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened
150 gr (2/3 cup) cream cheese
1 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
220 gr (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten together with a pinch of salt
For the filling
3-4 Tbsp very mild raw honey
50 gr (1/2 cup) toasted pistachios
50 gr (1/2 cup) toasted walnuts
1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp nutmeg
50 gr (1/4 cup) sugar
Make the dough first because it has to chill. But the butter and cream cheese together till smooth and light. Add sugar and salt, then add the flour. Mix until the dough comes together, don't overwork it.
Pat the dough together into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours.
To prepare the filling, chop walnuts and pistachios. Mix with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add spice to taste. The nuts and sugar should be very very fragrant with nutmeg.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
Spread the honey on the dough and sprinkle with the filling. Press the filling into the honey. Roll the dough on the short edges to form a log with at least three turns in it.
Wrap it in plastic and chill for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the log into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay the slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with beaten egg and sprinkle generously with sugar.
Bake for 20-30 mins, until golden, making sure the undersides don't burn.