After consulting our schedules for the month, it appeared we were going to need to take Wednesday, December 8th, as our caroling day: rain, snow, or no snow, warm or cold. For the past two years, we had waited for the snowiest day in December, and last year, we definitely experienced a memorable evening. In fact, this time, people were mentioning how much better the weather was then the last time we came.
The weather was dry as a bone, and mild, with temperatures around thirty. Some of us didn’t even wear ear bands! It felt different to not have to bundle up. Late morning, Anna began the baking adventure. It was decided this year to make Poppy Seed bread, and the process was much less time-consuming then the yeast cinnamon bread. Thanks, Anna, for all your work. 🙂
We are greeted with enthusiasm and smiles as we carol, with people commenting about “last year” or your “group is growing.” I guess it must have seemed like we were increasing in numbers, but somehow, that wasn’t the case this year. Nathan ended up having a work emergency he needed to deal with, and Melanie stayed back with Bethany. Grandad and Grandma’s health does not allow them to come anymore, so it was the eight of us, plus Christopher and Anna Marie, and we had the privilege of bringing one of our adorable nieces along, Miss Abby.
If you haven’t taken the time to go caroling as a family, we’d encourage you to consider it. We visit anywhere from 30-40 homes, singing one Christmas carol and then ending with the standard “We wish you a Merry Christmas” chorus, give the recipient the treat with a card from us, and bid them a “Merry Christmas” as we leave. We hear from our neighbors how meaningful this short visit is and how much they appreciate it. It certainly is a blessing for our family that we look forward to each year.
Sarah for the rest
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
Poppy Seed Loaf
3 cups flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/8 cups oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring
Mix all ingredients for 1-2 minutes. Pour into 2 large, lightly greased loaf pans (in our case, we bought foil pans from the store and divided each batch into three loaves). Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees or until toothpick comes out clean.
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
Cool cake 5 minutes. Then, pour glaze over cake. While warm, remove from pan.