Thursday, December 14, 2006

O Tannenbaum!

"I think that I shall never see/a poem as lovely as a tree./A tree whose hungry mouth is prest/against the sweet earth's flowing breast;/ A tree that looks at God all day,/and lifts her leafy arms to pray;/A tree that may in summer wear/ A nest of robins in her hair;/Upon whose bosom snow has lain;/Who intimately lives with rain./Poems are made by fools like me,/But only God can make a tree." (Joyce Kilmer, 1886-1918)

Ta-da! The tree is decorated, as is the rest of the house. Last weekend Ed took a short break from writing his two final papers (now done. YEA!) to decorate our tree. A few years ago I decided to go with an all gold/silver/crystal tree, which looks very elegant. My godparents give me a very fancy ornament every year, so I decided with those plus a few gold and silver balls, I can have a theme tree. The rest of my family buys ornaments whereever they go and have a more eclectic tree, but I felt like I needed a change (especially since a bunch of my "travel" ornaments were from the years I was with my ex-husband and not exactly fond memories). Maybe someday we'll have a more "family" tree when we have kids, but for now I really like this look. I do the gold star garland and gold and silver bows too.

I haven't had a chance to post some of my thrifting finds lately, but see that cute gingerbread boy quilt on the table in the background? I found this gorgeous handmade beauty for $1.50. I love it to death. I'm not usually into the "country" look, but I do love the gingerbread man motif.

Other tree-related thrift treasures include these cool ornaments. The glass balls are really heavy, not like the regular ones you buy today, and they have designs in the glass. They may be hand blown, I'm not sure. The pinecones are super-heavy and I can tell they are really old. I think there is a name for this kind of glass. Does anyone know? I hung the gold and silver ones on the tree and put the other three in a bowl with other glass ornaments. These, plus a few others that I didn't really like, were $1.50. Score!

On the topic of trees, there have been lots of cute tree-related decorations out there that I didn't have time to do but may try for next year, including the adorable cone-shaped stuffed trees that everyone is making, and these adorable button trees here and here. I have a few brass trees from Mexico and some painted wooden ones. It would be cute to make these for next year and group them all together.

Finally, among the traditional Schlumpf Christmas cookies are what we call Spritz Trees. My sister's husband believes those silver dragees are not to be consumed, so we make 1/3 without dragees for their family. Here's the recipe from my mom (She notes that sometimes they need a little more flour to work in the cookie press):

Spritz Trees

1 1/4 cups sifted Pillsbury's Best All Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
few drops of green food coloring
silver dragees

1. Sift together flour and baking powder.
2. Cream butter; add sugar gradually and cream thoroughly.
3. Beat in egg, almond extract and food coloring.
4 Gradually blend in dry ingredients.
5. Fill MIRRO cooky press. Form cookies on ungreased MIRRO Aluminun cooky sheets, using tree plate.
6. Decorate with silver dragees.
7. Bake at 375 degrees 10-12 minutes.
8. Remove at once to cooling rack.
Yield 6-7 dozen.


Anonymous said...

What kind of flower works best in the cookie press? A rose? Maybe poinsettia because it's a Christmas cookie? Amy

Sarah and Jack said...

The heavy pinecone ornaments are Kugels. Quite a good find, since those usually garner a pretty penny on Ebay. There was a spread on that type of ornament in the December issue of Martha Stewart Living this year. (And, they were on the cover of some of the magazines, I think she did two covers this Dec.)