Friday, December 14, 2007

How to maintain your sanity when baking Christmas goodies

This housewife has put the suburban life in the back burner! I’m back working again.

I have some baking commitments this month and it's quite daunting to squeeze it in my week. Between work, traffic, laundry, taking care of a home and husband, I’m swamped.

To combat this dilemma, I’ve developed a baking plan to keep me sane during this busy Christmas season. Here are my tips:

1. Purchase non-perishables like packaging ahead of time. I purchased my cookie boxes, ribbons and cookie paper two months in advance. Always buy extra just in case you get more orders.
2. Pre-chop all the nuts that you will need, a few days ahead. By the way, always ask your supplier for a free taste, to make sure that the nuts that you’re purchasing are fresh.
3. Estimate how much ingredients you will need and purchase them weeks in advance (except eggs, which you have to buy a day or two before to maintain freshness). Always buy extra (I learned this the hard way).
4. Group like ingredients in one container. I have tons of flour stored, per kilo in a big cooler, nuts in a giant airtight container etc.
5. Check your equipment. Make sure they’re working and safe to use.
6. For some recipes that need refrigeration, do the dough a day or two ahead. In my case, I prefer to make my cookie dough fresh but one make ahead tip is pre-measure all your dry ingredients and put them in containers or Ziploc bags for easy access anytime you need it. Make sure you label them.
7. Unless you know your recipe by heart, print your recipe and put it inside a Ziploc bag to prevent it from getting soiled when baking.
8. Clear out the kitchen counters and lay out all your ingredients, baking equipment, cookie sheets on them and lay out the cooling racks on the dining table (to save counter space) the night before baking.
9. Pre-cut all the ribbons and fold boxes a day or two before.
10. Always have a roll of kitchen towel on hand to periodically wipe the kitchen counters when baking.
11. Listen to soothing music while baking to calm frazzled nerves or rock music to keep your energy up.

My best advice is...get some help!!!

Here's my first batch of Russian Tea Cookies, already packaged and ready for delivery.

More baking tomorrow!


Random Possum said...

hey can i take one....drooling here :-)

Leica said...

Sure! Just come on over :-) He he he