Family Report

Last week Simon got a tooth. Then another one. He’s drooling a lot, and constipated, so the progress he made saying “da daa” two weeks ago, has regressed to grunting. (BTW, he’s 5 months old, not a carnivorous older cousin or neighbour — just to be clear).

Jasper (4) is singing Christmas carols in French. I don’t understand a bloody thing. And I’ve got him in a kids’ choir at the local United Church. They call the group “Cherubs” and dress ’em up in gowns with bunched bookish collars. Very cute. We’ve started taking him to church there Sundays because we felt a bit guilty about getting him into the choir so we can videotape him singing in church on Christmas Eve without ever attending service. Holy Opportunism! There’s a bit of a learning curve; Jasper told me the other night at bedtime that he’d named his furry quacking duck toy God, “Because when I squeeze him he sings.”

Friday’s cookie exchange day at work. I’m the only guy participating. How it works is every one who participates makes a dozen cookies for each participant. So my belated joining of the group of ladies means everyone else now has to bake 7 dozen instead of 6. Jasper and I made Skor Bar cookies tonight. It’s easy. Melt one lb of butter (yes, get a defibrilator) with a half-cup of brown sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly. Pan roast whole or slivered almonds to taste. Pour the melted sugar/butter mix over a layer of salted Premium Plus crackers on a cookie sheet. Spread the goo to cover all the crackers and then pop the cookie sheet in the oven at 350F for about 8 minutes, until bubbling. Take the tray out and immediately scatter handfuls of chocolate chips over the bubbling buttery goodness. When the chips melt, spread the chocolate with a spatula, gently, to cover all, then scatter the slivered almonds. Allow to cool (congeal) overnight, and then break into chunks of sweet delight. Consume with cold milk, and try not to think about all that butter.

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