We did not start out hungry!
Melanie, another good friend who couldn't join us, made these amazing hippo gingermanbread (as Cooper would say) cookies.
Maureen made the dough ahead so it was nicely chilled. She made two kinds so we could taste test it and they were both great but this one was my favourite: https://www.google.ca/search?q=big+soft+sour+cream+sugar+cookies&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-ca&client=safari
It has been years since I rolled out cookies and my shoulders do not want to do this on a regular basis but it brought back lots of great memories of my Mom and how she would so often have us and then the kids she babysat "help" make and ice cookies.
We took lots of breaks.
Then the cookies were cool and the fondant was ready. This was a real revelation to me. Mom never used fondant but Kathy had a plan. This looks like we're rolling out more dough but...
It's really the icing!
We just put a few drops of water on the back of the fondant and it stayed put perfectly. Since the cookies had expanded a wee bit (but no more than you'd want them too) and we used the same cookie cutters we'd cut the dough with, it was a perfect fit!
Even better the fondant actually tasted good because it was made with marshmallows instead of whatever horror regular fondant is constructed from. Here's how to make it:
Here's Kathy hard at work
I'd show you Maureen as well but she is a mythical creature who must not be photographed (and yes I love her anyway) so you'll just have to use one of our cookies as a mental image of her. Maybe not my train wreck stars or Mr Bill gingermanbread boys or viral outbreak tree. Use one of Kathy's happily bescarved and behatted snowmen.
We used Wilton cookie icing for most of the details
We mixed up a few colours of our own and next year I want to bring my paint brushes (that I've only used on food) because I think we could really have fun with that and have a lot more control of the fine details.
Sorry Mr Bill.
Pretty sure that some of these characters will turn up in one of my kid's stories someday. They really do have unique characters.
We introduced Kathy to the dice game Greed then she dropped me off at my family New Year's Eve party where I am sad to report there were no survivors in the cookie population but I'm sure they died happy knowing they were loved and appreciated.
I joined a poker game already in progress. There was the traditional seafood chowder but the shrimp cocktail was a happy new tradition.
Henry had the best hand of the night
But I prevailed!
I learned how to play Sushi Go although I still don't know how to use the chopsticks - just like in real life.
However I did use the wasabi - unlike in real life.
"Whatever you do! Do not eat the free pistachio ice cream, it has TURNED!" - Mater. Best line in a kids movie ever. Emily won all three games.
Then it was time for some Dutch blitz which I have not played for years in the interest of self-preservation.
However there were no gonzo players there last night.
So I won. However I'm sure in six months or less Ava and Emily will both be trouncing me.
Getting ready for the countdown.
I took a video of the moment however I still had my iPod turned to selfie mode so it is basically a video of me noticing that and switching to my other camera as well as the ceiling. Some of my best work:
Today there was sunshine all day long!!
The birds were not at home or too hungover to eat and I haven't seen a squirrel in weeks so it's down to ice and snow.
I thought this was an interesting thing to have in a bus stop:
Well I guess I did see some birds then.
Harry was feeling his oats and headed out along the highway Ava shovelled for me last night.
This is about 400 percent further than he's gotten since it first snowed.
And he found a patch of grass!
But that was enough.
Really he's with the rest of you who want summer. Me? I'm sad because I can't get over to my squirrel area because they don't clear those sidewalks but I'm not tired of snow yet and I haven't even turned on my heat yet or broken out my heaviest winter coat.