The Weakest Link

I’m a few days into my antibiotics and feeling marginally better. I still cough whenever I try to say too much and I’m exhausted. This is so not how I imagined my sailor’s first week back!

As usual my sailor is relentlessly cheerful, certain I’ll be well enough for our upcoming road trip and still thrilled to be home. I’m getting grumpier by the day.

In an effort to be more positive (could this be a potential New Year’s resolution in the works?) I’m doing a countdown of the top five Christmass-y things I’m grateful for.

5. Five special Christmas treats: pfeffernusse, marzipan, golden shortbread (another of my sailor’s special recipes that he makes every year–mmm), chocolate and moose milk. No, it’s not literally milk from the female moose. It’s a dreamy concoction made with softened vanilla ice-cream, milk and the contents of the liquor cabinet, and it’s the best way I can think of to get my daily recommended calcium allotment.

4. Four pairs of boots to pack for a five-day trip! As I get stuff together, I realize that I NEED each of those four pairs. My old beat up riding boots are as warm and comfy as slippers and will be just the ticket if it rains (and it always rains in Powell River in December.) My shiny new boots aren’t quite as comfy, but so much prettier. I can’t go without them. What if it doesn’t rain after all? Then there are my suede kitten heels for Christmas dinner–unless I decide to wear the high stacked heeled pair, instead. Clearly, I need to bring them all.

3. Three doses of Amoxicillin everyday. Sure, it’s a pain to remember if I’ve taken my latest capsule or not, and I’ve had to dump them out on the counter a couple of times to count them because it’s really bad to miss a dose, but I’m truly grateful for access to modern medicine. Even the dog gets regular medical care. Hers isn’t free, like ours is, but nothing’s perfect. (Wow–that was a really positive statement! Well done, me!)

2. Two days until we leave for our family reunion/Christmas visit. I KNOW I’ll be feeling perkier and more energetic by then and it will be wonderful seeing everyone. A delicious turkey dinner, time spent with family and lots of good home baking–what’s not to love? As if that wasn’t enough, I have a date for natchos and wine at Moose and Eddie’s with my old friend, M. I am positive I’ll make it to that pub even if I have to arrive in an ambulance!

1. One super duper sailor who has come safely home to me. There’s not much that could top that!



Pfeffernusse are soft, molasses ginger cookies. The recipe comes from my mother-in-law’s family. They farmed in rural Ontario and my sailor has fond memories of childhood holidays at his grandma’s farm.

Pfeffernusse may be German, or it may be a long-standing typo from generations ago.

Whatever their origins, these little cookies are delicious.

My sailor grew up enjoying them at Christmas time. I’m pro family traditions so I thought I’d whip up a batch for my boy, who has come to expect homemade cookies. (I don’t want to think about the disappointed looks he gave me when I admitted we had to make do with cookies from a box last week because I didn’t have the energy for baking.)

The batter is pretty easy to throw together and I kind of enjoyed rolling the dough balls in my hands. The butter and spices made my palms soft and fragrant, an unexpected benefit of this tradition! As soon as they come out of the oven, the cookies are rolled in sugar, which is supposed to melt slightly to form a glaze-like coating. Mine just caked on top like dandruff, but they still tasted good if a little drier than they should be.

Alghough passable, they’re not the gold standard of pfeffernusse–ones my sailor makes every Christmas. (Yes, on top of all his other talents, he’s a competent baker!)

But guess what–it doesn’t matter if my pfeffernusse is dry and crusty because I’ll be enjoying some genuine sailor-quality baked goods before too long!