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’Twas the baking before Christmas

A few years ago, many readers commented how much they enjoyed my column about holiday baking and requested that I make this an annual tradition. As you read this, I will be at home, enjoying the fruits of my labor after spending a week’s vacation knee-deep in flour, sugar and spices, in the true spirit of this message.

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, here it is:

’Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the house,

Not a surface was clean, not even my blouse.

The counters were floured in the kitchen with care

In hopes that the goodies would soon be baking there.

The ingredients were gathered, all the recipes read,

While visions of sugar cookies danced in my head.

And me in my apron, my hubby taking a nap,

As I settled in for a long-cooking snap.

When out in the pantry there rang such a clatter,

I sprang from my perch to see what was the matter.

Away to the doorway I flew like a flash,

Hoping to find the source of my crash.

From its home on the shelf to the floor way below

With a spiraling pirouette, it created quite a show.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a broken bowl and scattered pieces, oh dear!

With care and caution I cleaned it up quick,

To ensure none of my fingers got even a nick.

The time was approaching for my baking fame,

That I gathered my spices and called them by name.

Now vanilla, now ginger, now anise and cinnamon,

On cloves, on nutmeg, on ginger and cardamom.

Into my mixer, no measurement too small,

Blend your way into batter, incorporating all.

Cut into shapes, in my oven I spy,

Holiday goodies everyone will want to try.

So around the house went treats red and blue,

With baskets of candies and some yummy fudge, too.

And then, after eating some, I heard a big oof,

The groaning and moaning, as if, a goof.

As I turned my head and started looking around,

Down the sofa were folks making quite a loud sound.

They were dressed in their finest, from their head to their foot,

But had stuffed themselves silly, no more room left to put.

Instead they gathered packages quite neatly into a stack,

And swore in a moment they soon would be back.

They celebrated, and cheered making all bright and merry.

It was time to go now, there was no time to tarry.

But I heard them exclaim, as they drove out of sight,

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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