08 December 2011

i'm making a list, and checking it twice...(or more!)

Christmas suits my slight OCD* nature to a T.  All that list-making, matching gift to person, taking 3 hours to just dress up my Christmas tree, more list-making for the bbq on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day brunch and dinner, scouring shop after shop for just the right ribbons to match the wrapping papers and wrapping the gifts.  Seriously, I have lists for the lists I made.  There's even colour-coding on my grocery lists!!

I spent most of this afternoon gift wrapping.  Which gift is to be wrapped with which paper and with which ribbon.  All very important stuff.  (yes, yes, it's only brown or red paper, but still very important!) All corners neatly folded and tucked, seams and ends hidden, and  no sticky tape can be seen.

So therapeutic.  So OCD.

And tomorrow, it's exactly that slightly obsessive nature that will see me trawl through over 60 cookie recipes that I've bookmarked, so that I can choose just 3 to bake for Christmas gifting.  Oh, and there's a small stack of cookbooks on the dining table with post-its as well. :-)

I've handmade things in the past for Christmas gifts (non food related), but I've never baked cookies to give away before.  I've never been brave enough nor sure enough that my cookies were any good for consumption, other than by myself and 'S'.  See with cookies, you can't tell how it'll all turn out until you bake them.  By which time, it's all too late if they suck.  But this year, I've decided to forge ahead and just do it already.

Let them eat cake I say...err...wait.  I mean cookies.

But why stop there with cookies, right?  I've also decided to make chutney, onion jam and orange marmalade!  You know, I'm going to be able to tell exactly who my friends (and family!) are by the end of Christmas, because only the ones who TRULY love me, will still want to know me after they've eaten their gifts.

Actually, I've already made the chutney about 2 weeks ago.  But as Christmas draws nearer and nearer, I've been stressing about the jars of chutney in the cupboard waiting to be wrapped.  I've put a little jar aside for ourselves in the fridge and have been having it with some of our meals.  Not convinced.  And each time I eat some more, I more unconvinced.  'S' says the chutney is yum.  I say a do-over.  If I could.  There are 10 jars of chutney in the cupboard.  Maybe not.  Stressing... OCDing... Why do I do this to myself?!

I'll try and get a post or 2 up before Christmas to let you know how the cookies, onion jam and marmalade turned out.  If nothing else, I'm sure it'll be a bit of a laugh as I bumble my way into the realm of domestic goddessing - i.e., homemade foods as Christmas gifts!  I know we all can't be Nigella, Donna or Martha.  But surely, we can try!

*As I understand it, OCD is all about obsessions and compulsions.  My bestfriend thinks I'm a tad bit OCD.  I think she's right.
Case in point: I butter my toast 1/4 at a time, rotating my toast 90deg butter, then 90deg again and butter, and so on.  This way, I make sure every surface right up to the edge of my toast is buttered.  Then, it's the same process again with whatever spread I add to it - peanut butter, jam, Marmite, etc.
Case in point #2: I stop and remove my shoes to rearrange my socks if they've slid past my ankles or if I can feel the joining stitches at the top of my toes.
Case in point 3#: Laundry is pegged up with the SAME coloured pegs - I can't bear using a pair different coloured pegs.
I'd say all that ticks both the obsession and compulsion boxes.  Don't you??

Are you a little 'special' like me? :-)


  1. Haha, I'm special just like you! ;-) Laundry absolutely has to be done with matching pegs, and toast must have spread all the way to the edges - there's no other way! And I absolutely adore Christmas as well - oh, the wrapping! I haven't started mine yet but it's high on the agenda for this weekend. Ribbon and paper, wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I love your tree - so pretty. :-)

  2. I'm a folding freak - just ask Alli @PeasePudding :-)

    Christmas, honestly, I'm not so much into any more. But your tree and your presents look beautiful.


  3. You look very organized! I am not making the tree this year since we are leaving soon for Xmas in Italy, and I missed my decorations!

    I replied to your comment on my bog but I am copying here just in case:
    Shirleen, I removed that post because I published something very similar in my latest book and I couldn't keep it on the blog :-). You can find the recipe in Party Food for Girls and also in this month issue of Good Magazine (there is a picture here http://alessandrazecchini.blogspot.com/2011/11/homemade-edible-decorations-for.html)


  4. I love to make lists for everything. I even managed to finish all my Christmas shopping before the rush so I don't have to spend hours at the mall looking for a park.

    I wish my tree looked as nice as yours though -we lost all our decorations when moving house so we have to build from scratch again =(

  5. Your wrapped gifts look absolutely gorgeous, love that cute red ribbon! And I too am 'special'. I'm a lister from way back ;)

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  7. @Mrs Cake
    Thanks Rosa. I want to add more decorations to my tree but not allowed anymore this year. Its killing me!!! But I did buy more gift wrapping accessories over the weekend - so I'm at peace. :-))

  8. @Couscous
    I used to get excited about Christmas as early as November. But now I only start to feel a smidge of excitement the week leading up to Christmas. The tree and gift wrapping is another thing altogether - that sort of thing makes me happy any time! :-))

  9. @Alessandra
    Oh! I'd love to be going to Italy for Christmas too! One day... And thanks for the tip on where to find the cookie recipe! :-)

  10. @Lucy @ Lucyeats
    I have been known to buy bits and pieces for Christmas gifts as early as mid-year! Times are a little tight, so we have to shop smart these days. I wouldn't be too upset losing my Christmas decorations (no heirlooms here) - it'll just be an excuse to go buy a whole new set! ;-)

  11. Now that has made me laugh! I think I must be a little OCD too as I do the stop and adjust socks thing (it drives me crazy if they get out of place), and the peg thing too but I'm getting better at that one. What a scream. I'm guessing there's a lot more of us out there ...

    All your Christmas goodies look fantastic. What a superb effort.

    1. Welcome to the club Leah - a very speshel and exclusive one at that! :-)


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