Sunday, November 1, 2009

Simplify the Season – Baking :)

Last week we started out by talking about traditions.  If you missed it, you can catch up with us by clicking HERE

Week 2 is upon us and what a great time to talk about Baking!  Before you rush out and buy lots of ingredients because they sound festive or look like what mom bought.  Before you have a chance to pull out 10,000 cookbooks and reminisce about recipes that you KNOW you will not have the time to make.  BEFORE the holidays are actually UPON us and you feel like you are drowning in commitments.  (Let’s face it, no matter how much you prepare, something will come up.)  Let’s PLAN.

Pick a couple of favorites and do them. It’s hectic trying to bake 7 or even 5 DIFFERENT goodies.

Schedule time – whether you do a little of prep/baking over the course of several days or you spend one huge weekend in the kitchen… PLAN IT.  On the calendar.  In pen.  Say it is so.

Consider Baking with a friend. Each pick 2 goodies to make. Double the recipe to make twice as much as you usually would. Then split. Not only do you have more goodies to go around, you are building in fellowship with friends during an especially busy time of year. You’re also investing time in a fellow human being, which lets them know that they are important! 
Even if you only bake one item with a friend, that is one less item you are baking alone, and one more relationship you have invested into.

When you’re baking at home, remember that even little (washed!) hands can help. It’s important to invest in those littlest hands as often as we can!

I used to LOVE baking with my mom. When I first moved to Jacksonville I missed that, but I started holiday baking with a good friend. At the time I was single and in college; she had 3 kids under the age of 5.  We created lots of happy memories by learning about and investing in each other’s lives.

Have you have chosen WHEN you are going to bake and WHAT you are going to bake?  Great!  Make a list of ingredients you will need to purchase to do your baking.  Now is the perfect time to inventory your spices.  Old spices tend to lose flavor.  If they don’t SMELL like their intended spice, they won’t TASTE like it either.

This week’s message to you, friend: DO NOT go overboard! Use your time wisely this season. 
(I guess that’s actually two messages.  It was worth it!)

If you are in the Jacksonville/St. Johns area and would like your home better organized, and would like the assistance of a professional organizer, e-mail  You can also find me on Facebook by clicking HERE or searching for Organize With Julie.  Want to follow me on twitter? Find me @juliebavi.


Jane said...

Great message. I have ripped photos out of magazines and scoured cookbooks - only to cook my favorites. So now I have accepted that I love my sugar cookies and butter spritz - and they are special because I usually only bake them around the holidays - and all the kids love them at the family party. I often make the spritz ahead of time and freeze them. I love them so much better than a plate of cookies that has 6 different kinds of cookies where the flavors have all started to blend.

snaphappee said...

We're supposed to bake for the holidays? Huh.

Actually, the kids and I like to bake cookies and give them to the neighbors - or I bake and the kids decorate. We will probably do that on one Saturday in December. So for now I'm going to start picking up ingredients each time I go shopping - that way I don't have all the expense of those cookies in one trip.

Your Organizing Guru said...

Thanks for you comment! It sounds like you've been full-circle as I have. Isn't is fun to learn from our pasts? What a great idea to make spritz ahead and freeze them. (Those are my hubby's favorites!)
Thank you for sharing your personal experience of simplicity in a plate of cookies!

I think your children (all 7 plus that big one you married) would mutiny if there was no holiday baking at your house!
Great thought on picking up ingredients bit by bit so that you don't hit your pocketbook so hard.