Every year, I bake holiday biscotti and box it up as presents for our neighbors and the boys' teachers.
Truth be told: I'm a horrible cook and I'm not even sure the biscotti is a successful culinary endeavor. The bottoms are often burned (would the convection baking option on my oven help with this mysterious phenomenon?) and I always have issues melting white chocolate chips. Why is it so hard?! Also, I'm constantly down-to-the-wire on baking nights, rushing to simultaneously wrap presents and write-out cards during the pre-holiday rush.
Even so, I love the biscotti tradition. I really do. I love the smell that fills the house once a year, reminding me to slow down and savor it. I love the special time it gives me with the boys. We fill-up our old, red Radio Flyer wagon with the boxes for the neighbors and embark on a stroll during the evening of the 23rd. This year, especially, our walk really warmed my heart. The boys marched into each house with a loud and resounding "Merry Christmas" and made such a sweet effort to connect with the lovely folks who live on our street. Not to be corny, but, during all the craziness, it felt like the true meaning of the holidays.
The charred baking sheets are put away...the rock-hard remnants of the white chocolate is chipped off of my yellow, kitchen bowls....biscotti time is over for another year. But, I dreamily look forward to next season. Maybe, for once, baking will be calm, cool and collected. Maybe I'll have time to create the most perfect, crunchy, delectable strips of deliciousness. Maybe I'll learn how to effectively use my oven.
A girl can dream.