I'll admit it. I'm in a bit of a funk. It could be because of work. Or it could be because it is the holidays and I'm in a new place. It shouldn't be that since I've spent the month of December in new places before (Tampa, Chicago, Austin, California...). Maybe it is the lack of holiday decorations in my flat? Hmm.. I'm not sure but seeing as I recognized that I'm in a funk I decided to do something about it.
First stop, off for some Christmas shopping. I had to take a picture of this sign because it once again reminds me of how different the culture here is. These holiday hours are the extended shopping hours. In the U.S., this is your standard opening and closing times. It's nice to see the Brits being so generous to the poor working people who try to squeeze in all their shopping on a lunch hour.
Since fighting the crowds didn't cheer me up, it was time for some holiday baking. Radhika & Jed brought me a surprise package of chocolate chips so I decided to whip those out. Chocolate chip cookies are a rarity here. There is no massive aisle of Chips Ahoy waiting for you at the store. The chocolate chips they do sell - are meant for melting chocolate. So, I was excited to pull out the chips, I got out the laptop for a recipe (cookies from scratch thank you very much), I immediately spilled flour on the counter (I am a kitchen klutz) and poured myself a glass of wine (a necessity for any endeavor in the kitchen these days).
Halfway through and they are looking pretty good!
Sadly, the did not meet my expectations. Maybe not enough sodium bicarbonate? That's what baking soda is called here. The poor guy at the grocery store gave me a strange look when I asked him where it was when I was standing in front of it the whole time. Why can't they just call it baking soda for crying out loud?
Anyway, the cookies don't look the best but they tasted good. Especially since I traded in the glass of wine for a glass of milk. This definitely helped to brighten my mood but what really helped is opening up some Christmas cards. I have to say I am thankful, flattered, impressed and amazed that some of my friends actually mailed me the cards in the UK. Well, you might not think that is much but since it takes effort to actually go the post office (during the holidays no less) and figure out what it takes to send something across the pond, I was most excited. Yeah!
So there, the funk is lessened. And I'm sure it will be truly gone when I'm on a plane off to enjoy food, fun, family and friends in just under a week. But for now, as I toil through another day, I'll keep the funk at bay by using chocolate chip cookies, cards from friends and an 80lb mutt who keeps building a shoe collection on my couch.....