Nora’s deep into holiday prep, but took the time to send some thoughts before getting back to work.  ~Laura 

I’ve spent most of this interesting date in the kitchen. I could do that as my most amazing daughter-in-law Kat spent three hours wrapping presents for me yesterday. Otherwise, I’d have used those hours wrapping today instead of making raisin-cinnamon bread–a holiday tradition around here.

photo 2No matter how early I start prepping, buying, baking for the holiday season, there’s never enough time. I have a baking-cookies date next weekend with grandchildren. We do painted sugar cookies–as well as snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, whatever appeals. But the painted ones are kind of an extravaganza. Now that such a big chunk of the gifts are wrapped–I put in some time of my own wrapping a couple weeks ago–I can take a weekend to do the breads, and really look forward to the mess and chaos of kid baking day.

We’ve hosted a couple of holiday parties already–always so much fun–so my house is decorated and happily festive. I collected Santas and snowmen for several years, and setting them out, getting the tree up always puts me in the mood to do all the rest.
photo 4 photo 3
The parties also left me with a surplus of raw veggies, so while the bread was rising I threw together a big pot of kitchen-sink vegetable soup, with some ham and pasta to make it even heartier. My kitchen smells just glorious.  photo 1

As a little bonus I had Pirates of the Caribbean on the kitchen TV. It’s no hardship to cook and bake with Jack Sparrow.

My plan was to get a work out in after finishing the bread, leaving the soup to simmer. I still might, but I remembered I have six–count them–six tubs of books to sign for TTP to ship out Monday. That might be enough of a work out for me this afternoon.


19 thoughts on “12-13-14”

  1. It’s so generous of you to share your holiday preparations with us, many thanks! My sister collects snowmen, too, you’ve got a great collection. Wishing you (and you, too, Laura) a wonderful and happy holiday – Merry Christmas!

  2. The bread is beautiful & the soup sounds wonderful! I agree with you about Jack Sparrow, he’s such an intriguing bad boy!

  3. I absolutely love cinnamon raisin bread…pass the softened butter please! Thanks for sharing your day. May it be merry, bright, joyful, and peaceful.


  4. Thanks for sharing your traditions! Any chance you would put your recipe for raisin bread here?

  5. You are Wonder Woman! How you get all done you do and still have time to write all the glorious books you write is beyond me. It all looks and sounds lovely and I always enjoy hearing about other people’s traditions. I usually write about what is going on in our house at the moment when I write for my blog, but this time I wrote about some Christmas Memories. It seems to have resonated with my readers, but of course my way with words doesn’t start to compare with yours! Hope your Christmas is fabulous and filled with wonder and that you get to see the poinsettias bloom.
    If you read my blog here: http://bratkin.tumblr.com/post/104930752984/christmas-memories that last sentence will make more sense!

  6. Thank you Nora for sharing your holiday prep with us! Your soup, house, and bread all look divine! Brightest of holiday wishes to you and your family!

  7. WOW!you are superwoman Nora. Good for you. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas!

  8. You’re miles ahead of me! DH has been quite ill this year – surgeries, etc. – so I’m having touble getting in the mood. But your bread looks terrific. And if you decide to share the recipe …

    Merry Christmas to you and everyone you hold dear.

  9. To Nora and to Laura:

    Enjoy all the sounds and smells of the season, the joy of the children, baking and cooking, the parties, the fun!
    Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  10. I truly cherish my books I have by you that were signed when I purchased from your bookstore. I am dealing with a horrible terminal disease Pulmonary Fibrosis and thinking in my mind who to leave my vast book collection I have of Nora Roberts books! I have three daughters and a daughterinlaw. I want the collection to stay together. Thank you for taking the time to sign your wonderful books for your readers dear Nora. Merry Christmas and I used to collect Santa’s too.
    PS soup looks scrumptious, can you share recipe?

  11. This was such fun just to read about your day. I’m sure I can smell that bread. Ahhh!!

    And I have to add a WOW! Six tubs of books! That seems to be a gift of both giving and receiving. Way to go!

  12. Sounds like a fun filled day! I haven’t taken the time to make homemade cinnamon bread in years! Yours looks lovely 🙂 I also collect snowmen. There is just something so happy about them! Enjoy baking with the grand kiddies next weekend! 🙂

  13. What is kitchen sink vegetable soup? It looks good. Could you please post the recipe?

    1. There is no recipe, that’s why it’s kitchen sink. You use stuff you’ve got around, toss it in. I use a crushed tomato base, water, wine, herbs, garlic, tobasco, I think some brown sugar, some worstershire, etc, etc, then just toss stuff into it. For this one I had carrots, brocholli, cauliflower left over, added potatoes to that, chopped it all up, used a couple kinds of beans, cubed up some ham, tossed in some little pasta.

      That’s the beauty of kitchen sink soup. You make it up as you go along–which honestly I do with most of my cooking–which is why I’m lousy at sharing recipes.

      1. Thanks for explaining kitchen sink soup. I am horrible at making soup, but I’ll try this b one. 🙂

      2. In our family it’s called Ice Box Stew – never the same but always good.

  14. So nice to know Nora as a special person as well as an extraordinary author. As a grandmother who bakes cookies with the grands myself, I hope you have a glorious time together!

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