kayak at sunset & christmas

Here's two pictures from the Summer. I like including my kayak in the pictures on occasion and here's two examples of my tendency to do just that.

As you can tell from the light, it was near sunset when I was out getting these pictures. This particular outing was just a short jaunt intended for nothing other than to take a dozen or so pictures and then come home before it got too dark.

New topic--Christmas shopping.

So far all I've done is get one gift for my mother, maybe two. Everyone else is still hanging in limbo. I hope to cover at least 3 more people this weekend, maybe even 5--but a lot depends on both my girlfriend and I being motivated and neither of us like to go shopping.

I've been thinking of making some baklava--for the first time ever--for the holidays. I've never worked with phylo so I'm a little nervous. But it sure would taste good! I don't think the filling will present any problems but the working with phylo dough might. It could end up with me buying some ready-make at a Middle Eastern deli here in town.

How are the Holidays hitting the rest of you so far?


No_Newz said…
We MIGHT actually get our Christmas tree this weekend! MIGHT. :)
And who knows, maybe I'll buy a gift or two also.
Lois Lane
Ditsy Chick said…
Holidays, what holidays? It is 60 degrees here during the day. I keep thinking its May. This is going to lead to serious trouble.
kenju said…
I am pushed, as usual during the last of Nov. and first 2 weeks of Dec. Decorating, shopping, baking..
whew! It doesn't help that I've caught a cold either. Poor me.
Plumkrazzee said…
Neener, Neener! I was done Christmas shopping by Nov. 5th. Yes, I am Plumkrazzee, and I am a shop-aholic.
Teresa said…
I've done some shopping. I won't be shopping this weekend, but hope to get the rest early next week. We've done no decorating, but have gotten some of the baking done. Not nearly enough. The plan is to do more cooking activities over the next week and wrap whatever I end up with by the middle of next week, leaving the final ten days for decorating and getting last minute things. That's the plan!

Give baklava a chance... it may not be all that pretty, but it's worth the effort. Phyllo can be a pain, but don't let it frustrate you. It'll turn out regardless of whether you can get the sheets to cooperate. I've had some batches where I individually buttered each sheet and others where it just wouldn't come apart and ended up buttering every 2 or 3 sheets. It all works. I don't do it traditionally though... if you want to know what I do, let me know. I'm happy to share. :-)
I've never worked with phylo dough before, but I've heard that you keep it under a damn dish towel, and just take out one layer at a time, leaving the rest covered. and you have to work pretty quickly with the one you've taken out - brush butter on it right away, or whatever. that way they don't dry out.

good luck! and post pictures!
Lish said…
I only have a couple of presents left to buy, and everything I 've gotten so far is wrapped. I also mailed my Christmas cards this morning. I have no idea how all of this happened, it was a freak of nature.
Tara said…
I have a lot done, but not enough. I still have to get stuff wrapped and sent for my family that lives far far away. And I am looking at a possible surgery next week that would put my right arm out of commission until right about Christmas. Where are those darn elves when you need them?
Beautiful photos Utenzi! :-)
Good luck with the Christmas shopping, and the baklava baking! Let us all know how it turns out.

Thomas Siefert said…
If you are succesful in your baklava adventure, could you post the recipe here?
We used to get ours from a Turkish take-away shop where we would also buy pides (Turkish pizza) and Turkish bread.
We stopped buying stuff there when I saw someone in the kitchen sweeping the floor with a broom. After sweeping the floor, the kitchen tables and the inside of the oven was sweeped with the same broom.
Michael Manning said…
Excellent photos, Utenzi. I grew up on Baklava.
Pearl said…
Nice kayaking pictures.
Nancy said…
mmmm....Sounds good.

Just give everyone that and be done with it....
Courtney said…
Amazon.com is my new best friend.
Michele sent me.
Prego said…
Phylo is a pain in the neck. Keep plenty of wet paper towels around - (or forego the process process and make creme brulee, instead)

My wife and I have different philosophies when it comes to shopping. She plans. I don't, yet everybody gets covered and everybody's happy.

I've got two boys ages 2 and 4. The four year old knows all about the gig. The two year old is content in yanking all the ornaments off of the tree. Fun season.

Here again from michele's.
poopie said…
No shopping done, as usual. Waiting for a paycheck next Friday!!
Sue Richards said…
I'm doing what I call Leap Christmas this year. I just don't do any of the seasonal parts I don't like. Which is most of it. This will be at least my 5th leap. Highly recommend a year off to those of you who find the whole business a bit much.


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