✨Christmas Cookie e-book✨
including my never-before published Panettone recipe!
Breathe. That is what I need to remember to do this month so I can get things done in a manner that allows me to enjoy doing it all. For the first time since starting a staff job three years ago, I’ll have a 16 day break from work. The finish line feels so far away, but come the end of my work day on Friday, December 17th, I’m changing my Slack status to vacationing until January 3rd.
I entered my cookie baking season with the best of intentions. My list is keeping me very streamlined, and helps tremendously to get back on track when I veer from my self-imposed deadlines but I’m still feeling a little frazzled. I know it’ll all get done, it just may take a week longer than I hoped.
One of my best friends lives in San Francisco, and experience has taught me her packages can take longer to arrive due to how my rural area routes the mail, which is why I aimed to get my cookies baked, tins packed and packages mailed by December 13th. I think (fingers crossed) I can still achieve this goal.
Having been a freelancer for most of my life, it has been a learning process fitting my holiday baking into my schedule around a full-time job. What I’ve decided is next year I’m going to be more strategic with my vacation days and take some time off to do my holiday baking.
This is all to say that I’m sorry there hasn’t been a new newsletter in almost a month. I found out there’s a pause feature on Substack, so I’ll be sure to use that to avoid billing for times when I’m a little more dormant so you won’t be billed during those periods (and annual subscribers get their plan extended to compensate for the time).
There is a very good reason I’ve been quiet here. I’ve been busy working behind the scenes on an e-book, compiling some of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes. These are recipes that formerly lived at In Jennie’s Kitchen. As 2021 ends and 2022 takes shape, all of my content from that site will be migrating into either more e-books, Substack, or perhaps another platform.
One thing I’ve learned from the year I’ve been writing on Substack is that I love writing without the clutter of ads. I think you all appreciate reading without them intruding in your experience, yes? So, that is how I want to move forward with any writing I do in this coming new year.
To make matters even more trying, my original site, In Jennie’s Kitchen, has been under a cyber attack and multiple hacking attempts since Thanksgiving. My web developer has resolved the issue, firewalls have been set up but the damage has been done with Google, and until they do their checks on the site, it’s categorized as dangerous with malicious activity. I’m on the verge of tears just writing that, and not because of the major loss in ad revenue. Honestly, that means less to me than what In Jennie’s Kitchen represents—my life with Michael.
I started that site back in 2009 when my life felt like, well—my life. Ever since Michael died, I’ve been living in an alternate reality. There have been some amazing things that’ve happened in this alternate reality—watching our children grow, plenty of time spent in Paris and traveling to Normandy, Annecy, Italy, and Morocco. I fell in love deeply twice—one ended in heartbreak, the other opened the doors to a new beginning and a new marriage.
But none of that reverses or negates the fact of the deep loss I live with, and will always live with. In Jennie’s Kitchen is a living record of it all. It will be very hard to say goodbye to it. My goal for 2022 is to put those pieces back together into something new. I don’t what yet, but I’m hoping the rest and break during those 16 days I’m off at the end of this year will provide some clarity.
ABOUT THIS CHRISTMAS COOKIE E-BOOK! I felt like we all needed caps to break us out of that journey I just took us on (if you’re still reading, you’re a saint and I thank you for sticking with me).
While most of the recipes are not new this is the first time they’ve ever been compiled into a book, and this is the only place they can be found right now. They are no longer available at the free site. There is one new recipe, and it’s one people have been asking about for years—my panettone. The recipe in the e-book uses yeast. This year I converted my sourdough starter panettone recipe to use yeast, and I’ve got to say I think it’s a much better baking experience.
While most people fell in love with sourdough in the spring of 2020 under lockdown, my connection to it dwindled. I have a back up of my starter dried and keep meaning to rejuvenate it, but honestly, time has felt at a standstill due to outside circumstances in the world. I just want my bread faster and with less drama. I also keep a very cold house in the winter because heating is expensive in an old drafty house, so proofing times can take 2 to 3 times longer. If enough people leave a comment requesting the sourdough-based version of my recipe, I can put that up here, too, so don’t be shy to speak up below.
And so, without further adieu, I welcome you to click the link below for my Christmas Cookie e-book (it’ll take you to your Google drive where the file will be saved, and you can download it from there). Again, this book is for paid subscribers only, so if you’ve been curious about subscribing, now is the time to do it. To sweeten the deal, there’s a special very deep discount for this weekend only (12/4 & 12/5) —you’ll be able to subscribe annually for $24* for the lifetime of your subscription (that’s right—this rate does not expire as long as you renew annually).
May the weekend bring pockets of peace and light.—xo,j.
*NOTE: 1. the actual amount billed will be slightly less due to how Substack calculates the discount. 2. if you want to sign up using the special discounted offer before it expires at 11:59pm on 12/5, please click the button below that reads “get 74% off for 1 year”.