With a family of six, two chest freezers, a lot of pantry space and a penchant for whole foods, we end up buying a lot of things in bulk. And this is definitely the time of year when our bulk buying habits kick into high gear. Yesterday I picked up 100 pounds of locally grown organic wheat, 20 pounds of groats and 20 pounds of lentils. Today 80 pounds of citrus fruit has arrived.
On Friday we'll take delivery of 100 pounds of organic dried fruit, nuts and (for the first time ever) chocolate. At that point we'll be perfectly primed for the Christmas-treat-making marathon that takes place from late November to mid-December.
The treat-making has actually already begun. On Saturday we started with 8 dozen pfeffernuessen, the German spice cookies made with (among many other spices) black pepper. Fiona suggested I take a picture of the spices on the flour because they looked so enticing.
We'll be adding double batches of a dozen or so other recipes to our repository in the basement freezer as the weeks progress. Every year we try at least a couple of promising-looking new recipes, added to the many that have become annual traditions -- pfeffernuesse, almond crescents, the vile-but-nonetheless-required Christmas strawberries, candied fruit peel, shortbread, gingerbread, chocolate rum balls, penuche, cashew brittle, and fruit and nut balls. This year's new recipes will probably include pignoli and sesame snaps since we have lots of pine nuts and sesame seeds in our pantry.