Maybe I was trying to accomplish too much.
I was up til almost midnight baking, and one of the last things I did was mold the very last of the springerle dough. I had bought a few new molds - and for these I was using a hen and a rooster. Very nice detail in the molds, and in the cookies, when I pressed the dough deep enough.
But I was getting tired (up and in the kitchen since 6:30 or so)...and frankly getting sick of cookies by that point. But - I got them done, placed them in their pans and cleaned up the kitchen and went to bed.
My body hurt. I think I'd spent the greater part of the day slightly hunched over bowls or pans or the oven or the sink.
Alex woke up shortly after I'd unkinked myself and was attempting to relax and fall asleep - he's got a cough, and I looked at the clock and realized he was probably due for another dose of cough medicine. So I (VERY RELUCTANTLY) rolled myself out of bed.
My feet hit the floor and I was immediately brought back to two periods of time in my life - when I waitressed, and when I went to culinary school full time on weekends. That awful swollen-soled pain that you feel after you have spent an entire day on your feet and haven't necessarily been wearing the best shoes, either. (In my case yesterday - no shoes at all...on a tile floor...)
And to make it even better - I felt this lightening bolt of pain shoot up the back of my left leg all the way to my butt. I couldn't move my left leg without feeling it again. Which was going to make it hard to get downstairs to where the bottle of cough medicine was.
And hopping wasn't going to work.
The only thing that worked, until everything finally loosened up, was to turn my feet out and plie. And walk in that position. Knees bent. Feet turned out. Out of our bedroom, down the stairs, to the kitchen.
This morning when I finally got up (Bill got up earlier with Alex - thank you, Honey!!!) my feet still hurt but I no longer needed to walk like a frog on my hind legs.
My first order of business was to bake off the springerle.
And you know what? I burned them. Well, burned half and overcooked the others. They are all in the trash now.
Oh, yes, and the two batches of stollen that I baked came out less than glorious too. I was impatient. It's a heavy dough, and I should have just left it alone so it could rise at its own pace.
But I didn't. So I have 3 1/2 loaves of very dense stollen. Still tastes okay, but I won't be giving it as gifts as I'd planned.
My parents were here for coffee this morning and sampled some. My mother and I had already discussed the flaws and the reasons behind them. My father and Bill came into the room a bit later, and my father said, approvingly, that it wasn't overly sweet.
I remarked to my mother that it wasn't overly airy either. We laughed.
I am glad I can laugh about this. There was a time (probably last weekend) that I would have taken this way too seriously, pulled my hair out and torn my clothes over it.... So if I have evolved in no other way, at least I take myself a teeny bit less seriously than I once did.
Gotta go finish the glazing of the lebkuchen....they turned out fine, at least.