Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice 2011

In 1999, we started the tradition of holding a holiday party on the Winter Solstice.  It's a tradition we continued through four moves.  The people changed each year.  New friends and neighbors mix with long-time friends as we celebrate the longest night of the year. 

Early on some people question our intentions in celebrating such a night.  The concern was that we were celebrating something other than the Creator of the signs and seasons of this world.  No one wonders that anymore, they just come and have a great time.

Last night was no exception.  With our return to the mid-Ohio valley, new friends and old friends mingled like never before. We saw people that we haven't seen in years and introduced them to people that we've gotten to know over the last 11 months.  It was a fun night.

Normally, I don't mess with remembering my menu from year to year.  I love to try new things so I don't want to be tied up with "traditional" food.  This year, because of my own procrastination, I didn't get the cupcakes that I planned to order and had to go to plan B.  My plan B was making my own mini-cupcakes.  At Thanksgiving, my cousin Allison brought a beautiful plate of mini-cupcakes.  She'd used our grandmother's favorite cake recipe to make them and they were as delicious as they were beautiful.  Her success inspired me.

One of the flavors offered from the bakery which I planned to order was mocha peppermint.  A quick internet search turned up a delicious recipe for mocha peppermint cupcakes.  While the frosting didn't inspire me I knew my standard buttercream frosting could be made minty by substituting peppermint extract for the vanilla.  I decided to copy Allison and make cupcakes with my favorite chocolate cake recipe.  I rounded out the cupcake offerings by making a spice cupcake and topping it with cream cheese frosting.

The cupcakes were a big hit and made an impression on everyone.  They were also easy and fun to make.

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