On Tuesday we woke up to a blanket of snow, and all signs were pointing to a beautiful white Christmas. This is what my parents' house looked like two days ago:
And this is what everything looks like now:
Thanks to slightly elevated temperatures and a steady fall of freezing rain, the whole of the Chicago area is now coated in ice. The sidewalks are as slick as skating rinks and the trees and power lines are all glazed. Even the icicles have icicles. It looks beautiful, but it makes for nasty driving and treacherous walking. Not the thing you want on the last shopping day before Christmas!
Thanks goodness we have a freshly baked loaf of Weihnachtsstollen to make everything better!
This year I experimented with a braided form, hoping to keep the loaf more compact (I don't like it when it yeastily blubs out over the pan), and while the braids were great for collecting frosting, they make the loaf really unstable, and it broke when I lifted it off the baking tray. It tastes good, though, heavy on the raisins and almonds and light on the candied peel. Yum. Still, I'll probably go back to the traditional fold next year.
Happy Christmas Eve to all! If you're traveling, I hope you make it there safely. XO