On the second day of Christmas, I got a surprise.
After tidying up a little after Christmas day, I thought about the cookies and how I wanted to condense them into a smaller container. This year, I baked two kinds: almond and shortbread with sprinkles. I also made Yum Yum Balls,* fudge, and turtle bark (almond bark, caramels, and pecans). My daughter and her children helped by baking and sharing peanut blossoms, molasses, and snow on the mountain cookies. We had a lot of cookies! Each household went home with a filled goodie bag. The few that were left behind were stored safely tucked inside the large tote in the garage. (Some Minnesotans like to store their Christmas cookies that way. Cold garages keep cookies fresh and hidden.)
When I went to the garage and saw the container that I had securely fastened the night before, had come askew, I thought, “I hope there’s not a mouse in there.” I peeked inside, and there he was – a small little guy that scurried to and fro – from one side of the tote to the other. Silly me – I secured the top and brought the mouse and cookies inside the house. Feeling quite flustered, I yelled upstairs, “There’s a mouse in the house!” My husband came running down, while I thought about how dumb it was that I brought the large container inside. I quickly moved it back into the garage. My husband thought a mouse was running around the house. Any person would, right? I explained the situation, and Hubby went into the garage to meet the mouse.
My husband let the mouse out to greet the blustery day. The mouse zipped along the outer edge of the house and disappeared to who knows where. Most of the treats were in tins except for the peanut blossoms and molasses cookies. Upon further inspection, I saw little teeth marks on the plastic bag that held the peanut blossoms. Smart mouse went straight for the peanut butter, but it didn’t look like he got a bite. So much work, with so little reward.
Of course, the cookies in plastic bags had to go in the garbage. I couldn’t help but be angry at myself for not hiding the cookies better, but I thought they’d be safe since the Christmas celebration was over. Everyone seemed as if they got enough to eat! Slowly, I forgave the culprit who didn’t fasten the lid, but I felt bad for the mouse. So many mice are in Christmas stories! Now, the cookies are almost gone, and I wonder… Could I have left the peanut blossoms outside for the little guy?!
Life will be interesting only when there is an element of surprise in it. ~ Hamsalekha
* Yum-Yum Balls – Our Favorite Christmas Cookie
1/2 cup butter
2 cups peanut butter
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3-1/2 cups Rice Krispies
2 (12-ounce) packages chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Melt butter. Blend in peanut butter. Stir in Rice Krispies. Work in enough powdered sugar to hold mixture together. Refrigerate one hour; form small balls. Melt chocolate chips and vegetable oil in double boiler. Put chocolate chips and vegetable oil in top of double boiler the same time you put cold water in bottom of double boiler. Dip balls in chocolate (use two spoons to twirl around). Put on wax paper; cool. Enjoy!