Happy Harried Holidays!

We had a lovely, mildly chaotic treat-making session in lieu of our usual
Toddler Trek this week. It was wonderful to host several families and share in
the cookie-making tradition of the season. We whipped up Spritz Cookies,
Swedish Ginger Cookies, Jam Thumbprint Cookies, and Pretzels in about an hour,
and happily, most of our product made it into mouths or to-go containers rather
than lingering at our house. I brought the remaining treats to the “starving
artists” at Monta Vista High School, as Holly and I made a pilgrimage to the
ceramics studio to work on holiday gifts.

Monta Vista artists are neither starving nor approaching it, but I am certain
they will devour our treats with limitless fervor that mirrors their artistic
passion. I make pretzels with my science students at Monta Vista, and they act
like nothing could be more genuine and delicious, as if they have been
subsisting off of cardboard and water for the longest time. Cooking is a
relatively lost art in this age of convenient foods, so perhaps such an
experience is truly genuine and delicious for them.

Usually on a Thursday afternoon, we would be discovering evidence of critters –
footprints, poop, or trails, if not the occasional critter, and delighting in
the colors, textures, and smells of the flora. This Thursday, people assembled
into our small Sunnyvale home with plenty of evidence of a truck and LEGO-loving
4-year-old and a 6-month-old baby (our critters). People delighted in the
colors, textures, and smells of cooking – don’t worry, all those extra sprinkles
found their way to the vacuum cleaner. Little Emi, one of the more inquisitive
ones, found evidence of my husband – a near-empty shot glass of espresso from
earlier in the day. I spotted her with it just as she brought it to her lips.
Emi fully assessed the bold taste as a scientist ponders the universe, then
happily accepted the glass of water I handed her.

My husband laughed at the story when he heard it later – “exposing them early,
huh?” Indeed. And while I would not have wanted Emi to have had the sip if I
could have prevented it, there is so much power in early exposure to the wide
wonders of the world – to natural places, cookie recipes from scratch, and sure,
espresso.

If you were looking forward to the next two weeks’ Thursday afternoon holiday
events, I apologize for canceling them. Next Thursday I will be recovering
from Lasik, and the Thursday after, I will be on a road trip with my
family. Happy holidays!

Below are this week’s events. Remember that everything is free! Please use the
poll to indicate if you plan to join us.

Monday, December 6th at 11 am join Amy B. and little James and Sadie for a hike
and picnic at Alviso Marina and Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge in Alviso. Come
enjoy the range of birds, the Bay breezes (which kick up in the afternoon), and
see the train! The boardwalks here are great for toddlers. Meet at the Marina
Parking lot, or just outside of it if it is closed for construction. Bring a
carrier or a jogging stroller for wee ones. Sorry, no dogs allowed. Bring a
picnic for your family. For directions or more information about the area, see
The Alviso / Don Edwards Page
(http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Alviso/Alviso.html). Call Amy at
408-368-7161 if you’re running late. This is a Santa Clara County Healthy Trails
(http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/) outing.

Tuesday, December 7th at 4 PM join Megan and little Vera for a Stroller Hike at
Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino/Los Altos Hills. We’ll do an almost entirely
paved, flat path going to the farm, and possibly go past it. The road is perfect
for trikes or bikes, if toddlers or young children want to ride. Any baby
transport will work. Meet at main parking lot, next to the bathrooms (just past
the entrance, turn right, then continue to the last parking lot). For more
information or directions, see the Rancho San Antonio Page
(http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/RanchoSanAntonio/ranchoSanAntonio.html).
Sorry, dogs not allowed. This hike is at least half shaded. If you’re running
late, call Megan at 408-409-3206.

Wednesday, December 8th and Thursday, December 9th no Toddler Treks scheduled.

Saturday, December 11th from 10 AM to 2 PM let your imagination run wild and get
creative with pine cones, branches, leaves and more at the Presidio Habitats
Exhibition Pavilion in San Francisco. Presented by Presidio Trust’s Presidio
Habitats Program. The Pavilion at the intersection of Storey and Ralston in San
Francisco and offers a self-guided art display at the same time. For more
information, see The Presidio Trust Website and Calendar
(http://www.presidio.gov/calendar/).

Happy Holidays!

-Debbie, little Max, and wee Holly

p.s. If you’d like to bake up your own batches of the treats from this Thursday,
two are Sunset Magazine recipes (thanks Sunset!) accessible at
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_i\
d=10000001011206
and
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_i\
d=50400000107349
(we used strawberry jam instead of leftover cranberry sauce).
I use pizza dough for my pretzels (I like Better Homes and Garden’s New Cook
Book recipe) and Spritz is an age-old cookie recipe easily found through an
Internet search.

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