One of the fundamental things about Christmas is how the house smells, and it's got to be more than just "that Christmas tree smell," to quote Greg Lake's I Believe in Father Christmas. There's mulled wine and turkey and a fireplace, but especially there's what comes out of the oven.
I'm really lucky, as my mom was a great baker (and cook) and my wife, Martha, is just as inventive.
All of the photos below are shots she took soon after some of this year's production came out.
If I'm not mistaken, Martha can bake a cherry cake in about six minutes. It feels that way, anyway. It's also one of her favourite gifts, so it's not uncommon to see a small stack for family and friends on the counter.
We have a bunch of colourful cans that sit for a little over 11 months a year on a shelf in Martha's studio; for the rest of the year, they're in the kitchen, holding the cookies as they get made.
These are called double chocolate wafers, and they're one of the cookies I make. Except this year; I was swamped by deadlines, so Martha was good enough to make a batch. They have melted chocolate in the dough, and they are insanely good.