I plum ran out of steam after the gianduja, cheese straws, kids' dinner, pizza and so forth. So, gumbo making will occur tomorrow. Everything always takes longer than expected, even though said delays are often enjoyable. In any case, eight pretty jars of chocolate heaven and eight bags of holiday cut-out cookies are wrapped and at the ready for delivery tomorrow. J wrote the cards which always makes me proud. One day your baby learns to walk, and the next day he's writing his own cards. Good grief! Who's not had cheese straws before? They are just the ultimate holiday snack food, at least as I recall from growing up in SW LA where, when November came round, you started seeing these star-shaped cheesy pipes everywhere. They're sharp (from the cheddar), have a great kick of hot on the back-end (from the cayenne), and I've always been fond of the forced star shape (think play-doh press but for real=> cookie plunger tube thing). Anyway, I'm happy to have gotten one batch done and will try to cook up another later this week.