Blog post by Elvira


… or how I spent an entire day in my pyjamas, despite my best efforts not to
… and a honey, no-ginger, gingerbread recipe


Now you know how a translator’s calendar might look like and what December madness means (i.e. clients having to spend the remaining translation budgets before the year ends, or risking a translation budget cut).


I, for one, am the kind of work-from-home people who, while not putting on my Sunday best for work, prefers getting dressed in the morning, except for, well, exceptional situations. However…


Life happens and you start making your cozonac who decides it’s in a rush and you find yourself scrambling to measure, mix, knead, roll out, add the walnut filling you forgot about and had to make and force-chill, roll in, set in tins, bake, do the dishes, vacuum the flour you spilled while scrambling to not to skip any cozonac step.


In the meanwhile, when you thought you were done with work before you started your cozonac, dang, a QA report comes in with a whole bunch of false positives you have to go over. You accidentally “complete” the task before it was completed and need to ask the PM to re-open it (and wait). 


Now you’re looking at your watch and notice it’s 3PM, you’re still in your pyjamas, trying to explain Romanian in English to someone who doesn’t speak it, get the cozonac out of the oven, notice it still needs about a half an hour more and return to your false positives. 


By 4PM you’re done with the QA report and the cozonac (which smells divine, just like grandma’s kitchen before Christmases past), but still need to make some bread (that’s easy, just water, yeast, salt, flour and sugar).


Now it’s 6 PM, the bread is in the oven, and you can take a bath and change your pyjamas.


And because you, dear reader, had the patience to read about my day, here’s my Christmas magic recipe for you.


  • 500 g flour
  • 250 g runny honey
  • 150 g melted butter
  • 100 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 50 ml milk
  • 1 heaped tsp baking soda or baking powder
  • 1 levelled tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • Rum/vanilla/whatever you like essence
Weigh the honey directly in the bowl you will mix in. Add the melted butter, sugar, milk and spices. Mix well, then add the flour mixed with the baking powder and mix to a thick paste. Spread on cling film and chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or, better, overnight. If you’re running out of time, put it in the freezer for 30 minutes (or more, but keep an eye on it).


When the dough is chilled, break pieces, return the rest to the fridge and roll out, 2-3 mm thin. Cut whatever shapes you like. Bake for roughly 10 minutes at 180°C, fan on, until golden around the edges. Set to chill and decorate. I am not a great decorator, so, no tips in this area.


Happy holidays and may next year be a lot better than 2020 for all of us.


Elvira (out of her pyjamas and getting ready to see her family for a couple of days)

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