Category Archives: Holidays

December 26

Prompt: I Am Grateful for

Dec-26

Starting at the bottom of the list:

  • #6 – Our Health.  My DH and I are healthy. I’m a Type II Diabetic but my numbers and, hence my sugars, are steadily coming down. I have some aches and pains that will be alleviated by more exercise and a moderation of my eating – sure to occur when the left-overs are gone. We both are on Cholesterol medication which has lowered our levels to healthy levels.
  • # 5 – I’m glad that I don’t live in a castle.  No matter how romantic the notion is, rock walls are not the warmest things. That’s why they had massive wall hangings on most walls.  Castles are drafty and the floors are cold and hard.  Stairs tend to be well worn and can cause trips and falls. Plus, if the rise is high enough to limit the number of steps to the next floor, they are so high that some people would have a very difficult time ascending and descending.  If the rise is a comfortable height, then the stairs go on “forever” and you’re out of breath before you reach the top. Castles weren’t built with indoor plumbing – they had garderobes – open shafts in a “discreet” corner where one could perch and “let ‘er rip” so-to-speak. I imagine the stench could be quite potent.  I’m also glad I don’t live on a farm.  The amount of cleaning and cooking that I did for Christmas would be a daily occurrence for a fair sized working farm. That would also be true for the castle as well.
  • #4 – Both my kids were at my son’s house and all of my grandchildren as well.  They called shortly after we’d opened our presents and they’d opened theirs. It was great to hear from all of them. My son and daughter also call at other times of the year (and not for money.) My daughter and I talk most days when she’s driving home after her graveyard shift. And my son will email and both are also on Facebook as am I so we have contact frequently during the year.
  • #3 – We have two cats and two dogs.  They provide lots of loving, entertainment and aggravation which keeps us young.
  • #2 – One of our three excursions this year was a week-long stay at a timeshare in Massachusetts. For more than 3 years, probably closer to 5, I’ve kept an article from Woman’s World magazine that featured the Berkshires of Massachusetts in my file cabinet under travel. We finally made the timeshare trade for this year. We had a great time and eventually I’ll get the trip put in a scrapbook. We were busy almost every day and I did all the driving.
  • #1 – My father drove down from his house (about 20 miles away) to join us for Christmas Dinner. He brought the wine (1.5 L – a VERY tall bottle,) a Riesling imported from Germany.  It was a very good wine, eminently drinkable. As I published on yesterday’s blog, our main dish was bacon-wrapped turkey.  Below are two pictures of our bird before I put it in the oven and the picture on the recipe of a finished bird.  We sat down to eat at 2:15. We enjoyed great conversation and all the food on the menu. The turkey hadn’t picked up the bacon flavor but the gravy had. No one wanted dessert immediately after. Around 4 we sent my father home with a slice of the pecan pie and it was 7 or later, while we were watching Modern Problems, when DH and I had our pieces.  All-in-all it was a very good day. (And when I went to bed around 9:30, all the dishes were washed, most had been put away, and the kitchen was clean.)

Christmas-Turkey

 

Dec 25

Prompt: I Would Like to Remember

Dec-25

I started out with a list that mainly related to getting Christmas dinner on the table at 2 this afternoon. Then looking at it, I decided it wasn’t really what I Would Like to Remember.

Yesterday I made pecan rolls, pecan pie and sausage cheese-balls. Then I covered them and stored them in the refrigerator (the pecan rolls) or the garage (pecan pie & sausage cheese balls.) Although there’s some intense cooking today, it will be spread out. While the bird is resting I’ll be able to heat the rolls and make the Brussels sprouts recipe.

Here’s the dinner menu:

  • To Drink
    • a Riesling wine that my father is bringing
    • water
  • Appetizers –
    • Sausage Cheese-Balls, warmed,
    • Crackers and smoked salmon,
    • Crackers and herbed goat cheese.
  • Main Dish and sides
    • Bacon wrapped turkey
    • Wild Rice Dressing
    • Bacon Mashed potatoes (especially for my DH)
    • Brussels Sprouts with Salt-cured ham
    • Mashed candied sweet potato with marshmallow topping (for me and my father if he wants.)
    • Hot rolls with watermelon-rind pickles.
    • Cranberry Sauce (jellied (not whole berry), from a can)
  • Dessert (If anyone still wants some) – Pecan Pie

Where are the pecan rolls, you ask?  They’re for breakfast this morning. It’s a tradition I started at least 27 years ago, maybe closer to 33. My parents insisted that I eat breakfast before we opened any of the presents (except what I found in my stocking at some ungodly early hour.) I continued that with my kids. I don’t know when I made the breakfast special by making the pecan rolls. This year I made them up and cooked them.  I used to mix up the dough and make the rolls, but I’d refrigerate them in the pan overnight.  When I cooked them the next morning they were over-proofed (rose to high – found out THIS year that yeast breads have a tendency to rise too much at higher elevations. We live at 6,500 ft. [Talk about your “DUH” moment!]) I had wondered why I had such problems. We’ll heat them up in the microwave and have them this morning.

John and I don’t really exchange gifts at Christmas.  It’s hard enough coming up with ideas for the kids to give us, much less for each other. We decided during our clean up yesterday that we need some really good lamps in the living room and a vacuum cleaner with a LOT of suction. So that’s going to be our house gift this year and we’re not going to Walmart, KMart or Target for them. Too often we find that either they aren’t well constructed or that someone took parts out of the box and so the item isn’t complete. (Last year our mutual gift was a plush electric blanket for our king sized bed. We’re really enjoying it this winter.)

Merry Christmas to all my friends in cyberspace.

 

 

Decoration at my house

On my Dec 16 or 17 post, I mentioned a picture about the Creche I set up.  Here it is:

Avon-Creche---web

The stable was made by my Grandfather many years ago (probably over 50) for a ceramic Creche that my Grandmother poured/fired and stained red.  My son has that Creche but didn’t have room for the stable.  I bought, over several years, all the pieces to the Avon® Christmas Collection.  This year I set them both up on our buffet (a 7-foot wide Oak ‘monster’) that once belonged to the same grandparents talked about above. It has a mirror back which caught the reflection of the dining room light behind me when I took the picture.  I think it turned out rather well. Post processing included a little cropping and one of the settings in Topaz Labs’ Detail3 (I don’t remember which one.)