Sunday, December 28, 2008
For the first time, EVER, my little sis took me for the Day After Christmas sales. We shopped. And then we shopped some more. Every time she asked if I was done and ready to go home, I'd say, "Oh, well, we're here, we might as well check out this store too." ...Now all of this would have been no problem, other than I'm still gimping around on this new knee. I can walk the normal walk around the house, but you put me "out there" in the real world: on concrete and sidewalks and the shopping floors of the "big-box" stores...it's a whole 'nother world. By my 2PM hubby-imposed curfew, I was pretty tired. (But I wasn't going to crumble to him! )
"I feel FINE!! Just make sure to stop at the coffee shop so I can grab a latte for the long trip home"(....the latte was a chaser for my pain pills and muscle relaxants.)
Regrets? you ask. NONE ! Bring it ON ! I'm ready to go again this weekend!
We sure had a fun Christmas this year. Yeah, I know. I was the whiner about the lost family traditions and how I missed them and it didn't feel like Christmas, and we didn't have any snow, blah, blah, blah. Well, shoot, be careful what 'ya pray for! Cause this girl got it ALL !!
My baby sis really stepped up to the plate and provided an awesome old-fashioned Christmas, with spiral cut ham, cheesy potatoes, shrimp aspic salad, scalloped oysters, yeast rolls, pumpkin pie and pumpkin/Philly cheese roll. Her house was so totally decked out for Christmas, unlike mine, with NO decorations this year. The house was cozy and full of family, Christmas carols playing, good food, good spirits to drink...it was wonderful! And there was LOTS of snow, just like in the old days!!
Then we stayed over night, instead of the mad rush to drive back home to tend to the chores always waiting for those who own/tend animals. The whole family gathered at IHOP for "breakfast out" together, before we girls all went shopping. It was grand fun!
Over the holidays, I received so many wonderful cards and calls from all my extended family and friends, with so many of you revealing that you are following my BLOG! You can't imagine how grateful I am for your kind comments!
Feel free to sign in on the Blog register, and to leave your comments on the posts! And thanks for stopping by to visit ! Miss Vic
Meanwhile.....back at the ranch...
Santa Baby....Well, he used to be a baby. Not so much, any more! My sweet nephew donned the Santa hat prior to handing out gifts on Christmas morning. He is growing up so quickly! Where do our babies go?? Wasn't it just yesterday....?
No. I guess not.
I am just getting old. And the older I get, the more my comments sound like MY grandmother's! Our children grow up. And I guess we should be glad that they do! That is our ultimate job as MOTHERS : to ready our children for independence in the real world.
But goodness gracious godness - it's hard to see them grow up so fast!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Cook Time 25 min Level: Int. Yield 3 1/2 doz
Times: Prep 30 min Inactive Prep 1 hr 30 min
Cook 25 min Total: 2 hr 25 min
2 (7 to 8-ounce) packages sweetened shredded coconut
2 ounces sweetened condensed milk
Pinch kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg whites at room temperature
5 ounces granulated sugar
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 ounce vegetable shortening
2 ounces finely chopped dry-roasted macadamia nuts
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine the coconut with the sweetened condensed milk, salt and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whip the whites until medium peaks form, 6 to 7 minutes.
Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. Scoop tablespoon-sized mounds onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately transfer the parchment with the macaroons to a cooling rack. Cool completely before topping.
Fill a 4-quart pot with enough water to come 2 inches up the side, set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a small metal or glass mixing bowl and set over the simmering pot. Stir occasionally until melted, then remove from the heat.
Dip the cooled cookies in the chocolate mixture, sprinkle with the chopped macadamia nuts and place on parchment paper to set, about 30 minutes.
Alton prefers to use weight measurements for baking, to ensure the best accuracy. Please be careful if you try converting this recipe to standard measurements, especially for liquid ingredients. Two ounces of sweetened condensed milk is about 3/16th of a cup, which is less than 1/4 cup but more than 1/8 cup.
PARADISE MACAROONS , courtesy Alton Brown 12 Days of Cookies Food Network
A bawdy tune known to be sung in the 1870's Fireside Establishment of St. Giles
Me Ship Ain't Quite Come In
'One day I'll dine on pheasants and grouse
And cocktails in fine crystal glasses
And roast pigs with apples stuck in their mouths
And silver spits shoved up their arses...'
'Me spotted dick puddin' will be such a size
Four footmen will carry it in!
But for now I'll survive on porter and pies
For 'me ship ain't quite come in.'
Oh! 'me ship ain't quite come in,
It's subject to delay;
Me ship ain't quite come in,
It's expected any day.
When me ship comes in, the grin on me chin
Will never go away
But me ship ain't quite - Me ship ain't quite
Me ship ain't quite come in!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Santa Lives HERE !
This is the beautiful
Prenite and Peridot
and Sterling Silver
necklace I had created
for daughter Di for
know...she could read
this blog and ruin the
But, I already did that.
I can't help it.
I've never been good
at keeping surprises!
It was all I could do to wait until the package arrived in Seattle....
Then when she had the package in front of her, we're on the
phone, and I'm saying: "OPEN IT! OPEN IT !"
Well, part of my excuse is that she has at least three Christmas
parties coming up...
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I'm Depressed. I can't help it.
There's still no snow.
There's still no Christmas tree
or decorations..I've still not started
the Christmas cards; I've not hung a
I'm not able to sing with the choir
for the Christmas Cantata.
I'm trying. REALLY! I'm playing Christmas carols- over and over. I MADE myself write our annual Christmas letter today, but I haven't printed them off. I can procrastinate doing THAT for at least another week, can't I? I bought every one's gifts WAY early this year, knowing I'd have my knee surgery and not be able to do it afterwards. So there's no shopping and wrapping to do. It almost seems like Christmas happened months ago. And for me, it did! I purchased, wrapped and delivered all the gifts to my kids in Seattle, the first of October.And Huggs and I each purchased what we wanted for Christmas, while we were shopping together, so there's no need to wrap those gifts!
There's just something so, I don't know, sad, I guess, about growing old and losing hold of the traditions we've always shared as a family. Each year, something changes. Someone in the family can't be with us for one reason or another. Or we can't go "home" for Christmas and have to find a new place to share our Christmas. Huggs and I have the biggest house, and it always makes me so happy when the family wants to come here for the holidays. But nobody wants to come HERE for Christmas any more...We have the worst weather....the wildest winds...the deepest snow, the worst roads. And as our parents become aged, their days of driving on bad roads have come to an end. So it is our responsibility to travel to them. But then, we have to decide where to hold the gathering. Because all of the reasons that keep them from traveling to us are the same reasons that prevent them from being able to prepare a holiday meal and suffer through the un-nerving noise of so many kids and grand-kids stuffed into a too-small space for hours.
So again, another tradition is gone, as each year, we try to decide where we're going to meet, what we're going to eat, who's going to be able to be there, ...I just want it to be the way it ALWAYS was. At Gramma's house, with EVERYONE there. Where Santa always knew what you wanted for Christmas and he always brought it in the right color.
As a family, when I was growing up, we ALWAYS had Christmas Eve at our house and opened gifts after a simple meal of fragrant casserole and an endless array of salads and desserts made by Mom, Gramma and my Great Aunts. It was all about good spirits, drinking egg nog and Tom & Jerry's by a roaring fire that Dad always had burning in the fireplace, Christmas carols sung around the piano as Dad played, and we'd open gifts and spend the whole afternoon and evening together. Then, Christmas Day was ALWAYS spent at Grandma and Grandpa's house, where we all dressed in our Sunday best, or at least in the newest clothes we'd received as gifts the night before. And we'd eat a full sit-down turkey dinner, with the ENTIRE family together. I grew up surrounded by a loving, supporting cast of Grandparents, and Great Aunts and Uncles. There was never any excuse about having to be somewhere else. The only reason someone wouldn't be there, is if they'd passed away that year!! Back then, we didn't have divorces and have to share our kids with the non-custodial parent. And back then, people didn't travel long distances from home - either to live or to travel, especially during the winter in the northwest United States, where winter blizzards have historically kept us thankfully huddled around the fire. Back when I was a girl, everyone lived close by, and we were always together. When I was a girl, our Christmas was "Martha Stewart perfect" .
Now, the members of our family live hours apart, and subsequently, we have to make more of an effort to get together. And I realize how much effort our family made, to make our holidays perfect.
Just because I'm middle aged now, it doesn't mean I want to grow up. I don't like change. Not when it's about family traditions. I'm not ready for people to grow old, especially me. I still want everyone to be together at Gramma's house for Christmas; I still want Huggs and Santa to know exactly what I want for Christmas, and exactly what color.
...in the meantime....back at the ranch...........