Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Memories

Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance - each beautiful, unique and too soon gone.
~Deborah Whipp

The house and tree are decorated , the oven has been working overtime, the two sticks rubbing together to produce presents are showing scorch marks…must mean Christmas is right around the corner.

I love the holidays…not the shopping part but the family and tradition parts of them. There are recipes that I only make for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Each year while making them reminds me of years gone by and the people that occupied those years.  Using recipes from both my grandmothers, I can hear echo’s of my mother’s voice  telling me how far apart to space the cookies or my uncle who made the best gravy reminding me to get the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan.

While the holidays are deeply seated with tradition, some traditions change because we lost a member or new ones came along so we incorporated theirs with ours.

This year we start a new tradition as we are all going to #1 son and A’s house for Christmas dinner.  I have been cooking Christmas dinner with or without my mother for 20 years.  We always had ham and cold salads (macaroni, potato, coleslaw).  This started when I was young, we had a dairy farm and between chores and driving my grandmother to her sister’s house and my father working nights, time was limited.  One good thing is we never got called away from playing with our gifts as we could eat when we felt like it, although we usually always ended up eating together.  Then in 2006 #1 daughter decided she wanted duck for dinner so we started making a ham and a duck and it turned into a more formal dinner.  

This year the menu is still up in the air.  #1 son and A have a Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Mario Bartali appetite but then usually follow with a Sandra Lee Semi-homemade approach.  Cooking from scratch is not their forte but we all know this …should make for some good joking.

So we have a time and place  …the food may or may not all make it onto the table at the same time but that will only serve as another memory, a new tradition .  It really doesn’t matter, we are all together, we will eat eventually and I don’t have to do the dishes!  So while appreciating the past, I can get into these new traditions.

 If I don't make it back on here before the day, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas filled with love, family and friends.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”  Roald Dahl

I love Christmas secrets, everyone hiding and working on something that gets shoved aside/covered when you walk in to a room.  I love watching their sneaky moves, tapping on their doors and listening to them scurry around thinking you are going to enter! 

I have the luxury of working on and wrapping gifts while the house in empty.  

I inherited a need to disguise gifts so that the recipient won’t know what they are.  My mother was very good at it.  Me, I do it because I know I love to shake gifts and try to guess, it adds to the giddy anticipation of Christmas. 

So I have been busy making gifts along with baking.  I have a couple of things to pick up this weekend and then next week I should be done with everything.  Yeah, I put that in writing so you know the little demons are going to wreck havoc upon my plan for sure!

The weather has been very un-December like.  We had a quick 4 inches of snow that was melting soon after it fell.  Yesterday the temperature was 56 with a little rain.  It is the one damper on my otherwise festive season.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for a white Christmas…it can melt the next day, I just want that one day.  And NOAA seems to agree with me.  According to their map we have a 50-75% chance of a white Christmas.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.

We went to the annual Hunter’s Bingo held by the VFW and we cleaned house this year.  We even won one of the guns they were raffling off!  So far as hunting season…my freezer sits empty. 

The unthinkable happen ...I ran out of flour!  I buy it in 25 or 50 pound bags so I though there was more in the pantry but boy was I disappointed.  So I guess today I am finally going to start to decorate.  We are going to a tree farm this weekend to cut our tree.  Tonight the man and I are wrapping presents.  I have everything boxed up ready to go.  He will  be wrapping one of his own gifts and wont even know it until he asks what name to write on the label!  For some reason that makes me giggle!