I am not complaining, they are beautiful, it is simply bizarre to see the week before Christmas, it doesn’t put me in any less of a holiday mood, if my health issues don’t, then an unseasonal bloom most assuredly will not, I think geraniums and pansies go great with pine, holly and twinkly lights.
We gathered at my friend Mary’s house down the road in Blandford and it was simply lovely, low key, there were several choices of beverages, an assortment of “tapas”; sliced vegetables with different dips, all sorts of crackers, a chicken liver mousse with truffles, herbed goat cheese and a large enough gathering to create small pockets of conversation and enough of a diversity of cookies to make it sweetly interesting.
You can see from the picture that we did indeed have variety in our choices. There were ginger snaps, my cookies the Breton butter cookies, chocolate and m&m cookies, a delicate coconut cookie, a meringue cookie, thumbprint cookies with apricot jam or blueberry jam, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and there were two different cookies that made me think of clouds with icing.
I have to confess that I was so gratified and humbled by the welcome I received from everyone. I knew that Mary was happy that I was coming because we have been friends for twenty years and with her busy life and mine, it is hard for us to get together. I was surprised that the other ladies were happy to see me because we only know each other on a more casual basis. I couldn’t help but laugh when the first question they each asked me was what was the cookie that I had baked. I told them all that my cookie was a very nice one to have with tea and that it had lots of butter in them, the better to lubricate the veins and arteries with. lol
It was such a fun evening, full of laughter and great conversation and the icing on the cake, I got to bring home tons of cookies for my family.
This is the first year that my hubby and I haven’t been home for Halloween. I won’t be answering the door armed with a basket full of all kinds of different candy for the trick or treaters, both tiny and big. I won’t be listening for Jack’s high pitched bark alerting me to new customers waiting for their candy. It is weird not having purchased loads of temptation to hand out to others. Actually I have to confess that last year, I filled our copper tub with bags of candy and taped a sign saying “Help Yourself” and that worked like a charm. This year the poor kids aren’t even getting that, I’m sure that they won’t cry too hard. Blandford is a very generous town when it comes to Halloween parties and candy giving.
I remember years of going door to door with my two no matter what the weather was, we trudged through snow, we braved the rain and we shivered through windy nights. There were two, I think, balmy Halloweens which were awesome, no freezing, it was bliss. My two loved Halloween, or at least coming back home to go through their stash, they loved that. So did I when my sister and I would come back home, to go through all of the candy, getting happier with each piece that turned out to be a favorite. My favorites, notice that there is more than one, were Snickers, Three Musketeers, Reese Peanut Butter Cups, M & M’s, Nestle Crunch, Hersey’s Kisses, Kit-Kat and Twix, quite a list don’t you think? This year for once I won’t have to be tempted for days by any leftover candy, that will be a change. Actually Halloween is usually the gate opener for the holiday season of copious eating because in just a few more weeks we have Thanksgiving to prepare for and then devour. Shortly afterwards comes Christmas and all of its own goodies. So the eating season commences for one and all, an American tradition in the best sense. Personally I can’t wait to start cooking pies, stuffing, birds and other delectable treats.
So Happy Halloween everyone, and for those who live across the ocean, have a piece of candy just for kicks, it’ll be yummy I promise. 🙂
I wish everyone a Happy Easter and I hope that it was a joyous day for all. This morning as I was flipping through Facebook, I posted Happy Easter everyone! Enjoy your ham, enjoy your lamb and most of all, be sure to enjoy your chocolates! What is amusing about my wish for my friends is that for my own Easter dinner there wasn’t any ham or lamb to be found, there wasn’t even any Easter chocolates eaten.
My family enjoyed a small brunch of soft shell crabs meunière with Jasmine rice and asparagus served with a dijon mustard vinaigrette. I forgot to take pictures, they were also devoured quite quickly. The sauce meunière is such an easy sauce to prepare, all it takes is butter that has been browned by whatever you have been sautéing, in this case it was soft shell crab, it could easily be Dover sole or flounder, once the soft shell crab was done being sautéed; I added the juice of a large lemon and voila, the sauce meunière. If I had parsley on hand I would have added it but I forgot to get some, oh well, it was still quite nice especially with the rice. I, myself, ate most of the asparagus. It is one of my favorites, I didn’t forget it this time and they were perfectly crisp, tender. All in all, it was a nice meal and we celebrated Easter Sunday quietly as a family. After which my son graciously agreed to drive his sister back to school.
So now my hubby and I are getting to watch the season’s premiere of Game of Thrones on HBO and later we will watch I think that it’s the season’s finale of the Walking Dead. Perhaps not the most appropriate viewing for a Sunday but these are brilliant shows and I like them a lot.
So again, Happy Easter everyone! 🙂
Today my baby girl and I had some time to visit with my best friend Debbie, her hubby and her grand kids at her house. It was great to see her in person rather than over the phone and e-mail. We talk just as much, no holds barred, but in person it’s always infinitely more satisfying. She got her haircut, just as I did, and it looks fantastic on her. She complimented me on my haircut as well. What was funny is that we both decided to get rid of our longish hair because it was making us look old and our new haircuts have made us look a lot younger but we did it without knowing that the other was doing it as well.
Her grand kids have grown so much, they are still little; five, four and a year and four months old, all very cute but still a handful, so my Debbie is exhausted by the end of the week after babysitting all three of them. Even with the oldest in all day kindergarten, she still has the younger two to contend with, and did I mention that she also takes care of three dogs and a cat. Wait, I forgot something, oh yes, she also takes care of her mom and her hubby as well. I am exhausted just typing this part of what she does. When I pulled into her driveway, I told the baby girl that I hadn’t needed the GPS after all, I couldn’t have missed her house at all, it was the most decorated house on the block.
One of the things that I miss about not having her next to me is precisely that; her very special way of decorating her house into a Christmas winter wonderland. Now for the past two Christmases, my corner of the world is much darker. The new next door neighbors don’t put out all the stops like Debbie did, they try but it is very tame. The neighbors on the other side are pretty festive, but Debbie was famous in our town for her decorations.
I also miss just having her there. She was great to cook for; I would often make cauliflower gratin for the kids and I always made sure that I took over a bowl for her because she loved it so much. She never made it because her hubby wasn’t a vegetable man; he is a solid meat and potatoes guy, so I really liked to make her things that I knew she wasn’t going to make for herself. Whenever I made chicken pot pie, she got enough for her and her hubby. The same went for pies, cookies and cakes. I was often knocking on her door and entering with some kind of goodie for her to eat. Good times.
Part of the reason I loved cooking for her was obviously it made her happy but also because she did do so much. She is the hardest working person that I know, so I was happy to help lift a small load even if it was only a meal.
I miss having her next door.
I have another confession to make about Christmas. I dread getting Christmas cards from people not on my list. I try to do my Christmas cards early so that I don’t get overwhelmed with all the other things that are going on during the holiday season. This year I went through all the Christmas cards and when I received two Christmas cards from people not on my list, I was out of cards, which meant an extra visit to the store late in the season so the options were limited. The noise I made when I had gotten the mail wasn’t Ho, Ho, Ho, it was argh.
So today I mailed out an extra ten Christmas cards, added the new people to my Christmas mailing list because I know that I had said two but as of today, it had expanded to ten new cards. I was really glad that I had gotten two boxes of Christmas cards just in case. Hopefully, just between you and me, I won’t get any more new cards. I’d like to be done with card sending. I know, I’m being a Scrooge, shhh it’s our secret.
A friend of mine threw me for a loop by asking me what I wanted for Christmas. I haven’t been asked that question in a while by someone outside my hubby or my mother. My friend wasn’t asking because they were going to get me something but because they were curious. My mind blanked because I wasn’t prepared for the question. I know that I have spent a few posts writing about food and that is how far I have gotten in terms of wanting something for Christmas, I want a special menu to look forward to and have fun preparing for my family.
In terms of what I want for Christmas and the answer I gave to my friend, off the cuff, was a year of stress free existence. Actually I would wish that for all of my friends and family; a year without any stress, can you imagine that? I think that it would be a beautiful thing.
On a more practical note, I wouldn’t mind a new device that would take pictures that I can put into my posts. I miss adding pictures to my posts. I could show off my new haircut, my various desserts and other dishes and my Christmas tree. So if I won’t get my wish of a year without stress, I can wish for a picture taking thing from Santa.
It is traditionally the weekend after Thanksgiving that the Christmas decorations make their way down from the attic. We have 4 very large storage bins,; chock filled with our artificial tree that stands eight feet tall, the lights, the ornaments and the various Christmas knick knacks that I decorate with in the entire house. These precious keepsakes have been accumulated over the course of our marriage, twenty two years worth of ornaments and various Santa’s and snowmen, quite a collection I have to say.
Today I have been operating in slow motion, we all went up to the attic together. Normally I do it alone, but my hubby took it upon himself to get the baby girl’s help, he could see that I was a little run down. I wonder what could have tipped him off? Perhaps the painful ulcer on my bottom corner lip, my cold sore. I am not prone to these outbreaks on a regular basis, they only happen during the cold months and when I am over tired, so imagine my joy when I woke up Friday morning with the throbbing pain of a cold sore. I know that in a short time it will go away on its own, so that isn’t a big deal, I am just dying to pick at it and it is taking all of my discipline to not pick at it. I am a little obsessive/compulsive with scabs, I pick and pick. Funny, as I was taking a break from assembling the tree and walking Jack, I was thinking that I was looking forward to getting a camera so that I can show off my new haircut, but then I was thinking I could wait a few more days so that my sore could heal ( vanity) but enough with my disfigurement.
The tree isn’t done, I put up two strings of light and then sat down, put up two more strings of light and then sat back down, so all the lights are up. I am slowly getting the ornaments up, but I am calling it a day for decorating. I’ll get back to it on Wednesday. Why Wednesday? Tomorrow I am spending all day writing to finish my NaNoWriMo challenge, the game plan is at least 10,000 words. Tuesday will be another day for the writing challenge and then hopefully fini. Wish me luck!
- Musing on November
- Holiday cookies from Franklin Street Bakery in Minneapolis
So far so good, I haven’t seen a single Christmas commercial which is shocking. I mean I am in the country of commercial marketing of all things holiday and to not have been assaulted yet by shopping frenzy commercials is a welcome relief. How many shopping days until Christmas? I don’t know because I haven’t seen a commercial yet! Hooray for me!