Posts Tagged ‘baking’

It was a Cheer-splosion!  There were great gobs of paper and sticky food and amazing friends and family.  Man alive, what a mess.

I blather on about the noise and mess like some old Grinch, but Christmas was a fine time this year.  The day started off  pretty slow just a baby girl and one brother-in-law for coffee and casseroles, and as the house slowly woke up and drifted in, things picked up speed.

As far as presents went, less really was more.  My parents didn’t bring any at all (as we are going up to their house today) and we did fewer things for the girls and each other. In fact, we only had ONE gift from Santa (thanks Bambi!) for the girls – but it was a doozie: a 7 pack of Barbie sized Disney Princesses in a BIG long box.  The girls played with those princesses for HOURS in front of the tree. (I will say this collection of heirs to the thrones have USELESS shoes that fly off at the drop of a crown, and let me tell you those crowns do fall, too. Princess shrapnel I tell you! Everywhere. )

The girls got some clothes and socks, some nice book / toy combos, workbooks for spelling and counting, and a set of bath accessories – you guessed it – all covered with princesses. When Auntie Sam brought out the magic tea set (cold water makes the cup turn colors), two little girls, 7 princesses, a granny and Sam hunkered down in the glow of the Christmas tree and had a ruckus. It was just about perfect.  Of course – after tea – the girls wanted to try out their new bath toys freshen up, so they piled into the tub (and called for me to fill it! Which I did). The best part of the bath lately is Elly and Sara singing Jingle Bells together. CHARMING.

Eleanor was an angel all day – perfect behavior or as close to it as anyone can get when one is 4 and it’s as wild a day as Christmas. (Her only major fail was her daddy got her a little portable CD player that she broke the first time she touched it. Broke clean off the little door where the disc goes. We tried to fix it – Eleanor offered to get the channel locks to help – but the tiny plastic hinge was done for.  Tony and I agreed that perhaps she is too young yet. We’ll just enjoy the Disney CD’s in the car.)  Saralyn melted down twice and had to go to bed to collect herself. She took a three-hour nap in the middle of the day – and that just about fixed her. Poor thing was stressed to the max with all this excitement.

NOW! About the food.  I loved cooking all day, and there were a number of kitchen fairies who came along behind me and made the sink sparkle – which is a Christmas Miracle! We had vegetarian sausage strata, vegan white chocolate cranberry nut strata, sweet rolls, fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juices (Lynn’s juicer was our X-mas Eve entertainment), fruit salad, ham, biscuits and this Nordic delicacy called potato sausage (my sister’s boyfriend Matt brought it – along with special mustard that will part your hair – from the inside).  After a time I made linguine pesto. YUM. We ate ALL DAY.

Today – what I want out of life is a Green Salad. With some apples and cranberries…

What did I get for Christmas? Well thanks for asking. Tony got me a James Avery Swivel Heart Locket, which I love, and a new CD. I got a Mexican Train Dominoe set and a Kindle! MY VERY OWN KINDLE!!! (It was hard for me to not run into the bedroom right then and lock the door.  I was a good girl and waited HOURS before I locked myself into the bedroom and started fiddling and downloading!) I love my cow calendar.

Today will be Christmas Part Two up at the lake with my parents. I hear that Eleanor will be getting to put together her new BIKE with her grandpa. Perhaps I will need to pack the channel locks after all.

I love you all – friends and family far away and near – and wish you joyous good times this holiday and in the coming year.


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In an effort to save money, and burn less gas, I stay at home on Mondays as often as I can. Sometimes  I take the girls and walk to the International Market up the street.  If I don’t get out of the house every day, I go nuts.  Today, however, I have happily stayed right here.  I am exhausted from the big, full weekend and I wanted a big, nappy, lazy day.  I’ve missed it by mere inches.

Even though I haven’t so much as changed out of my jammies, I have not been my aspired to lazy slob today.  I’ve cleaned the kitchen, cleaned out the fridge (and I even washed the gunk that collects under crisper drawers), made soup for us girls to munch today and for Tony’s lunch tomorrow, started a batch of bread and a crock pot full of apple butter, and there is a strata in the ice box waiting to be baked for tonight’s meal.  I’ve had the girls helping me all along the way.  It goes better when I include them in all that I do.  Elly loves to be my helper with a wisk or a towel.  She’s even getting better at it.  Saralyn just likes to watch and eat the apple scraps!  and cheese.

I’m thinking about wether to build a fire in the den fireplace.  It’s chilly.  I’ve moved the little space heater into the den and have pulled the curtains closed .  It’s warm-ish, but not toasty.  I’ll have to deliberate a bit more…

What’s your day been like?

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Before I “retired” from broadcasting, people sent me stuff. I got sent towels, mugs, puzzles, games, cards, gift certificates (which I always returned), t-shirts (which never fit), works of art and books. By far, the books came most frequently. Some books were great. Some were interesting. Some sucked out loud, and some, I just didn’t understand. An example of each? OK.

Robert Guillaume’s autobiography was the best book I got. My interview with him goes down amongst the top ten. The man was 72 years old and suffered a major stroke, but he sure made me weak in the knees. He was the Phantom on Broadway after all. Hubba. The book was a real page turner.

I somehow got sent a series of books that looked at regional postcards from the 19th century. Those sepia photos were a fascinating look at a narrow slice of life in various counties around the South. Neat, but not germane to my reporting.

1001 self help books crossed my desk. No one needs to help themselves to that much help. No one. People who need that much help surf the Internet studying the term cybercondria.

And, finally, there were books that baffled me. One of the books I didn’t understand was called Small Batch Baking. It was one of the last books to cross my desk before I left. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me who would want to go to the trouble to make a cake that only serves two people. It’s the same amount of trouble to make a big pie as as small one. It makes the same number of dirty dishes and spoons, so why go small? I hated the idea of this book, and thought the author was bonkers, but I kept the book anyway. (MOST of the books that crossed my desk ended up at various charity book sales or as gifts for friends. Nobody tell me how wrong I am for this, OK?)

In the last few weeks, I have found that I REALLY like this cookbook. Take tonight’s venture into oatmeal cranberry cookies. See, I’ve been annoyed with Eleanor lately. I want her to go to the potty regularly, and she’s obviously not ready to be regulated. Tonight, I wanted to get off the angry train with my girl at Grand Cookie Station. So I asked her to make cookies with me.

We got Small Batch Baking off the shelf, and picked which cookie we wanted to make. I measured. She stirred. We baked five cookies in the toaster oven. We played Super Why on the computer and waited for the cookies to bake.

It was nice. We giggled. We nibbled together in the armchair and shared a cold glass of milk.

I am totally not angry, which is quite a switch for me lately. We worked together better than we ever have. I want to be this supermom that shows her kid everything and gets the kid to listen every time. I think I hate that mom now. I have to stop pushing so hard on the immovable will that is my daughter and just do stuff with her and see what happens. I need to give up. Maybe I’ll get somewhere, then.

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