We are not the only ones with our Christmas lights still blazing.
So please, come in . . . if you can get past our fierce guard dog . . .
for a glimpse of what we've been up to this Christmas.
Which is mostly . . . eating, at least according to this post!
(Ha ha! Just noticed the empty box leaning on the stairs.
It's already been recycled; this picture is from New Year's Eve.)
Back we go, to the week before Christmas.
When we celebrated Chanukah.
That Old House gets her money's worth out of the winter holidays, that's for sure.
For years our girls have timed their Christmas visits home
to be here for an annual Chanukah Latke dinner.
Latkes are potato pancakes, and I make the shredded kind.
And that's all we eat at that dinner -- crispy hot latkes, with sour cream and applesauce.
Most of the traditional Chanukah foods are fried in oil,
and I am sure you know why. Oil. Lamps. The miracle of the 8 nights.
I make a mean potato latke, if I do say so myself.
There are other ways to make them, but this is how we like them.
I've seen recipes for sweet potato latkes, celery root latkes, latkes with carrots,
and all sorts of other abominations . . . but not here. We are potato pancake purists here.
We also light our Menorah, and everyone teases me because I insist that the Menorah, with its lit candles,
has to stand in the kitchen sink for safety's sake if we leave it burning unattended.
And this is nuts, how?
Christmas morning, in the Parlor, and this year . . .
the joy of a third kid. (A fourth if you count Howard.)
A robotic arm for Howard from Anne, who has promised to help him assemble it.
Josh sporting his new hat from me, and one of his cigars from Howard.
We'll turn this one into a Jersey boy yet!
And what Dad wouldn't love to find bacon-flavored popcorn under the tree?
Howard in the sunroom, testing out the portable hammock I got him.
Have hammock, will travel to beach house.
I so wanted to see if I could fold it up with him still in it, 'cause then I'd have a portable-hammock-husband.
He was not game for this plan.
Christmas breakfast was something special.
Josh and Alida made Monkey Bread, a tradition with his family.
And it was so good with strong coffee!
Anne made her trademark Special Waffles, which are so light you can hardly believe they are real.
Really. They have no weight. Therefore, they have no calories.
Later on Christmas Day, we piled in the car for the drive to Peg and Bill's house.
Peggy in her kitchen, preparing a fabulous dinner. (It really was!)
I want her big Sub-Zero fridge and freezer, on the left.
She says I can't have them. Sisters are so mean.
Bill, in charge of the liquid refreshment. Always a popular guy.
And Howard, in a new Christmas sweater, telling me to stop taking silly pictures.
I didn't take pictures of all the "kids" as they were all wearing not just fuzzy slippers,
but questionable pajamas.
My girls and Peggy's decided years ago that if they were just going to be at one another's houses
for Christmas, they could just as well stay in their PJs and be comfy. And that's what they do.
I love how Peggy does her mantle at Christmas.
Their Christmas tree, and the view across the foyer to their dining room.
This year there were so few "grownups" and so many "kids,"
that the kids got the dining room and we sat in the kitchen. Ah, times change.
Ernie, the yellow Lab, filled his bed with torn wrapping paper,
and settled down for a long winter's nap with his favorite duck.
During the holiday, Josh and Alida cooked dinner for us.
Chinese food -- the real deal.
While on their honeymoon in China in July, they took a cooking class.
It paid off. This was so delicious!
They've promised to share the recipes, so when I get them I'll pass them along to you.
They are well worth trying.
FRIDAY FISH FRY!
On the Friday after Christmas, my girls and I scooted west on Route 80, to a Cracker Barrel, for lunch.
Now, Cracker Barrel wouldn't have been our first choice for a Ladies' Lunch Out,
except it was Friday and that means Fish Fry.
|Fried cod, mac & cheese, and stewed apples.|
Brought back memories of the old Howard Johnson's Fish Fry nights.
Well, for me, anyway. My girls are too young to remember them.
Anne got chicken, but Alida and I got the fish.
So, how is it, Alida?
I think she likes it.
Somewhere along the way that week, I made a big lasagna.
We're talking enormous. Turkey roasting pan size.
Me, I like the corners of lasagna.
This one fed the family, and then
some a lot of friends.
Including Alida's former college roommate Alyssa and her boyfriend Steve,
shown here posing for me before leaving for a party on New Year's Eve.
"Mom, it's freezing! Take the picture, already!"
Kids today. No guts.
And the litany of What-We-Cooked and What-We-Ate isn't over yet.
On the day after New Year's, another group of "kids" at the house, and a huge pot of chili.
This is half the chili, keeping hot in a Crock Pot.
Alida made the chili, using the Silver Palate recipe that I love, and she took this picture, too.
Multi-talented, that child.
Howard and I escaped the madding crowd, and lit a fire in the parlor.
|So, it was a little fire.|
That brings us to today. Saturday, January 7th.
Christmas is over, and the season of Epiphany began yesterday.
Our Sunroom tree is slated for de-decorating this weekend, and the
long trip to the curb. It will end its illustrious career as mulch for the county parks system.
The Parlor trees are faux,
so as my sister-in-law Doris says, "They can stay up pretty much . . . forever!"
But they won't. I'll peck away at them this week, and the house will lose its glimmer and glitz,
and be a Plain Jane once again. That's OK. I think it's time we started decorating for Groundhog Day.
I hope you all had the merriest of Christmases, and I wish you all the happiest of New Years.
May 2012 bring us joy, purpose, friendship, and uneventful weather!
God bless us, everyone. -- Cass