Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Have you been naughty or nice this year? I can never get away with being naughty so I gave up on that.
What do you want most for Christmas? This is true: end war and famine. When people want to give me gifts, I ask that they spend the money on UNICEF or Doctors Without Borders. I personally don't need more 'stuff'.
Do you believe in Santa Claus? Well, of course! Frosty, too.
What is your favorite food at Christmas? My family's traditional Christmas cookies. See bottom of page.
Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Yes. I do most of that on line - I hate shopping crowds.
Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Not by a long shot!
What is your favorite Christmas song? Chestnuts
What is your favorite Christmas movie? My all-time favorite is 'It's a Wonderful Life'. I also have to watch 'A Christmas Carol' with Alistair Sim every year.
What is your best memory of Christmas? We were not allowed in the living room until our parents woke up, but Santa left stockings filled with goodies on our bedroom doorknobs. My brother, sister, and I would get up before dawn, open our stocking presents together on one of the beds, and eat chocolate. My children then continued the tradition. Even now as adults, they go for their stockings first and giggle together while they find their goodies. I love it!
What do you look forward to most at Christmas? Spending time with my granddaughter. I don't see her nearly as often as I would like to. And of course, the rest of my family.
What are you doing for Christmas this year? My son, DIL, and granddaughter will be visiting.
Who do you want to kiss under the mistletoe? My husband, or course!
What kind of Christmas tree do you have? Artificial .
Do you take part in a secret santa? No, but we have a Giving Tree at school. People put children's hats and mittens on it, and these go to a homeless shelter and women's shelter.
Do you go to any Christmas parties? No. We have a huge Lunar New Year party each year instead.
Have you ever had a white Christmas? Often. Looks like the chances are good for one this year.
How early do you wake up on Christmas morning? I get up between 5 and 6 most days. Now that the kids are grown, it is anyone's guess when the rest of the house will get up.
Do you still get a stocking? Well, there is a stocking for 'Mom' but there won't be anything in it unless I put it there.
How many Christmas cards do you normally send out? Around 100.
What is your Christmas wish? See Question #1.
This is a sampling of the traditional cookies my family makes and gives out at Christmas.
I am looking forward to making them with my granddaughter this year and passing on the tradition.
And the new cookie since Stella joined our family:
Monday, December 06, 2010
We had a great time preparing latkes for Hannukah today. In the morning, the children washed, peeled, and grated potatoes, and grated onions. In the afternoon, the children added the eggs and salt, and two children helped fry the latkes. We made traditional and sweet potato latkes and served them up with applesauce, sour cream and cinnamon. Delicious!
Browning on the griddle
Sweet potato latkes
Brown and done!
And ready to eat!
Latke Recipe from Epicurious:
1 pound potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
Accompaniments: sour cream and applesauce
print a shopping list for this recipe
Preheat oven to 250°F.
Peel potatoes and coarsely grate by hand, transferring to a large bowl of cold water as grated. Soak potatoes 1 to 2 minutes after last batch is added to water, then drain well in a colander.
Spread grated potatoes and onion on a kitchen towel and roll up jelly-roll style. Twist towel tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg and salt.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4 latkes, spoon 2 tablespoons potato mixture per latke into skillet, spreading into 3-inch rounds with a fork. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn latkes over and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Add more oil to skillet as needed. Keep latkes warm on a wire rack set in a shallow baking pan in oven.
For people like me, with nightshade allergies, substitute sweet potatoes for the potatoes.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Thank you all for your kind thoughts and words on my earlier blog. The sad and inescapable reality is Stella, Mike, and I have lost a beloved fur-buddy. I sincerely believe Tex has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We live in an isolated area so there is no putting signs on trees, ads in the paper, etc. There is no cozy place that Tex could go except into our house. He is (was?) a very old man, and never wanted to be outside for more than an hour at a time once he hit old age. He was very demanding and would beat on the door and yowl when he was cold or hungry or wanted his nap. The fact that I have not seen him for 24 hours does not bode well.
I have no evidence that he has died... I have walked up and down the road and along the fence row perimeter of my yard, I have checked outbuildings, the chicken coop, and camper. There is no sign of him anywhere, foul play or otherwise.
The fact that he has not come back is enough to make me believe that he has either gone off to die, or been caught by a wild animal. He would be my first fur kid in over 3 decades not to die in my arms of venerable old age. The house feels empty without him - he has been my little cuddler for 16 years.
Mostly, I wanted to say thank you for your kindness and optimism in my earlier blog and to update you on whether he returned or not.
If by some miracle he is alive and has fooled me, I will definitely let you know. I am not even a little bit optimistic that this will happen.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
I am very worried about Tex. If he were a younger guy, I would expect him to go carousing at night and come back in the morning to sleep it off. But, at 16, he is an old man... thin and in love with his comforts. He likes to sleep near the fire and loves his lap time.
We got our first blanket of snow yesterday and last night the temperature dropped to the low 20's plus a windchill factor. In his youth, Tex would have enjoyed being out, but probably not all night. In his old age, he would not have wanted to be out in the cold and damp. He is not a kitty who would sit quietly at the door - he pounds on the door and yowls when he wants to come in. I slept on the couch all night hoping to hear him at the door, but there was no sign of him. It is still too dark to go out and look for him.
I am really afraid the worst has happened, and I am sad.
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Here is the little blue ukelele I bought for my class. Stella is enjoying modeling it in the classroom... it suits her coloring well!
I have been teaching the chords for Jolly Old St. Nicholas and Dreidel to the children who are interested in learning to play the uke. We are having lots of fun with it. Right now, I have a quartet of children playing guitar, piano, and singing working on their part in the holiday performance and soloists for sax, trombone, violin, and piano. Of course, the whole group is working on singing seasonal and holiday music. I'm looking forward to our performance on Dec. 16.
I am really excited about taking the class to see the Cirque de la Symphonie on Friday. I've added a link - it really looks like fun!
Happy Channukah to my friends!
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