Posted tagged ‘Christmas dinner’

“It is a great Nostrum the composition of this Pasty,”Christmas Pye”; it is a most learned Mixture of Neats-tongues, Chickens, Eggs, Sugar, Raisins, Lemon and Orange Peel, various kinds of Spicery, etc.”

December 3, 2017

Today is yesterday without the small breeze. The clouds are white grey. No rain is expected but the air is damp. It will be in the mid-40’s most of the day. I’ll be watching the Patriots play starting at one.

This morning was the same as most mornings. Maddie and Gracie now with full bellies are back to snoozing. I woke up too late to read both newspapers, but that’s okay as I’ll read the rest tonight. I held my breath, as I usually do, when I turned on MSNBC. I’m always afraid of what I might hear and especially afraid about any news from the White House. I’m beginning to think I’m being masochistic. Nothing I read or watch gives me hope, but there is still a piece of me that won’t give up.

I  woke up around 2 because my back was killing me. It was Gracie’s fault. She had moved from the other end of the couch to my end and was leaning against me with her head resting on my legs which were bent to accommodate her. She was so asleep she didn’t stir when I moved her. I stretched my legs and got comfy. My back was none the worse for wear this morning.

My house is cluttered. Boxes and bags of papers and magazines are in the living room until I can move them to the trunk. My clean clothes haven’t yet made it upstairs, but I’m determined to move them today. The vacuum is still leaning against the couch. I’ll use it during commercials then put it back downstairs to gather dust of its own. A few dishes are on the dish towel on the counter and are probably dry so I’ll put them back into the cabinet. I will then be decluttered.

I did watch Hallmark last night though I toyed with watching Krampus, but my good mood countered my dour mood. I watched the vet fall in love with the doctor after they had known each other just a few days, but that’s the magic of Hallmark. I know the movies are schmaltzy, but I don’t care. Those movies drown out politics and help me forget what’s going on so I get to hold on as tightly as possible to Christmas and all the joy it brings, compliments of Hallmark.

I’ve been watching Christmas cooking shows; however, I doubt I’ll make many of the dishes. On The Kitchen they made shaved Brussels sprout salad with pomegranate vinaigrette and pecans. What?

Christmas dinner has never been as traditional as Thanksgiving. My mother alternated roasts like crowned pork roast, crowned beef or honeyed ham. We always had some sort of potato but not usually mashed. My favorite was roasted potatoes. The vegetables included creamed onions so my Dad wouldn’t complain and root vegetables like turnip. The table was always lovely. My mother used her Spode dishes, and her red or green tablecloth and napkins. There was always a centerpiece of flowers. We lingered at the table. I’d usually clear, put the coffee on and start washing pans and such. When I finally sat, I’d grab a cookie or two or maybe even three to eat with my coffee.

I think if you visited any of our houses on Christmas you’d see Christmas dishes, flowers and holiday tablecloths. My mother lives in all of us.

“I am taking time to relax, renew and revive.”

December 26, 2016

Happy Boxing Day!

Yesterday was a wonderful Christmas Day. We opened presents, played games and had a fantastic dinner and a delicious dessert. I got an amazing present, A David Ortiz commemorative bat. It is beautiful. It is also heavy. David’s stats are etched on the bat as is an outline of David in his characteristic pose: fingers pointing to heaven after a home run. I was totally surprised and totally thrilled. It will be displayed here in the den right near the Fenway Park brick, a replica of the one laid on the concourse at Fenway which says Kathleen Ryan Peace Corps Ghana 1969-1971. It too was a gift from my friends.

I have errands to do today. I guess it’s back to the real world, far too quickly I think.

This is short as I’m taking a mini-vacation of mostly today and all of tomorrow. I’ll be back on Thursday.

15665938_10208265867273240_1178058966471787105_n

“At Christmas, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ makes me cry in exactly the same places every time, even though I know it’s coming.”

December 13, 2015

Today is a grey day but still warmer than it should be. Last night my house was ablaze with Christmas lights. My neighbor from across the street called to say she loves the lights and can’t stop looking at them from her window. Most of the house has colored lights, but a giant white star sits atop the fence to the backyard and strands of white flow from the star. I love that star.

When I was a kid, we had turkey for  Christmas dinner. With it we had creamed onions, mashed potatoes, stuffing and another vegetable or two. Over time my mother changed the menu. We’d have some sort of a roast, fresh vegetables and always those mashed potatoes. We’d eat dinner in the dining room instead of the kitchen. First came the festive table cloth which changed from year to year. My mother and I would then set the table with her Christmas dishes. The centerpiece was made of boxwood and decorated with red balls and ribbons. The middle of the table groaned under the weight of all the dishes. We’d pass each dish and fill our plates. We’d compliment my mother on how delicious everything tasted. The mashed potatoes and gravy never had lumps. The vegetables were just right. It was every time a perfect feast.

I had been my mother’s sous chef for dinner and after dinner I was her cleaner upper. My mother would stay in the kitchen, dry the dishes and keep me company. We’d put on Christmas music. My mother loved the Carpenters Christmas, Frank Sinatra’s and Andy Williams. It was a treasured time for me. My mother and I chatted the whole time. Everyone else was in the living room, but they’d appear every now and then for some more desserts. The table was filled with choices: whoopie pies, cookies or candies, all made by my mother and me.

My mother made Christmas a joy. We all honor her by doing the same.

“Scatter joy!”

December 26, 2014

The day after Christmas needs a name. In England it is Boxing day. Here I’m thinking it’s stay in cozy clothes, lie on the couch and read or watch TV, eat wonderful leftovers, nap and ooh and awe again at the Christmas presents under the tree day.

I slept late this morning, a perfect start to a lazy day. After all the festivities of the last two days, I am exhausted.

We had a wonderful Christmas Day. We opened presents and stockings, ate dinner then Clare read us a Christmas book; it’s one of our traditions. This year it was about a Christmas tree in the forest decorated by animals like Deer, Bird and Bear. I got lots of presents including a Doctor Who sweatshirt with the Tardus on the front and two pairs of slippers. I go through slippers quickly so two pairs are perfect. I’m wearing a new pair now.

Last night the living room was lovely. The tree was lit as were small strings of lights in corners of the room. The tree skirt my mother made for me was covered in opened presents on display. In the dining room I set the table with special plates and with the napkins my mother had made as a Christmas present to me. My friends didn’t want to use them. They switched to paper. My mother would have chuckled and insisted they be used. Small flowers in gold and red vases were the centerpiece. A few Santas stood guard on the red and green table runner. In the corner the ugly tree was lit as were the candles on the table. The room was perfect for Christmas dinner.

The food was delicious. Contrary to current wisdom, I always cook new recipes for special dinners. It is the only time I get a chance to spread my culinary wings. The first thing I tasted was the corn pudding, and it was amazing. The mashed potatoes came close to perfection. The pork was out of this world. The poor carrots, though, had to be saved as I had forgotten they were cooking and some burned. Luckily there were still enough carrots.

After the reading, my friends left. I sat in the living room for a while taking joy in the lights and shadows. I find every Christmas remarkable.

“Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused— in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened— by the recurrence of

December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I woke up to a dark, rainy day yet again, but I remembered right away it was Christmas, and the day got brighter. Both trees are lit and both look beautiful. The one in the living room, the real tree, is still surrounded by presents I haven’t yet opened. That will come next, when I finish here. I find my restraint remarkable.

Christmas Eve was great fun. We drank egg nog and ate appetizers but mostly we worked on our gingerbread houses. We each had a kit with house parts and some candies for decoration. Clare added different candies and off we went. The frosting was sticky and my fingers were covered. Some bits fell on the floor as the frosting hardened quickly. This year, while the walls of the houses were drying, we decorated. We laughed when colored round candies hit the floor, bounced and then rolled, and there were several. Gum drops, we found out, needed lots of frosting. We landscaped. The last step was for us to attach the roof parts. We each had two pieces. Mine caused the walls to collapse, a construction set back, but I added icing and reconnected the house. It dried, and I gingerly added the roof, and it stuck. The three of us created masterpieces. They are the best houses yet.

When I was a kid, the first look at the tree on Christmas morning was jaw dropping. It was lit and surrounded by presents. It always looked brighter and taller on Christmas morning. I had to stand just a second on the stairs to marvel then I went to my spot, my special present spot under the tree. We each had one, and it never changed over all the years.

We’d take turns opening up a gift so could watch each other open. The stockings were the only exception. There we were on our own though neat stuff was held up for everybody to see. Stockings always had neat stuff. My mother was a stocking maven.

We’d play a while then go to church for Christmas mass. Because my parents went at midnight, my brother and I walked and went together. Mostly we went to early masses which were quick and had no sermon. It was just the old ladies and us.

Dinner was always a roast of some kind, usually roast beef, which we didn’t have often. Mashed potatoes and gravy were a necessity. Only the vegetables could change from year to year. After dinner we did whatever. Mostly we played near the tree. Sometimes I’d start a new book. For supper we had hot roast beef sandwiches covered in gravy. My mother always toasted the bread first.

We went to bed early on Christmas, exhausted by the festivities of the day. It was always a special day filled with surprises.

I love Christmas still and take joy out of finding neat stuff, the kind you hold up to show, for bags and stockings. Speaking of bags and stockings, I’m done here. Merry Christmas!