Posted tagged ‘fudge’

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

December 2, 2017

The sky is cloudy, gray. A small breeze just about ruffles a leaf or two, brown ones left on the branches. It is a bit colder than yesterday but not so bad that I’d need to bundle going out. I have a list of errands, but I haven’t ventured beyond the yard for the last few days. I’m either becoming a hermit or I’m practicing for hibernation.

I actually vacuumed the kitchen yesterday and hope to do the rest of downstairs today. I can’t even remember the last time I vacuumed. I do some spot cleaning between visits from my cleaning couple, things like using my sweatshirt cuff to dust and a wet paper towel under my feet to wipe the kitchen floor, but I don’t vacuum or rather I didn’t vacuum.

I have started writing down what I want to bake for Christmas. One sister always gets fudge and date-nut bread. I add a few other cookies but those first two are more than enough for her. My sister in Colorado always wants my English toffee. I don’t make it every year, but I used to because my mother loved it. The orange cookies are on Clare’s list. They remind her in a way of her mother’s orange cake. I also usually make a new cookie each year, but I haven’t decided which one yet.

I’m Hallmarking it today. It is a perfect day to stay home and watch Christmas movies with happy endings. Last night I watched Alistair Sim find Christmas in his heart. I never tire of him as Scrooge. One of my other favorites is called Scrooge and stars Seymour Hicks. It was released in the US in 1926. It opens with Charles Dickens pacing his library and hoping for inspiration. He writes A Christmas Carol. This movie presents a graphic picture of London with its beggars and lines for food. Scrooge falls asleep with his money around him. But watching Alistair Sim is the real beginning of the Christmas season for me. Let the bells jingle and the carolers sing. It’s time to start getting ready for Christmas.

“Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation.”

December 10, 2016

The day is mostly cloudy with only a bit of blue. It is really cold. Last night was in the teens. Right now it’s 24˚. The weather will stay cold until Wednesday when we’ll be back to the 40’s.  I’m going off Cape today to see the play Mame. My sister and I do a play then dinner every Christmas season. My mother started the tradition. One of the plays she took us to was Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy. It was superb but was the fodder for jokes about Christmas cheer and the season to be jolly. I love this tradition.

I wanted a band to greet me when I got home yesterday from my errands. The Christmas boxes are wending their way to Colorado, the trash is dumped, and the last present bought. I even stopped and picked up clam chowder for dinner. It was delicious.

Last night I made the fudge for my sister. It didn’t look right, but I put it in the fridge expecting it to harden. When I checked it later, it was soft. Around 1, before I went to bed, I checked it and it was still soft. I knew I did something wrong, a first for me with this fudge. I figured I’d make it this morning but then realized I wouldn’t have time. I made it last night. While stirring to the soft ball stage, I realized I had read the thermometer wrong on the first batch. A silly mistake! By the time I was finished making the fudge and cleaning the kitchen, it was close to 2, but I am glad I am not disappointing my sister. This batch hardened.My mother often forgot one of our presents hidden in the house. When we’d open the gifts on Christmas morning, she’d remember because it was missing. Sometime during the day, a brand new present would appear under the tree. I remember one year she forgot the ice skates she had bought me, not the white ones I already had but an antique pair with straps you attached right to your shoes and a single blade with a curl at the ends. She had tucked them behind my other presents as if I had overlooked them. I didn’t care. I liked the surprised of this really neat gift.

The sun is now out but the day isn’t any warmer. I’ll bundle up.

“It’s in the singing of a street corner choir. It’s going home and getting warm by the fire. It’s true, wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas!”

December 9, 2016

 

Last night was freezing. Gracie slept right beside me with her head on my arm. I guess she needed the body warmth. We have sun today, but I’d gladly trade it for a warmer day. The temperature is in the 30’s and will go down to the 20’s tonight. At least we won’t get snow.

Al my Colorado presents are wrapped. The bin holds only unwrapped Cape presents, and I have time yet. Today is busy. Gracie and I are going to the dump then to UPS. I also need to get a Dunkin’ gift card and a few groceries. I have to make fudge for my sister. I’ll be seeing her tomorrow and the fudge is a tradition, a gift she loves. Tonight I’ll watch Hallmark Christmas movies and write out my Christmas cards. I have my Edward Gorey cards, special ones for the family and a few I bought in Ghana. The tree is postponed until Sunday. I am disappointed.

This end of the street is dark, no Christmas lights, except for my house. One of my neighbors does have a white light in each window, but that is it. At the other end of the street three of the houses have lights. And on the next street, one of the houses is amazing. The lawn is filled with lights and lit figures of Santa and his reindeer. The house is outlined. All the trees are ablaze with light. It is the best house in the neighborhood.

When I was a kid, the square at Christmas always had carolers the nights before Christmas when people were shopping. The John Hancock Company gave out free soft cover books of carols, and they were passed out each night to the carolers. I remember one cover had a church with a lit stain glass window. Another cover had three choir boys wearing white gowns and red bowties. I still have a couple of books, one of each cover. I remember singing in the square. We stood on a platform right in front of the drug store and the Children’s Corner. I was in the fifth grade. We probably weren’t all that good but we were enthusiastic. I remember it all.

“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart…filled it, too, with melody that would last forever.”

December 19, 2015

Today is as close to winter as we’ve gotten. I felt the cold when I went out front to get the papers. The wind is strong enough to blow the chimes in my backyard. It is jacket weather.

Every year my mother took my sister and me to a play at Christmas then out to dinner. One year it was Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy who had won a Tony for the role. We joked with my mother afterwards about such an uplifting Christmas play. I have kept the tradition. Today my sister and I have a play, Christmas on the Air, and a dinner reservation afterwards. We’ll exchange gifts but save them to open at Christmas. I made her favorite fudge last night. She doesn’t have to wait until Christmas to munch on that.

Yesterday would have been the last school day before Christmas. That was always cause for excitement, but Christmas Eve, five long days away, was the magical day for us. I never thought I’d survive the wait. Every day dragged on and on. I’d go outside to play if the weather was good. I’d ride my bike or take the sled if we had snow. I’d watch for the mailman who came twice a day at Christmas bringing all those cards. My mother would let me open a couple, and if I were really lucky, they’d be a card for me usually from my aunt.

At night I’d sit and look at the tree. All the lights and ornaments were mesmerizing. I’d watch whatever Christmas programs were on TV. On weekdays I’d watch Santa in his workshop. He was also in countdown mode until his big night.

My mother played her Christmas albums on the hifi when she’d cook or work around the house. My favorites were the albums with lots of singers. We had Guy Lombardo, Andy Williams and Bing, the album where he is wearing a Santa cap. We also had albums from Grants who put out a new one every year and one from Goodyear. I have no idea the history of the last one.

Okay, I’m starting the countdown: five days until Christmas Eve.