In which I go places I didn’t original intend to go
Oh, Connie Francis. Don’t you just love Connie Francis?
The song, the movie…In the age of #metoo and #timesup it seems important to explore the past to explain not only how we got here, but the emotional consequences of it. I wasn’t really intending to go here with this post. I’m not going to spend time exploring it further, just offering up pieces of evidence that this has been a long time coming.
1 Day Until Christmas…
There are no more cookies. There are no more candies. There are no recipes today at all. Today, I am simply going to show you a wonderful gift that was given to me by my family. My dear aunties, mom, and grandma all knitted me (and all my siblings and cousins) a Nativity. My grandpa built the creche.
When the boys were little, they got to play with this nativity. I used it to tell the story of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. I got to the part where “…and in the manger Mary had a baby.” and was interrupted by my oldest correcting me, “No, mom. Mary had a little lamb.”
Around the time the boys started to get bored by the Nativity, the girl was born. Her second Christmas, she stared wide-eyed as I got it out. She looked at it, got a naughty smile on her face and went toward it. “It’s ok, baby girl, you can play with that.” I said. She lost the smirk and went to find something else to do.
Every year when I get out this Nativity, I smile. There are four generations of love wrapped up in it.
As a special treat, I thought I would share my cookie/candy plate with you. Growing up, we had friends that would gift us with an amazing cookie plates every year. It was never quite Christmas without it.
I think I started making my own Christmas plates around the time I bought my first house. There were cookies before then, but when I had kids and when I had neighbors that I really liked, it seemed like the right thing to do.
Some years I’ve been really prepared and made dough ahead of time and froze it. I’d have lists of all the cookies and all temperatures and all the timing and had everything down to a science. Other years, I am a disorganized mess and barely have anything done before Christmas Eve. My favorite Christmas memories with my children, however, always involved cookies.
When my husband and I started dating, he came over on a Saturday night. We packed the boys into the car with their jammies on. As we started to drive, the sounds of Christmas carols filled the car. I passed out sippy cups of hot cocoa and cookies. We drove all over town looking for the best Christmas lights. The lights were sparse, the air was cold, but the boys got nice and sleepy and went to bed easily when we got home. It’s never quite Christmas until that happens. We’ve continued the tradition after our daughter was born. This year, we have a whole new town to explore and lots of new cookie and candy recipes to try out.
8 days until Christmas…
I was listening to the Milk Street Radio Podcast about Thanksgiving where Christopher Kimball was discussing Food media with Dan Pashman of The Sporkful. Dan says as a member of the food media he feels pressured to constantly come up with new and innovative ideas in food. I had a couple of revelations:
- If I felt like being pretentious, I could claim that I am now a member of the food media (a very insignificant member of the global scale of food media, but…)
- I currently have no pressure to do anything new, except in the case of everything old is new again.
- Sheryl of A Hundred Years Ago is on my wavelength as far as this goes.
So what’s my point? Eat what you want. Try new things. Just be you and don’t worry about it.
There were so many great things about going to Grandma and Grandpa’s when I was a child. I would sit at the table in their eat-in kitchen while grandma was cooking something. The rainbows from the prisms she had in her window would dance across the walls. I could look out the window and see the tree that I loved to climb. Grandma would keep a stack of Mini Pages there for us to do. When we moved Grandma and Grandpa into assisted living last fall, I found the crayon box with my name on it from when I was a child. There were fewer colors then. But regardless of what my kids think, the world was not black and white.
The Mini Pages were, though. I found some things from the Mini Pages on the back of some of the recipes. Because I am unsure about copyright laws and all the stuff that goes along with it, I am providing a link to the the archived Mini Pages from 1981 about Thanksgiving. The Mini Pages were this amazing educational tool. There was information, puzzles, and recipes. (I’ve made some of those recipes, the feature hot dogs pretty heavily).
This is my quick version of the sketches:
It’s Sunday. I didn’t menu plan or grocery shop yesterday. If I don’t do it today, I’m going to be behind all week. Although it looks like this list may be for some sort of party (or maybe to make frozen fruit salad) I just need basics.
I thought I had posted the recipe for frozen fruit salad, but I guess I didn’t. Guess that’ll be Tuesday’s post. If you are headed out to the store and want to do a cook along with me on Tuesday get the whipping cream, butter mints, and some nuts. If your pantry is stocked like a grandma’s, you should have everything else you need already.