Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas in the Air

Grapeshot:  Christmas, 1968.  In the words of a friend:  the days of our youth were the days of our glory. 

Another frigid December day.  Seems impossible that we actually went for a walk on Monday, remarking on the perfect walking weather.  After the Sunday snow and monsoons.  You know what they say about Boston (and Chicago and etc.).  If you don't like the weather, wait for ten minutes and it will change.

So today we actually went out and bought a tree.  We have been going to Pollilio's in Stoughton, MA for years and always get a good, reasonably-priced tree and friendly service.  Nothing to sniff at these days.  In the mood for some Christmas music, more of the sacred variety, not Rudolph, and found a concert in a Back Bay church tomorrow.  In the afternoon, even better.  Bad weather predicted for Sunday, so we'll hole up with a football game and a fire, maybe even some chips and dip.  Chips and dip are such a rarity at Chez Grapeshot that it's considered a real treat, right up there with a cheeseburger.

About the cookies there was the following to say:  the  Orange Meltaways (not Orange Dreams) were excellent, and the Cardamon Cookies somewhat of a disappointment.  O.K., but not great.  The  cheese twists were soggy!    Really not up to snuff.  I froze them and I'll heat them up in a piping hot oven and hope for the best.

Last night we had an Asian dish that we have become very fond of.  It has the virtues of taste, nutrition and thrift.  A veritable trifecta  on the dinner table.  Downside?  All the veggie are cooked separately.  And it only feeds 2 or 3.  Perfect for a couple and someone gets a nice lunch.  Today that was moi!

Significant Other is decorating the tree, and I have to confess that taking out some of the ornaments we got from my GREAT grandparents or stuff we bought when the kids were babies makes me terribly nostalgic and sentimental and practically weepy.  The weight of years.

Tonight we're having a third meal of a quickie lasagne.  I'll pub the recipe.  It's from the Dragone coupon in the Sunday coupons.  You cheat and use bottled spaghetti sauce and frozen meatballs and I cheated more and used pre-grated cheeses.  Also, no-cook lasagne noodles.  Kids, this was really good and serves 6-8.  I have to say that pasta has become a definite comfort food in our house--pasta in all its many forms.

One glaring fact that  causes me a bit of angst is that my Chinese and Mexican cooking is better than 85% of all restaurants, and I'm fearful that will happen with Italian, too.  This is not necessarily a good thing.  Ditto for ALL desserts that come from the supermarket.  Bought some frozen Perdu barbequed chicken a while back on a BOGO, and it wasn't very good.  Sometimes, a girl just likes to be taken out.

S.O. just appeared with the cocktail shaker and two Bardstown Slings, now our house drink.  It is very fine, and packs a whallop, which is also fine.  Wimpy food and drink are anathema in this household.

The trees blocking the sliding door to the deck necessitated that we FINALLY bring in the cushions, etc., stored in a ventilated box on the deck.  These is a cardboard box within the box where the covers for the teak chairs should be (another story), and the box contained about 1000 acorns.  Some very busy critter somehow climbed thru the louvers and stashed a winter's worth of acorns.  We took the cushions (which would have provided a cozy winter nest) and left the food supplies.  So, finally, on December 18th, all the fall tasks are done.  Well, it ain't winter  yet.

Tree is mostly decorated, as is house.  My mother's handmade wreaths (from cones and pods) are hung.  More sentiment, more nostalgia.  More thoughts of Christmases past in Kansas, Colorado, Illinois and even here in MA.

I hope you have good memories of past holidays and not the disfunctional kind.  I read so many horror stories, but most of our holidays have been good.  I promise to post the Orange Melt-A-Ways and the Asian stir try that really rocks.


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