Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Every year my boss gives us a Honey Baked Ham and every year, after hubby is done gnawing at the carcass (ahhh, if only he looked at me that way), the remains go into a big soup pot.
Ham bone, onions, navy beans, salt, pepper and bay leaves (from my bay laurel). Simmered all day, until the smell causes drooling in the males of the home. Simple and so, so good, we it served with cheese crisps on the side. This bugger makes a HUGE pot (18 quarts) of soup, so the leftovers are bagged up for later and much is given away to the many folks who request it. He took a few bags to work and I took a couple as well. That still leaves several bags in the freezer for cold nights when we don't know what to have for dinner.
**I should note that I stole the first picture from Honey Baked's site. If they come looking for it, Andie told me to.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
We had a wonderful time. They stayed late, too, so hopefully we got exposed to more mojo. I DID feel better looking the next day, and I got a two emails, (only one from my mother) indicating an upswing in my popularity, so we'll have them over again and see if we continue to improve.
Monday, December 22, 2008
This shot was taken looking out of our driveway to the west. (In the distance you can see Mt San Jacinto.) We had no mail for several days, UPS was only delivering to the highway and even the military base shut down. It was like the world came to a standstill.
This weekend things started moving again. Mail arrived, the stores were open, the base was back in full swing and I decided once again, at Andie's urging, to do some holiday baking. First things first, the guilty culprit who sabotaged my efforts last time had to be locked away. Look, she's licking her lips in anticipation of catching me off guard and once again breaching the barrier to the kitchen and all the goodies she can find.
Since it was late and my packages had already been sent out, I scaled back the list to enough for the local folks. It came down to Dark Chocolate Truffles, Cranberry Pistachio Ice Box Cookies, Chocolate No Bakes and Chocolate Pecan Revel Bars. Now, the last two are straight out of Betty Crocker, and if I don't make them every year as I have for the last 20, I am in BIG trouble. The No Bakes disappeared before they made it to a tray, so the candy canes are standing in for them in this shot.
We ran a small container of goodies up to the weekend crew at the hospital, since they always feel left out. We barely set it down on the counter when they descended like piranhas and devoured it before our eyes. I take that as the ultimate compliment. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. (Darn, that line would have worked much better if I'd gotten this typed in last night...)
Monday, December 15, 2008
I set a pound of butter on the counter to soften at 7:30 Sunday morning, then Hubby and I headed off for breakfast and the final gift for brat boy. One platter of cinnamon roll french toast (I have got to figure out how they make it, it's TDF) and 200 pounds of gym equipment later we were headed home.
The cell phone rang. It was brat boy, home and laughing. Seems that our 2 Great Danes had broken into the kitchen (thank god the puppy was in her crate) and eaten two boxes of saltines, a loaf of bread and whatever else they could find. "What about the butter?" "What butter?" The only sign there had been butter was a small piece of paper stuck to a cabinet. Don't worry, by last evening we knew which one had eaten the butter.
So no, I didn't do any baking. I was busy cleaning. And scooping. And cleaning. And more cleaning. And if all you get is a box of stale Nilla Wafers that I swiped from Andie, don't be surprised. Wait, strike the wafers. They got those, too. Sigh.
And did I mention the frozen white stuff is only 4 miles away and heading fast for us?
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I'm late with this one. It's Tuesday evening, and I did them on Sunday. All. Day. Long. I can tell I'm getting older. I used to spring out of bed at dawn on baking day, yell "Baking Day! It's Baking Day!!", put on my cape, boots and golden lariat of truth and attack the kitchen like I was kicking bad-guy ass in the Mole World of the Underground. I'd whip up multiple batches of several different kinds of cookies and candy so fast Willy Wonka would have hired me on the spot.
Even if I don't look like an Oompa-Loompa. (Thank god.)
As I've gracefully aged to a mature woman, however, I have noticed a gradual slowdown in production. This past Saturday, there were no heralding trumpets. No battle cry. Unless you count "Where the HELL is my coffee?? Is that damned machine not done YET?" at the crack of 8:00 AM. No cape, boots, or golden lariat. Just red pajamas, fuzzy slippers and what looked suspiciously like moths buzzing around my head until my second cup. Yes, to my horror, Wonder Woman has slowly and quietly been replaced by the grumpy old Hallmark lady, Maxine.
So hopefully my gift recipients don't receive their season's bounty and go "Geez. She's really losing her touch. And chinchy! Last year and year before we had boxes and boxes of sweets! And this year only two little paltry boxes of stale cookies!"
I just got too tired after eight hours to make any more cookies. Forget candy!
This year's list was:
Was that it? Yes, I guess it was. I made multiple batches. See what I mean? Kind of pitiful, given how many different kinds I used to make. I fortified myself during the cooking process with iced green tea and saltines, and some of the potato chips from the cookie recipe (ahem). I've not got much of a sweet tooth, so I didn't do much tasting. I know. This does have repercussions. I have been known, in a moment of distraction, to leave out incidental ingredients such as sugar. Oh hush. I usually catch it before I put it in the oven...
So my Pootie helped me box everything up and he even did all the postage pick up paperwork. So yesterday (Monday) the mailman came and picked up the sad little shipment and I suppose it's on its way. It's the thought that counts, folks. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and Felix the Navidad Cat!