Monday, December 23, 2013

The Day Before the Day Before Christmas

We got a gift this year from the school district; our last day of school was Friday which gave me 4 days before Christmas to shop and start making the goodies.  I'm actually fairly relaxed this year.  I was fortunate to get most of the gift shopping done early (and mostly local or at least made in America!)  I'm keeping the baking down to a minimum this year.  I made a double batch of ginger crinkles last weekend and took most of them to a cookie swap at school.  I did come home with an assortment of cookies, none of which include our usually necessary treats.  I will make some cranberry biscotti later today if energy allows; they are Elder Son's favorite must have!  I am not making my must-have this year, the "Best Buttermilk Poundcake."  We don't need it and I have a yummy delicious fruitcake I treated myself too.  This family is one of those who ACTUALLY LOVE fruitcake.  I splurged and got myself an Assumption Abby fruitcake to enjoy.    I did make two new-to-us recipes this year --- from Pinterest, and SUPER easy.   I made something called Christmas fudge

and I made peppermint bark.

  Both start with white chocolate chips which proved surprising elusive.  I went to three grocery stores before I found some REAL white chocolate chips.  The Nestle white baking chips are NOT made with cocoa butter, and don't have that rich flavor. I did find some Bakers chips that are the real thing, and they were on sale no less!

As far as house decorations this year, I've got the candles in the windows, a wreath on the door, and a beautiful real tree with lights.  I don't think the ornaments will make it to the tree this year, but that's okay.  For me all I need is a real Balsam fir and multi-color lights - no twinkles!  

We will stay with our tradition of Swedish meatballs for Christmas Eve dinner, but we're breaking with recent tradition and instead of a rib roast on Christmas day, we're going to enjoy a Carando spiral ham.  It's a lot for the 3 of us, but some of it will go home with Elder Son, and I am looking forward to split pea soup over the weekend.  And ham salad!

So it's a fairly relaxed holiday this year.

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