Deck the halls (and cook, too!)

December 3, 2013

A window full of Santas and angels

A window full of Santas and angels

Long-time readers may remember that I am not traditionally someone who gets all caught up in Christmas. In fact, I have been accused of downright Grinchiness (if that is a word, and if it’s not, it should be).

However, for the first time in a long time, I have Child A under my roof, and she has always been the Christmasiest of all my kids. So, Thanksgiving weekend, there we were, putting up the brand new tree (because apparently the other one, which I have not seen in four years, since the last time I put it up, did not make a move somewhere in the interim).

Let there be a tree. And a Nativity.

Let there be a tree. And a Nativity.

In truth, my unseasonable (for me) onset of holiday spirit may have something to do with the fact I have almost all my Christmas shopping done. I lack two presents — know what they both are, and where to get them — and some stocking stuffers. It may also have something to do with the fact that for the first time in recent memory, all my children will have their feet under my table for dinner on Christmas Day, which is enough to make anyone go all holiday spirit-y.

Anyway, I drug out decorations today, and decorated my little mini-tree in my office, surrounded by my mother’s handmade ceramic Nativity set, for which I would not take a million bucks; and made a little arrangement with a passel of Santas, angels and snowmen on the serving cart. Even hung a couple of extra stockings on the bookshelf in my office. ‘Tis the season.

And then I cooked.

Turkey pot pie. I do not crimp crust worth a damn.

Turkey pot pie. I do not crimp crust worth a damn.

I’d been planning a turkey pot pie with some of the remains of Thanksgiving turkey, so I did that. I dehydrated a cookie sheet of grape tomatoes in the oven. And I made Child A some cookies.

Cookies to make someone love you.

Cookies to make someone love you.

These cookies, made by my mama’s recipe, were among my favorites when I was a kid, and I still love ’em. I just don’t make them too often. Her recipe, entitled simply “Fudgey Cookies,” is as follows:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used half-and-half)
  • 2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 6 ounces flaked coconut (the kind in the bag in the bakery section)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Bring the milk, sugar and butter to a rolling boil over medium heat, and boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and peanut butter; stir to combine. Add coconut and oatmeal; stir again to combine, then drop by tablespoons onto waxed paper.

For quick and easy, these are hard to beat. If you don’t like coconut, you can omit it and add another 1/2 cup of oatmeal.

So we’ve had dinner, we’ve had dessert, and we’re mostly decorated and mostly shopped and mostly ready for Christmas. Happy Holidays to you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em.

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