Now, who’s been naughty and who’s been nice?

Whoo, Lawd. Treat baskets are done, three of them delivered, two more getting picked up tonight, and a few extra small food gifts on hand for for whoever may show up.

Now, I’ve got to contemplate the logistics of cooking Christmas dinner while finishing housecleaning, tomorrow.

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Ack! It’s here!

December 16, 2018

And all my Christmas stuff is not, yet, but I’m counting on UPS, USPS and FedEx to pull me through. A quick dash out for stocking stuffers, and I’ll be good to go (crossing all fingers and toes).

Of more concern, at this moment, is Christmas dinner, which is actually two days BEFORE Christmas, on Sunday.  And treatmaking that needs to be finished. I think I will declare all next week “kitchen week,” with the exception of Monday, when I have to go to Sikeston, Mo., a 2 1/2 hour drive, for a meeting.

I’m about to get a menu hammered out.  Roast beef, ham and turkey for sliders on homemade rolls. Cranberry salad. Potato salad. Mac and cheese. Marinated broccoli and cauliflower and carrots.  A fruit salad. Cheeses and assorted crackers and crostini. Deviled eggs. Pickle-y things. And just to make it festive, some caviar. I have a jar squirreled away in the pantry. Dessert is either a pecan pie cheesecake or banana pudding.

Treats are a different animal. I need to make two more applesauce cakes. I need to make more chocolate oatmeal cookies and some macaroons, and I’ll also make a couple of other kinds — maybe Italian horn cookies, probably pecan meltaways. Maybe some oatmeal cookies with candied fruit in them, as I have some of that I won’t use in the applesauce cakes.  A couple of loaves of banana bread, being that I have bananas going south.

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Y’all know it’s a real slippery slope. If you start thinking about cooking Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas can’t be far behind.

Help me, Jesus. I ain’t ready for this.

There are two separate and distinct cooking issues to be dealt with for Christmas. One is the Christmas treat baskets, a tradition my peeps have gotten spoiled to, and one I’m determined to continue. I’ll put some canned stuff in these, and I’m about of a mind I may try my hand at canning chicken liver pate and maybe pork rillettes, as well. I have a gracious plenty of pickles and jams and jellies, and I can fill in the gaps with cookies and candies. I will be adding these molasses spice cookies (because they are GOOD, y’all), and maybe coconut macaroons and fudgey oatmeal cookies and pralines and fudge to the mix. And spiced pecans, because those are always a hit, and maybe Chex mix, because that’s always a hit, too.

OK. Baskets, more or less planned. Then there’s Christmas dinner.

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Not making these, but I thought the pic was cute.

It’s that time. It’s time to contemplate Christmas treatmaking. More to the point, it’s time to go shopping for the goodies with which to make the Christmas treats. And then package them up, arrange them in nice little boxes or baskets, and get them ready to give out in the next 10 days.

Gulp. Ten days. That’s…not long. Thank God I’ve got most of my other shopping done.

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Cooking Crimmis

December 22, 2016

cherry cheesecake

OK. We have made this.

Lawd have mercy. It’s Crimmis, all up in here!

I have been to Kroger more times than the legally allowable limit this week, I think. Because today, I realized I was Almost Out of foil, and you cannot cook Christmas dinner without foil. It just won’t work. And Child A had bemoaned that I had not made fudge, and “I don’t care if you make all those other kinds, but you know, we’re all gonna eat that peanut butter fudge, and my sister (that would be Child B) will be heartbroken if there is no peanut butter fudge.”

So I got marshmallow cream. And another bag of sugar. And foil. And stuff for a coconut cake, though that won’t be for Christmas, because it takes four days aging, and I don’t have that in the calendar, but we will have coconut cake early in 2017. It’s in the freezer. Have already told friend Kate, who is all about some coconut cake, that I need five days’ notice when she’s coming to visit, so I can make one and get it started aging.

Anyway. Christmas dinner is tomorrow, to accommodate Child B’s schedule, so she and her family can get back home and actually have Christmas morning in their own home for a change, and I think that is a Good Thing, and I’m perfectly happy to change my dinner plans to help it happen. Not to mention that it means Child A and Lucy and I can hang out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, go to church, and eat fun things like waffles and pigs in blankets and all such, and generally be slothful and highly enjoy it.

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A box of country ham for Christmas.

A box of country ham for Christmas.

As much as Thanksgiving dinner is about tradition, for whatever reason, Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be. I have, by turns, done a Christmas brunch, Christmas hors d’ouevres, and even Christmas lasagna.

This year, since I’ll have the whole fam here (10 of us, 7 adults, three little people), I’m planning to mix something old and something new.

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