I’m in the new addition and a fire is quietly burning in the fire place. I can look across the room and see that the light of this day *is gray, snow is falling, and the children came home early from school. When I check the temperature on my phone, I see that it is 19 degrees, but we are warm as toast inside. Rich cleaned out the wood pellet stove so a fire is going in the livingroom, too. Ethan is on the floor in front of it with his dog, playing video games.
I am at Rich’s desk and behind me is another window. Sammie the cat is on the sill looking out. When I stop to pet her, she honors me with immediate purring. Sarah just wandered over and carried her away, “Poor little Sam,” she coos.
Grace is texting with her friend Jenna, they are both all excited because the new Sherlock episode aired last night. They have been wondering for over a year how Sherlock faked his death….and now they (sort of) know.
Rich just got done running on the treadmill and I asked him if he would make me some coffee. “yes”
I don’t know….today is calm. Today is lovely, dark, and quiet. Christmas is over, Jacob’s birthday is over, New Years is over. I might be sad tomorrow, but today I enjoy the feeling of nothing pressing, nothing on the “to do” list.
I’ve enjoyed puttering around, making small little improvements, going through old stacks of papers, putting up new calendars, throwing things away, taking down the Christmas tree (with 9 nerf bullets in it!), wrapping up Joanna’s Christmas gifts to mail out later.
Rich and I took a nap on the couch.
Christmas was a week ago now, and I thought it would be fun to do a food post.
The Christmas Menu.
spiral cut Cracker barrel ham
mashed potato bake
green bean casserole
strawberry congealed salad
MASHED POTATO BAKE
One day, while I was out, my friend Mary was babysitting the children for me. When I came home I discovered that Ethan had asked her to make this dish (we hadn’t made it yet) and she did. I couldn’t believe that she went to that much trouble for him, and it was so good! I consider these Ethan’s special mashed potatoes and I shared the recipe on my blog five years ago, when he turned 10. The original recipe is from Taste of Home magazine.
5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup sour cream
2 pkgs (3 oz each) cream cheese, softened
3 T. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Boil potatoes 20-25 minutes until very tender, drain. In a large mixing bowl, mash potatoes. Add sour cream, cream cheese, butter, salts, and pepper; beat until fluffy. Transfer to a greased 2 quart baking dish. Dot with butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.
Yield: 8 servings (can easily increase recipe slightly by throwing in a few extra potatoes)
Years ago, Rich’s grandma gave us a Hospital Guild community cookbook. As I was looking through it, the recipe for corn casserole caught my eye. I made it and we liked it. very much. I only realized later that it was his grandma’s very own contribution to the cookbook! I make this for every holiday meal.
1 can whole kernel corn (do not drain)
1 can cream-style corn
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup soft butter
1 pkg. Jiffy corn muffin mix
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl on medium speed until well combined. Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish. bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes or until lightly browned.
HOMEMADE ROLLS from this link.
My mom and I both use this recipe, but we only use half the sugar. The recipe is for loaves, but it is very easy to use the same dough to do rolls. One batch made one 9 by 13 pan of rolls, just enough for our dinner and some leftover, too.
GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
First, I made my own condensed cream of mushroom soup substitute, using this recipe.
Drain 2 cans of French cut green beans, added the cream soup, and 1/2 tsp. of onion powder. Pour it into a baking dish, sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Crush some ritz crackers in a bowl and added 2 T of melted butter, toss with a fork and then sprinkle on top of casserole with your fingers. Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly.
CONGEALED STRAWBERRY SALAD
When I was visiting Jekyll Island this spring with my parents, I bought myself a cookbook called Mrs. Wilkes’ Boardinghouse Cookbook. This recipe was included.
1 (6 oz) pkg. strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water
1 1/4 cups sliced fresh or 1 (10 oz) pkg frozen strawberries
2 large bananas, mashed
1 cup pecans
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup dairy sour cream
Dissolve the gelatin in the hot water. Add the strawberries, bananas, pecans, and pineapple and mix. Pour half into a 9 by 9 inch dish. Chill until firm. Spread the sour cream over the firm half, then pour the remaining half over it and chill until firm. Serves 6-8
The food was received with grateful hearts.
Of course we all ate off fiestaware!
Rich took most of these pictures…..
The congealed strawberry salad is in that vintage pyrex dish (another favorite thing to collect at thrift shops).
After dinner we had energy to burn so I went outside and played two games of PIG with the boys (very fun) and Michael came over to visit, too.
He totally looks like a relative, doesn’t he? We’ve only known him for 2 years, from church. One of our first special services was seeing him get baptized at the apple farm. (in the pond). Anyway, he’s like a member of the family.
And a very Happy New Year to you, too.
*by the time I am done writing this, it is black, 5pm