Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

It was way past 8:00am here and not a creature was stirring, not even the proverbial mouse. Long gone are the days our boys were bursting into our bedroom well ahead of the sunrise, we still bleary-eyed from Santa antics only hours before. Pause for a moment of melancholy here.   OK. It’s over.

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By 9:30am I was on my 3rd cup of tea, had read my favourite blogs and broken into the dessert cheeses for breakfast. Hey-it’s Christmas.

When everyone was finally up and lounging around the living room opening presents at a very mature pace, I completely forgot I’d left apple cider cooking on the stove for over an hour (OK, two) in the kitchen. The house is now permeated with the scent of charred sugar. That sounds a lot better than it smells. Good-bye favourite saucepan. Though I feel lucky it brought to our attention a faulty smoke alarm. Silver Lining for sure. (BTW, have you seen that movie yet? We watched it last night and really enjoyed it)

ornaments christmas , slimpaley.com

Hoping our roasting turkeys will soon be filling the house with a much more pleasant aroma-I’m cooking two small ones (as to have more brown meat and crispy skin!) plus a giant ham. I’m happy to say our older son is feeling quite a bit better and will be able to partake in some food & fun.

currin_thanksgivingArtist John Currin

Christmas table , slimpaley.comI’ll also take some time to be so thankful for life’s blessings, especially the good health and happiness of my family and friends. This Christmas we are all holding many families in our hearts and prayers.

890A5214Another blessing I will count-having this forum in which I get to share all manner of randomness with you lovely people. I can’t tell you how much fun it’s been to have found this creative outlet at this particular time in my life.

Well, it’s time to go flip my birds

From my home to yours;

I WISH YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS, PEACE , JOY & PLENTY OF LOVE.

xoxox

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Can We Talk??

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John Currin

It’s a nice cozy Saturday afternoon but the weather is in a fickle frame of mind. One minute it’s sunny and gorgeous and the next, deep whale grey clouds roll in threatening rain. The fire is crackling and I’m gorging on Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups, sorting through today’s mail, which includes magazines with Christmas covers-a tad anxiety provoking as I still haven’t started my shopping yet.

Also, the pre-Christmas onslaught of catalogues has begun in earnest. I’m going to conduct my Leaning Tower of Commercialism, Commerce & Wasted Paper Contest again this year. Anybody else in? Just collect every catalogue you receive from now til December 25th and we’ll measure off. In this instance, size does count.

Very shortly my house will be throbbing with testosterone as my husband has ordered “The Fight” on cable tonight.  No doubt there will be lots of boisterous boysiness going on, but  I have Beef & Beer chili and also running down to pick up a deli platter for Round Two.

In the meantime, can we talk a little??

I have just a few utterly random observations, thoughts and revelations I’d like to get off my chest;

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-First confession;  I’ve been terrible about exercising lately. Ugh. I just can’t seem to get motivated. Is it the weather? Hormones? The cornstarch in the peanut butter cups?? Who knows.  All I know is it’s certainly not my fault.  (ps. put the P.B. cups in the microwave for 4 seconds-hellooo)

- This is the honest to God’s truth; I once went to a hypnotist with the hope I could be hypnotized into enjoying exercise. It didn’t work. One of the first questions the “therapist” asked me was “Do you sleep with one leg out of the covers?”  I thought WTF?? What does that have to do with not liking exercise? I knew the session was going downhill after that.

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Me, looking out for my Pilates instructor

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My pilates instructor, the infamous Kristi C.W. (long time readers will be familiar with her) has gone on to brilliant career opportunities, (more on that in another post) so I’m no longer adopting the above pose twice a week.

I am, however, looking forward to tomorrow morning’s yoga class. Hopefully it will help me to get my mojo back.

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- It seems I’ve been driving a fair amount lately and therefore listening to the radio more than usual. Is it just me, or is “Name Your Price” just about the most unfortunate name you could possibly think of for an online dating service?!  Have you heard this commercial? Is this for real?  Just wrong on so many levels.

-I listen to the 70′s-80′s station a lot.  I can’t help singing along super loud to “Urgent” by Foreigner whenever it comes on in the car, and I don’t even like it that much. I amaze myself at the awkwardness of those 3 minutes.

-Do you think there is anyone who doesn’t turn up the radio when T.Rex or Queen songs come on? My boys don’t seem to agree but I think it’s some sort of rule, right?

-Have you ever called in to a talk radio show? I’m perpetually in awe of the people who call in and disclose their most intimate health or marital problems without any apparent concern about someone recognizing their voice.  It’s a small world you know “Josephine”. Just sayin’…

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-I finished Michael Ondaatje’s “The Cat’s Table”.  I feel terrible saying this as I adored “The English Patient” but I didn’t care for it. Very disappointed as all the reviews really had me salivating for a luscious read, but it just didn’t do it for me. Am I going to literary prison now??

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- On the flip side, I watched “Howard’s End” again last week. It had been many years since I’d seen it and I was quite amazed at how many parts I’d forgotten. What a film. The acting, the cinematography, the dialogue, the music…it’s absolute perfection. If you’ve never seen it, or like me, haven’t watched it in years, do take an evening and treat yourself. It will tide you over until “Downton Abbey” season two begins on this side of the pond.

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-I have a pretty decent sized crush on Paul Rudd, and yes, I know he’s shorter than me.

I’m not saying I’m throwing Sawyer over for him or anything but there it is.

 Who are you loving lately?

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OK, that’s all the disclosure fit to print.

The Fight (or as I just referred to it, to much rolling of eyes; “The Game”) will be starting shortly, so I must go sharpen my pencil and get my score card ready :)

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I’ll leave you with something to make you smile and appreciate the real meaning of the words;

“NEVER GIVE UP”

Please click below, it’s really adorable.

Little Dog, Big Leap

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Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

&

PS. THANK YOU to all the Veterans, those Serving still and your families xx

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Roast Beef, John Currin and Divine Yorkshire Pudds.

Roast Beef

See?  I told you I wasn’t organized.  I haven’t had a moment to post anything the last couple of days.  Next year….oh, next year will be different!  I am finished my house now though- tree trimmed, mantle hung, banisters festooned…  and Roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding it will be for Christmas dinner.  Visions of crispy golden puffs of Yorkshire clouds with lashings of dark, rich gravy are dancing in my head.  My mother always makes her’s in deep muffin pans and they reach dizzying heights.
Yorkshire pudding originated in the north of England in around 1737.  The traditional Yorkshire was made as a loaf, in fact way back when, the loaf would sit directly under the roasting meat and catch the drippings.  The first recipe recorded is found in“The Whole Duty of a Woman” 1737;

“The whole duty of a woman, or, An infallible guide to the fair sex: Containing rules, directions, and observations, for their conduct and behavior through all ages and circumstances of life, as virgins, wives, or widows : with … rules and receipts in every kind of cookery”

And btw, how fabulous does this book sound?! I just tried to find it online, so far no luck (so I guess my husbands out of luck too :)  ) however, believe it or not, you can pull up the entire contents to read online and and although the old English is a little difficult to follow,  I read just enough to whet my appetite for the search.  Anyway, back to the pudding Wenches!

Yorkshire Pudding

This yields about 12 Yorkies

2 cups of milk, 5 eggs, 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon (and a small dash) of salt, 1/2 cup of roast beef drippings straight from the oven. 2 large deep muffin pans.

Preheat oven to 375-400 (depending on your oven and your altitude).  It’s important to let the eggs and the milk come to room temperature, so set them out about 1 hour before.  Place milk, eggs, flour and salt in blender and blend until smooth, with some bubbling.  Pour aprox. 2/3 teaspoon of drippings into each compartment of the muffin tins and slide into oven until hot.  Remove and pour an even amount of batter into each compartment. Put straight back into oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.  Don’t get alarmed if your Yorkshires start to deflate almost immediately- it’s just God’s way to capture gravy.  Enjoy!!


Another version, and a video (Yorkshire Pudding recipe link)

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John Currin’s “Thanksgiving ” Wenches 2003