What a merry Christmas I had....and today I'm starting to feel better. The day after Christmas I felt like I had a hangover and yet I didn't have anything to drink. But prior to the big day we were on overdrive down here. First the shopping...oh, my...shopping, shopping and more shopping. Then the wrapping....oh, God why did I buy all this stuff that now has to be wrapped....then it's the menu revisions and the food shopping and then the final insult to time...cleaning the house....or the attempt to clean the house. Since I have yet to finish all of this by myself, I was determined to get everything done in time for the family to come to my house Christmas Day for dinner. Sara traditionally had me over for breakfast and then everyone comes to my house for dinner where I have gifts for everyone and they bring me gifts. But for the last two years I didn't go to Sara's in my attempt to get the entire dinner done with no help before they all get to my house. For the past several Christmas' I have failed and have had to call Sara to have her come over and help Christmas afternoon. But I was determined this year. I made lists, I had a schedule done and each was revised nightly as I changed recipes, etc...yes, I just knew this was my year. I was ready for the count down....Monday I shopped for ingredients and started my baking. I had everything purchased but due to rain and I was exhausted since I had spent the morning at the church hall where we had set up a little church while our church is being repaired from the fire, and with the usual final day running last minute errands, I ended up grocery shopping at dinner tine. I ended up only bringing into the house what I knew I would have to have for Monday's baking. I was definitely going to get Monday's jobs done, even though I was running behind. I was feeling good and excited and I began with the Cheesecake. By 10 p.m. that was done....yeah....one job checked off the list. Now the sweet potato pie...well, I left the potatoes in the car so that would have to wait. So instead I decided to work on the food basket I give to my minister and the deacon Christmas Eve. However, it was a bleak reminder that our minister was killed in the tragic fire in November, but we still have our Deacon so I was determined to get her gift done. Cranberry bread, done...chocolae peanut butter cookies...done...chocolate peppermint bark...bagged and tagged...yes, I'm on schedule. I finished making the pickled peaches and pickled beets and put them in the frig to cool. In checking recipes on my Ipad, I saw crockpot candy and thought...yes, that's cool I'll try that. (this is why I get in trouble every year). I add it to my todo list...oh, no another item...I need to stay off the internet. And because I didn't have cashews it meant another trip to the grocery store. I had a few more gifts to wrap to I switched from baking to wrapping. Everything got wrapped, with one exception...a couple of things for Izzie I forgot about. But everything else was done...no bows but bows were on the schedule for Christmas morning early, so no problem. .Yes this was going to be my year. Tuesday morning loomed early for me as I got up around 4:30 to 5:00 a.m. So I was ready to go early and decided to bring in the groceries, and get something else done. Coleslaw dressing....done and all I would have to do on the 25th was put the coleslaw together. Yeast bread for cinnamon rolls, done and rising....so I got the sweet potatoes cooking so I could make sweet potato pie from scratch. Yes, I was definitely on schedule....and then Michael (my 12 year old grandson) came over. We decided to get cashews for our crockpot chocolate so we went shopping. When we returned we made our crockpot chocolate covered cashews (interesting, delicious and easy...but still takes a little time to set up and then when it's done you have to put it in little cups for giving.) It was interesting but makes a whole lot so be prepared if you try this at home. Michael got bored with the shaping of the candy and went home....O.K., now that I'm alone this is taking longer than I expected. Sara was taking the gift to our deacon since I refuse to attend the children's Christmas Eve service.....kids running around, screaming and talking make me nuts in church so on Sunday I always attended the 8:00 so I didn't have to contend with the kids whose parents seem to be o.k. if their little darlings never sit down in church. Unfortunately since the fire we are only able to have one united service at 9:00, in the church hall, so I am forced to contend with the little rug rats. Sara doesn't seem to mind as much so she attended Christmas Eve service so she could undress the altar for me and bring me the linens to clean. So that gave me an extra couple of hours to work as well on Christmas Eve. Oh, yes I just knew I was going to make it. I went to bed Tuesday night still convinced I was on schedule. But I got up , well I got up the first time at 2 a.m. and gathering up all the wrapping supplies and got them in a pile. Then I went back to sleep and got up again at 4:30 and started panicing because I was afraid the 21 pound turkey I purchased frozen solid on Monday afternoon wouldn't be thawed by Wednesday morning. So first thing I did was google cooking frozen turkey and was assured that the turkey could be cooked regardless of frozen state. However after I finally lifted it and took off the wrapping I saw that it was thawed so I knew it was my lucky day. So I got the stuffing ready and stuffed the bird and shoved it in the oven at 6:30 a.m. Then I put the sauerkraut in the crock pot, put a load of wash in, and got the sweet potatoes ready so I could put them in the oven...love candied sweet potatoes. As I was getting things ready to go into the oven at their appointed time I was patting myself on the back thinking I was finally going to get everything done. I peeled the regular potatoes for boiling so they would be ready for mashing, got the cinnamon roll bread out of the refrigerator so it could go through the 2nd rise and then I decided to get the living room ready and gifts in place. I wrap each persons gifts with a different paper so it makes it easier to tell whose boxes are whose. So I got out the vacuumed the living room floor, dusted and placed the gifts in their proper place and then began to work on the dining room table. I knew I was going to make it because I only had left, the two vegetable dishes, a sauteed brussel sprouts dish which was easy although I did have to fry the shallots, and a puff pastry w/asparagus which was also easy. Then I had to make the merangue for the sweet potato pie and I was done...O.K., almost done. I still had to clean up the porch and finish the dining room. I decided to take a bathroom break and while I was reading a page of my book as I sat(my break for the day..I was multi-tasking) I heard the patter of little feet. I just knew it couldn't be any of the kids because it was just 10:30 in the morning. Certainly they weren't done at their house. But then I heard "nan" and my goals just moved further out of reach. But no problem, I just had to make sure to pull the turkey out of the oven by 11:00, get the sweet potatoes basted and then pull them out and I could do the vegetable dishes in the afternoon before reheating all the finished dishes....yes, I'm not as certain as I was earlier, but I still have confidence in myself. Why those children who woke up around 8 were downstairs with me by 10:30 is a mystery, but it's Christmas Day, I'm a grandmother and delighted they want to come see me no matter what the house. So I meet them in the living room to ooh and aah the new toys they brought down for me to see. But of course, staring at piles of gifts in my house was too much so one by one they started opening gifts swearing they didn't care if there were none left when everyone came over tonight. Around 11:30 Mary announced that she smelled something burning...oh, crap! Of course the Turkey was in the oven 1/2 hour too long...well I like my meat well done so I'm cool, but the sweet potatoes hadn't been basted regularly so their tops were a bit on the too done side, but after tasting one I said, "the underside is fine, it's the top that looks burnt and I'll eat that." Mary wanted the kids to go back upstairs so I could finish my job, but they didn't want to go so I said the hell with it and called Sara. Another Christmas without reaching my goals wasn't going to kill me...it might kill Sara but she's getting use to my Christmas day 911 call and I think she might miss it (I'm sure she'd like to experience missing the call and I think next year will be the year). Yes, next year I'm going to start the whole procedure a day earlier and have everything basically cooked and just have to heat it up Christmas Day. This gives me a whole year to make plans and make lists. Yes, 2014 is going to be my year! Of course Sara is saying, "this is ridiculous, next year we're doing this at my house." We'll see.
I hope your day was as much fun as mine and you had plenty of time with your family too. There is just nothing better for Christmas than children and grandchildren...too much fun!
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