It is December 28 and I am teetering on the edge of post-Christmas blues. 'Tis nothing serious, nothing more than the expected post-Christmas come-down. We work so hard for Christmas to come and then it's over without much notice and we're faced with returning from extraordinary to ordinary. Sigh and sigh again.
We had many so good moments this year.
We enjoyed every minute with Dean's family on Dec. 24 and 26th. A fun memory of the 26th was going sledding with the kids and my brother-in-law (seems he and I, being the outlaws, have the outdoor gene), then playing a boisterous game of Telephone Pictionary after pizza supper. The later the night got, the funnier the game got. What a silly bunch of people. Love each one of them. On Christmas Eve, the oldest 4 grandchildren each gave a little Christmas concert on their instruments. My, they are growing up. I anticipate great music coming from each of them as they get older and start refining their interests even more.
My family was here for Christmas Day and it was also perfect. As much as I love to cook and try new recipes, my Christmas dinner was pretty ordinary. I brined the turkey again but by the time I sat down to eat it, my head was splitting with a weather-induced headache, and I really couldn't tell you if it was a good turkey or not. The table was pretty, though....
...and I'm still glowing a wee bit from Dad's comment "you outdid yourself, baby."
Seems kinda silly that he still calls me his baby when I'm 40some years old.
But I love it.
I loved, loved, loved having both families in our house over the Christmas days. The time with each of them went by too fast, but I know we were blessed to share time with them. Too many families are separated by distance, illness, death, conflict. We are blessed, blessed, blessed.
Andrew played with his cousins this year. Huh? Seems he has taken on the role of the "older cousin" and happily entertained them over the past few days. Where did that come from?
Both Andrew and Ben challenged my parents to Scrabble games Boxing Day morning. Good thing they didn't keep score and somehow the grandparents were pretty merciful towards the boys, accepting words never-before-seen-or-accepted on the Scrabble board. They're getting soft in their old age....never let ME get away with that, haha!
I managed to make 15 crocheted scarves/head bands for gifts this year. That was fun; yarn and colors and patterns are so fun to pick out with someone special in mind. Just for fun, I looked at some crochet patterns today....yeah, NOT INTERESTED JUST NOW, THANKS. I think I overdosed on crochet in December. Give me a month or two, I'll be back.
I used some Christmas gift $$ and bought a new kettle yesterday. And a new wallet. I can tell that I'm kinda blue/sentimental today because I'm having a hard time throwing the old ones out, even though they're completely worn out. The kettle was a wedding gift; I still remember opening it and can tell you exactly who it's from. It seems that we are getting to the stage in life where our wedding gifts are starting to show their age! The towels are faded out, the kettle stopped working, the mini food chopper's blades are too dull to be much good. How did us two young people end up with aged gifts? Guess we're not as young as we used to be. Hmm.
I suppose that we will all emerge back into regular life over the next few days. There are still a few things on my "to-do" list that have not been done yet. I'm ready for an evening full of board games. I've watched one good movie ("The Help"), but am ready for a couple more. Same with books. I've been enjoying the Starbucks Christmas Blend, but, yikes, the caffeine content seems to be hitting me pretty hard! I guess I better ease up on that one. Speaking of Starbucks, our coffee-loving friends will come to spend the day with us tomorrow and that will be really special. As I work Jan. 1, New Year's Eve will be a quiet celebration. And I'm more than ready for trips to the tobogganing hill, the skating rink and there may even be enough snow for snowshoeing.
And sometime between now and the new year, I will likely end up making a batch of Won Ton Soup. It's just one of those things that I like to take time to make during Christmas holidays. It's easier than you think and well worth the extra effort. In case you want to try it out for yourself, here is the recipe:
1 lb ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
2 Tbsp soy sauce
dash of salt and pepper
wonton wrappers, 454 g (usually found refrigerated in the grocery store)
In medium bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. If the mixture is too soft, add a few bread crumbs.
Place 1 tsp of the meat mixture in the center of a wonton wrapper. Moisten edges. Fold over, forming a triangle. Press edges to seal. Moisten bottom corners, pull gently together to overlap, and press together. Freeze or refrigerate until ready to use.
War Wonton Soup
1/2 medium head bok choy, chopped into small pieces. (I have also used cabbage and/or broccoli and/or a frozen asian blend of veggies).
2 green onions, sliced
4 medium mushrooms, sliced
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup corned beef (thinly sliced from the deli, then slivered)
1 box shrimp (225 gram)
Add all sliced vegetables into a soup pot and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes until veggies are soft. Add meat and simmer until heated through.
Bring back to a low boil and add wontons (about 32, don't overcrowd the pot, freeze the rest for another day). When the wontons are cooked, they will rise to the top. Serve immediately.
Hmm, if it wasn't for the fact that I promised Ben pork chops today, I'd be running to the store for wonton wrappers right now!
I hope your Christmas had some moments to remember, too.
And, by the way, I think that my Christmas was, indeed, peaceful.