And so I'm offering this simple phrase, To kids from one to ninety-two, Although its been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas... to you!
("The Christmas Song")* Now THAT'S the kind of Christmas tree I like to see, heh! (And I'm so bad that I'm hoping to get even more yarn by the time the holiday is all over....) It's freezing cold here in Kansas. And as my raggedy store-bought house socks continue to disintegrate, I've been trying to knit some replacement "house boots" for myself. But I've lagged behind since I've mostly been trying to finish up my Christmas-gift-knitting. So far I've only got 3/4 of one finished so far. I did finally finish the purple Regia Jacquard socks for the sister-in-law (that sister-in-law I once wronged)---and they blocked out nicely. Lord, I hope she likes them and that it helps me get back into her good graces... In the family's annual Christmas gift name-drawing, I drew another sister-in-law's name. And so I asked her hubby what she wanted for Christmas and he said she needs a scarf for when they go to New York for New Year's Eve--- since they plan on going downtown to the big celebration and the weather is going to be freezing cold. So I hurried up and knitted her a scarf but I really think it turned out pretty dull and plain-looking. Oh well, too late to re-knit. So I bought her some Bass Pro Shops thermal gloves and a knitted watch cap to go with the scarf. She won't be glamorous but at least she'll be warm--- I hope. Blaine and I are getting ready for the big family holiday dinner, and I'm really looking forward to it. My dinner-contribution "assignment" is to make the same things I always get assigned to make--- my green-bean casserole and southern style banana pudding. I'm going to give you my recipes here, in case you'd like to try them. I do them the way my ancestors have always done them and they're usually well liked--maybe because I use the "secret" inredients? (The ingredients may not be so secret, but my family swears they "add" magic to these age-old recipes....) Bo's green bean casserole: 2 cans of Del Monte french cut green beans 1 can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup 1 big can of French's french fried onions Secret Ingredient: 2 (or more) tsps black pepper Combine all the ingredients together in a glass casserole dish except a small amount of the french fried onions to put on later as a topping. Don't forget the pepper---and be liberal with it. There's something about the pepper that totally brings out the flavor---I've made it without and there was definitely something "missing". When you're ready to have the casserole put it in a 350 oven for half an hour, then sprinkle with the remaining french fried onions. Bo's southern style banana pudding: 2 (large) packages of Jello-O brand "Cook & Serve" vanilla pudding 6 cups half & half (or 4 if you use the small packages of pudding) Nilla brand vanilla wafers (and crush some of them into crumbs for topping) Bananas Secret Ingredient: 1/4 plus 1/8 tsp of almond extract Layer the bottom of a big round bowl with sliced bananas and then some vanilla wafers---make sure the wafers are the top layer. Cook the pudding, add the almond extract, then pour some of the boiling hot pudding over this first layer of stuff---make sure it's still boiling hot when you pour it over. (The boiling hot pudding softens the wafers, making them "cake like"---so that's why they have to be on top of the bananas.) Then put another layer of sliced bananas and then wafers--- and pour more pudding over that layer. Make as many layers as you like. Top by sprinkling with crushed vanilla wafer crumbs. Put into the refrigerator overnight because it tastes better the next day. There you go---that's how I do it. The banana pudding is fattening, but it's not made very often so hey, live a little, right? Anyhoo, I gotta go and continue our holiday preparations, but I'd like to say, from all of us--- myself, Blaine, Leonard-the-cat, and Little Baby-the-cat (who is still waiting on top of her dish for turkey)---that we'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! And also: happy knitting and see ya after the big family Christmas dinner!