Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Hectic Holiday Completing

Last minute preparations are finished
(only because there are no more last minutes).
Big dinner was cooked Christmas Eve.
Traditional Christmas morning breakfast eaten.
Presents are unwrapped.
Wrapping paper has been cleaned up.
One more big dinner today
(consisting mostly of leftovers).
Finally, time to sit and think
about this almost finished year,
about the coming new year,
new hopes, and new goals.
New years resolutions contemplating.

Monday, December 23, 2013

multiple white lights
cascading from the roof's edge
– Southern icicles

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Barking Must Stop

My ears are ringing.


I never understood why anyone would want silence.
I like noise,
children playing,
the radio or television,
something, just not silence.

Today I am home alone.
My kids are at school.
My husband is at work.
The radio and TV are off.
My ears are ringing
from this dog's piercing loud bark.

What do you want?
I fed you.
You have water.
You've been out and gone potty.
All the other dogs are laying down,
quiet and still.

Das Bellen muss aufhรถren.
The barking must stop.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

FDA Allows Fly Eggs and Maggots in Sauce

Did you know

“On the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's reports on "Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement and Criminal Investigations," the agency says it's acceptable for sauces to contain "30 or more fly eggs per 100 grams" and "1 or more maggot per 100 grams." At those levels, you probably wouldn't notice, and if you did, it's really just protein anyways. But still ... yum.”

For those of us who are used to dealing with ounces and pounds...
100 grams equals 3.5274 ounces (just under ¼ pound)

So...a quarter pound of tomato-based sauce at your favorite chain restaurant
is allowed to have 30 or more fly eggs and 1 or more maggot.

I recommend that you take a few minutes to look through this article by the Huffington Post.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Barbie Girl

My 2 year old granddaughter's favorite song is “Barbie Girl.” We play it continually whenever she is in my car. My favorite line of the song is

“Imagination.       Life is your creation.”

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Meatballs Everywhere

It's the beginning of December. I'm just getting home from school. I forgot my key...again. There is snow on the ground. It is cold. But, the backdoor is unlocked? That's a nice surprise. I smell meatballs. Dado is here, and he's been cooking. He must have brought his cookie sheets with him because there are cookie sheets full of hot baked meatballs on the stove, on the counter beside the sink, balanced over the sink, on the counter above the dishwasher, on the table, and some still in the oven. There is no place to set anything. Meatballs are everywhere.

The first weekend of December, every year, my mom hosts a Christmas party. I know it's coming because we've spent evenings baking dozens of cookies for the cookie exchange, 13 dozen, and small batches of what seems like a dozen different cookies to serve at the party. “There needs to be a variety on the trays to look pretty,” my mom tells me. Rosettes, Krumkaka, Candy Cane cookies, Mint Meltaways, Russian Tea Cakes, Stained Glass Window cookies, Cornflake Wreaths, Peanutbutter Kiss cookies, Star Spice cookies, but NO Chocolate Chip cookies. Chocolate Chip cookies are NOT Christmas cookies. Chocolate Chip cookies are everyday, ordinary cookies. 13 people are exchanging cookies this year. Everybody takes home one dozen of each others cookies, hence the 13 dozen of one kind of cookie we made (really I made, with little supervision – Mom is always busy, and I am a perfectionist, good at following directions).

I never got Dado's meatball recipe. I think they were applesauce meatballs, but I really have no idea. I'm sure the recipe was in his head, not on paper. I remember scalding my tongue eating a meatball, and eating another immediately, knowing, and not caring, that it would burn my mouth too. He made the best meatballs, a once a year treat.

Since then, I've run across a meatball recipe that is as close to Dado's recipe as I remember. My recipe is a microwave recipe, that I have to double to make enough for everyone. I make them once each winter, but not for Christmas (everybody wants ham for Christmas). As the smell fills my kitchen, I remember coming home to my always happy, smiling grandfather, Dado, in mom's kitchen, and meatballs everywhere.

There was no sauce on Dado's meatballs, but he was Swedish, and I like these, and their sauce.
I leave out the allspice and the brown bouquet sauce, but add ginger and parsley flakes.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Cookie List 2013

Dark Pfeffernuse
Gingerbread Men
Cornflake Wreaths
Rita's Kiss Cookies
Candy Cane Cookies
Peppermint Meltaways
Stained Glass Window Cookies, and
Peanut butter Elf Bites (which I will make several batches of)
There are so many fun flavors of peanut butter available now. We make this with regular peanut butter, and with chocolate peanut butter. You could even substitute Nutella for the peanut butter.

At my house, making Christmas cookies is a family thing. We do it together. Even my grown-up kids come home and help. Some of these cookies have steps that must be done quickly before they cool. So, many helpers make better cookies.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December Flowers, Narcissus and Holly

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, December's birth flower, the narcissus, embodies the idea that you want your beloved to stay just the way they are. The other December flower, holly, symbolizes your wish for domestic happiness.

 NARCISSUS: a beautiful youth in Greek mythology who pines away for love of his own reflection and is then turned into the narcissus flower.