Happy Christmas!

Five Gooooooold Rings

Brilliant!

I have been putting off wrapping presents because, well, I hate doing it. All that tape and ribbon and pressure and I just suck at making corners and getting things neat and tidy.

So I had an idea. A brilliant idea, even if I do say so myself.

All the gifts that are being given to adults are going in to re-usable grocery bags, either from Whole Foods (for big gifts) or Stop and Shop (for smaller gifts). I will be green and will save my sanity, all in one swell foop.

Sometimes I am a fucking genius.

Five Things I Know I’m Not Getting For Christmas

Or, No Wonder People Find Me A Bit Odd.

I have long coveted this knife block. It makes me laugh.
Actually, it makes me chortle, which is a whole different kettle of ballgames than laughing.

I also find these doll head candle holders creepily appealing.
I spotted them on Blackbird’s blog originally.

This just rocks.

Again with the twisted. I want these. If I had them, the bitten edges of the cookies would be dripping red icing. Preferably red gel icing (if there is such a thing).

And just because I can’t resist a good pun….

The Coolest Lights….

Go check out my post at Blogabetes on the dLife website. I made some wicked cool Christmas lights this year.

Interchangeable

You know how sometimes you can exchange things in recipes? If you don’t have chicken stock, you can use chicken bullion. You can substitute applesauce for oil. No molasses? Try honey instead – it will taste a bit different, but will still be the same dish.

Tonight I made coconut macaroons. Every year, I do cookie plates for Olivia’s teachers (and, let’s be honest, for us, too) and this year, I decided to branch out and try some new recipes. Coconut macaroons are delicious and very easy to make, so I thought I’d give them a shot.

And hey, presto! They came out looking great. See?

Except for one thing. I didn’t have parchment paper, so I used wax paper. You know what happens when you bake coconut macaroons on wax paper?

They fuse.

That’s how many I was able to scrape off the paper before I gave up in disgust.

Back to the market for more coconut, I guess.

And parchment paper.

*sigh*

The Boss

I finally got my hands on Magic, Bruce Springsteen’s new disc. It’s fantastic. It’s like the Bruce of old, only grown up. You really should go buy a copy. Even TCBIM, who, for the longest time has barely tolerated my undying affection for Mr. Springsteen, really likes this CD.

But it started me thinking – pretty soon, my musical idols are going to start dying (I know, what a cheery thought for a Friday afternoon, huh?). When Freddy Mercury died, I was sad, but I was, what? 25? It was shocking, but it didn’t upset me for long.

(Not really a video, but this song kills me. In a good way.)

It’s kind of sick that I dread the thought of some of my favourite singers and actors dying. It’s something I’ve been thinking about recently and I have no idea why. Maybe I’m getting maudlin in my old age.

But this is the only song that consistently brings tears to my eyes and sends shivers and thrills down my spine. I can still remember the first time I heard this song – I was a freshman in high school, working on a photo montage to be shown at graduation and someone thrust a battered copy of Born To Run, on vinyl, into my hands and said “Use something from this for it.” And I cued up Thunder Road and was blown away. It’s my go-to song when I’m sad or pissed off or in a really great mood. It’s what I blast when I’m doing 80 down the Mass Pike. It’s what I play on the first warm day, when you can drive thru town with your windows down. The plaintive harmonica opening, then those amazing lyrics (Roy Orbison singing for the lonely, Hey, that’s me and I want you only), the piano that sounds like a carnival, each instrument joining in, getting more insistent as the lyrics push for leaving, getting out, and finally, all of it comes together in a crescendo of let’s-go-let’s-go, get in the car, fuck ’em all.

I wound up stealing the album. I still have it somewhere, mixed in with the Depeche Mode and Cars (OK, OK, and Wham. You wanna make something of it? Huh?) albums. It’s warped as hell and I don’t have a record player to play it on but I’ll never get rid of it. It was the beginning of a long, sometimes painful (Ghost Of Tom Joad, Bruce? Really? I dealt with Nebraska, but that? That was asking a lot.) frequently rekindled love affair.

Now if I could just get my hands on this documentary I saw on VH1Classics called Wings For Wheels, I’d be thrilled. I can’t find it anywhere. I’m starting to think I hallucinated it.

Brownie Drop Cookies

I emailed this recipe to Mrs. Chicky and then thought maybe I should share it with the group. So here you go. You can thank me later. Oh, and to all my readers who have diabetes – I’m sorry. It’s definitely NOT low carb. Or low calorie.

This is the top secret, Bedhead family recipe
(actually, it was on a package of Baker's Chocolate
back in, probably, 1973, but it *sounds* better the
other way. 😀 )

2 Packages Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate
1 T butter
2 eggs
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C unsifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t salt
3/4 c finely chopped pecans
1/2 t vanilla

Melt chocolate and butter in top of double boiler (or
in a glass bowl) over simmering (NOT boiling) water.
Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, beat
eggs until foamy. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time
and beat constantly until mixture is very thick (This
takes 5 minutes at high speed of electric mixture -
mixture must be well beaten because eggs, not flour,
thicken this mixture). Blend in chocolate mixture.
Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, then stir
in pecans and vanilla. Drop from teaspoon onto
greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10 - 12
minutes or until "set" when lightly touched. Cool.
Store in tightly covered container. Makes 3 dozen.


These are excellent. They're almost like a meringue in
that they just about melt in your mouth, but they are
definitely cookies. I love them.

I’m Memeing Of A White Christmas, Or; Hey, I Stole The Meme, Might As Well Steal The Title, Too

As stolen from Joke.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Both, although this year, I’m thinking of giving people those green shopping bags instead of paper gift bags. Whole Foods has nice ones and they’re only a dollar a piece. On the down side, they’re huge, so the gift shall have to be appropriately large, too.

2. Real tree or artificial?
Fake. I have toddlers. And a cat.

3. When do you put up the tree?
If I had my way, it would go up on the 23rd, but instead, usually around the 15th or so. Comes down after Three Kings Day (Jan. 6th – we’re Spanish. Why this is important, I do not know, but it’s what my father always said. “It’ll come down on Three Kings Day. Because we’re Spanish.” Ok, dad.)

4. When do you take the tree down?
Whoops. See above.

5. Do you like eggnog?
I always think I like eggnog, but then I have a glass and realize, no, not so much.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I always got a not-quite-right gift. When I was four, I wanted a Winnie The Pooh bear but got a regular bear whose fur zipped off (I guess for ease of cleaning.) I loved him anyway and called him Winnie, but still. I wanted a powder blue dotted swiss dress that I saw at Jordan Marsh when I was about 8. Oh, how I longed for that dress. It had ruffles and puffy sleeves and a wide, satin sash and a tulle petticoat and it fulfilled all of my Laura Ingalls Wilder/Little Women/Gone With The Wind dreams. Instead, I got material and a pattern that wasn’t even close. I can still taste the disappointment over that one. And it’s a good thing my mother doesn’t know about this blog because I never said anything to her about it.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. It’s Lladro. It hasn’t been out since Shriek Sister #1 entered the scene, though.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
Me. For myriad reasons.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
The Shriek Sisters. And my dad and his wife. I get them wine. They get me half a cow.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
The re-gifted dessert plates and the two diet cook books given to me, in the same gift bag, by my crazy-ass stepmonster.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Neither, recently, because I suck.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
It’s A Wonderful Life, followed closely by A Christmas Story. Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra ra ra ra ra

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
End of October, early November.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Yep. Mostly Yankee Candles and booze.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Linzer cookies. Brownie Drop cookies. Mexican Wedding Cakes. Trifle

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Clear.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
I Saw Three Ships
A Consort of Choral Christmas Carols – PDQ Bach

18. Travel for Christmas or stay home?
I usually go to my mothers. It’s not really traveling, since she’s only an hour away. I’d love to just stay home, but all my family is near my mother’s, so we go there.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers?
Yes.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
A very sad angel that I’ve had forever and really should replace.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas morning. It’s traditional, dammit.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
The crass commercialism seen in the ads that imply that if you don’t buy your wife a diamond or your husband a huge flat-screen tv, you are a failure as a human being.

23. What I love most about Christmas?
The cookies. All of the food, really. Not eating it, so much, although that’s nice, too, but the preparation of it.

Two Tickets, Please

I need to stop fast-forwarding thru the commercials because I very nearly missed this.

Tonight I caught a glimpse of Johnny Deppp, so I stopped to see what, exactly was what. I mean, it’s Johnny Depp. He is on the illustrious imaginary boyfriend list, along with a short list of other fine, fine specimens.

But look! Look what’s coming to a Cinema 1-2-Many near you. Tim Burton directing Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham-Carter. In Sweeney Todd, no less!

I guess I know what I’m doing on December 21st.

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