Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Very Merry Season Indeed

Stopping by to say hello after a very long holiday break! Most of my family went to Florida for the Christmas holiday and I had very limited time on my son's Mac book. He's not a good sharer, despite what I taught him when he was much younger. I certainly didn't teach him to say things like, "No, Mom, it's mine!" I'm pretty sure I taught him to say, "Sure, you can have a turn using this toy now." I got to use the toy very few times, and mostly it was to check Facebook. Or my bank account. And this only after I told him there was no more money forthcoming until I knew the balance in my account.
Here's a few peeks at what our holiday looked like this year. My favorite rocking chair with my favorite pillow on it, and Santa snuggled up next to one of my Christmas trees. I have four in the house, not counting the one in K.'s room upstairs. One large tree and three smaller ones. I like themes on my trees so I have a tree with just red and silver ornaments, one with doll ornaments, one with felted ornaments, and one with a garland of polka dots.
The Man grumbles about all the decorating I do, but I find him looking around the house throughout the season with a small smile on his face.
The yummies in the glass pedestal are cookie dough truffles. One word. Yum.

Cookie Dough Truffles

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag (11 0z) milk chocolate chips
  • handful of white chocolate chips
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour, alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips. Shape into 1-in. balls; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.
  • Over a double-boiler, melt milk chocolate chips. Dip balls in coating, allowing excess to drip off; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Melt white chocolate chips in small plastic baggie in microwave, taking care not to overheat. I do 15 seconds at a time, on low power, until they get soft enough to mix together. Then I keep kneading the bag to melt them all the way down. Cut a small piece off the tip of one corner and then drizzle white chocolate over the truffles. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 5-1/2 dozen.
I have tried melting the chocolate in the microwave with very little success. The first dozen balls are dipped okay, but then the chocolate starts to harden and they don't look very good. I had to eat those. Then I tried the double boiler method and that kept the chocolate nice and smooth. And also out of my mouth.
K. sketched a picture of Maggie for my sister and brother-in-law for Christmas. They lost Maggie in September when they had to have her put down very unexpectedly. So traumatic and sad for both of our families since our dog, Jack, was Maggie's brother. We got them from the same litter. Maggie was a great dog.
When my sister and brother-in-law opened the gift, they cried.
We flew down to Florida with my youngest sissy and her family on the 22nd to celebrate Christmas with my dad. He's a snowbird. He doesn't like to come North during the winter anymore, muttering something about "cold" and "snow". We tell him he's gotten soft.We spent the next day on the beach, collecting seashells and sea glass to take home. Our suitcases had not reached the 50lb limit so we figured we had some room to spare.
We drove down to Vero Beach on Christmas Eve day and had lunch at Waldo's. Great restaurant on the beach, very low key, Jimmy Buffet atmosphere. I could have sat there all day.
Except Santa was coming that night and my nieces made me move.
That's my brother-in-law above. He had a great time, too.
We went to a pig roast on Christmas Eve. Never done one of those before. Never going to do one again. I don't like seeing my meat on the animal. I want it packaged up, on a styrofoam tray, with plastic wrap and a price sticker on it, thank you very much.
But I loved the setting.
The party was in the courtyard, next to the pool, right on the beach.
It was a beautiful night. Deep blue sky, light breeze blowing off the ocean, the sound of the waves crashing right behind us. Absolutely perfect.
Christmas Day was at my dad's. My nana, aunt, and uncle came over and we had an old-fashioned family holiday. We haven't had a Christmas together in a lot of years. Lots of laughs, many memories, good food, and presents. That's the best part. Ask the kids.

My son, J., read the story of Jesus' birth before we started opening packages. That was perfect. Jesus gave us the best gift of all. Salvation.
Dad took us to a local pizza place, Petrillo's, on one of our last nights there. Best.Pizza.Ever. If you're in the Indialantic area, go get the Sicilian style pizza. Thick, chewy crust and loaded with sauce and cheese. Double yum.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The picture at the beginning of this post came from a very cool shop in old historic Melbourne called Yapa. The owner stocks all kinds of eclectic items. I found the prettiest woven purple scarf in there. When I tell people I bought it in Florida, I get some strange looks.

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