Tuesday, December 22, 2009


It is quiet in the house...except for the hacking of one family member who is on the tail end of one of those colds that puts one of those old school wrestler "body slams" on you. It is about seven o'clock in the morning and I'm on my first cup of coffee. I actually slept well in spite of the fact that I sampled what we were baking last night which is a colossal "no-no" on more fronts than I care to elaborate on here.

It is three days before Christmas. I have not plugged in my Christmas lights in two days out of sheer laziness, and I still have all of those threads of things not 100% completed undone and lying lazily around. Today and tomorrow will be the days that I rectify that situation, and I am blessed that I do not have to go to work. May as well though...as I don't really know what to do with myself when I have time on my hands. I seem to get as much done when I am pushed as I do when I have all the time in the world...perhaps more so.

The frost outside looks like snow against the dead grass, and the weather has been cold for the entire time in December except for one day. It has felt like Christmas and for that I have been grateful. While I do love the summer heat...there is just something wrong about wearing shorts and flip flops on Christmas Day. It almost reminds me of those Christmas cards where Santa is sitting under a palm tree with a Hawaiian shirt drinking a concoction with an umbrella in it. I don't buy that at all. If Santa were really at the beach in that get up...he'd be wearing dark socks or a Speedo. Anyone who has been to the beach knows that this is required dress for the geriatric set. At least it is in the South.

I hope that the sand tart cookies that I made...that were supposed to be refrigerated...relax enough to actually let me bake them this morning. Their current state is the texture of concrete. I know that it is cold, but I am thinking that they are not supposed to be this hard. I am afraid that my ADD child - the one measuring the flour - lost count. Let's hope not. If so, I'll be doing another batch in short order. I'm hoping that they just need a few minutes - or hours - thawing out somewhat.

The peanut butter cookies look gorgeous. I'm assuming that they taste okay. I believe that they are a little harder than I want them to be, but when you stick a Reese's mini peanut butter cup into any cookie (or just eat them straight out of the wrapper)...isn't that supposed to make everything right with the world? I hope that these will be edible. I know that the cheesecake thingys are good. I actually tried them. It would have been far cheaper to do something like spinach dip instead of trying to bake. And far easier to transport.

I spent the better part of an hour last night imagining what would go on what tray like some of culinary MacGyver. Granted, Martha Stewart would have yanked up a tile from the foyer, and spraypainted it silver to add the perfect patina of pewter, but as has been firmly established...I am NO Martha. I ended up dragging out silver trays that I recently polished for no reason other than they needed it and I needed an excuse to do something productive while I was watching (most likely) a GERARD BUTLER movie of some kind. Most of the time, I use those cutesy ceramic holiday platters that you can find en masse at Ye Olde Cracker Barrel, but the order of the day today is crystal (glass), silver, or pewter.

After a bracket fail in our last house due to Big Dave's insistence that we had too much clutter in one of the cabinets, I am a little light in the glass department. Truth be told...it wasn't exactly the way I wanted to alleviate myself of my glass platters...but it was effective. My collection of pewter pieces includes smaller pieces that I've received as gifts. You simply cannot put a gazillion cookies on something the size of two blocks of cream cheese. So, I'm going silver...which I do have...thanks to the generosity of those who gave us wedding gifts in 1985 and a couple that I received back in the day when silver platters were given in lieu of trophies. The platters have been virtually unused for most of this time...but today? They rule.

The sand tarts came out okay. Not perfectly...because my oven cooks faster than Lindsay Lohan gets in trouble...so it is impossible to gauge. The peanut butter cookies did soften up some, but I'm going to use my friend Cindy's recipe now that I have exhausted my stash of peanut butter cookie mix. I have one kind of cookie that I do well...sugar cookies...but frankly...I am not in the mood to ice cookies and clean up sprinkles.

On another note...today is my niece Tara's third birthday...and the only one thus far that we (collective "we" here) have had the opportunity to celebrate in person. One of the drawbacks of having Linda living in France is that we miss all of those celebrations that many of us take for granted. Birthdays, Halloween, Christmas morning, and attending church. It is - sadly - the price we must pay. However, we do celebrate the 4th of July with gusto (as they are always here for six weeks in the summer) and we make the best of the time we have. I won't be attending the family party in Atlanta because I have the Phi Mu tea and another one for the debutante ball Jill is in this summer. They are overlapping each other this afternoon but we are doing both because it is possible...and one (possibly two)of Jill's roommates are doing the whole "running around like chickens with their heads cut off" thing with us as well.

Plus, the hostess to the Phi Mu tea has a pink tree. PINK! How much better can today possibly get?

Oh well, the busyness is about to set in...I can feel it. Well, it may be the sugar rush from the sand tart I just tried to make sure that they are edible (they are) but whatever. I hope that I will enjoy my time off today and will be able to figure out what to wear without too much ado. Hey, I like this math...two teas...one outfit. ROCK ON.

Hope everyone who actually reads this has a fabulous day. There are days, good days and then there are DAYS. I'm hoping that whatever yours turns out to be is sweet, warm, and inviting. And yes...you may thank the sand tart for that last sentence of inspiration. :)

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