My friend Sasha posted on facebook the other day something to the effect of enjoying the Christmas squalor. As I looked out at our disaster of a house, bits of wrapping paper here and there, dining room table covered with Lego, messy kitchen....I thought Christmas squalor was the perfect, happy descriptor. And indeed, we have been enjoying it. Of course it's Chhistmas break so what happens? Yes, I get a cold. It's not horrid though. I spent much of yesterday on the couch but part of that was partly because I COULD.
I have filed so many things away to tell you but now of course they are out of reach. A few random notes:
1. The other day Ernie told me he'd found something yellow on the bathroom floor. I said, "ewwww" because really, what else would you say? He grabbed some paper towels and went into the bathroom, only to come out a second later saying, "oh, it was just egg yolk." I just nodded my head because it didn't seem worth the effort to say, "WTF? Are the cats laying EGGS now? Is Owen making ramen in the SHOWER?" Sometimes it's best to just nod your head.
2. Overheard from Owen's Christmas day conversation with his Aunt Debbie, "No, the better question is, why WOULDN'T you want a baguette in your stocking?"
3. Yes, there was still Lego at Christmas.
4. And then the boys' incredibly generous Uncle Dennis showed up and there was a veritable WALL of Minecraft Lego....
5. Poor Bob sought refuge.
6. Best new recipe made over the holidays: Cranberry Horseradish Sauce! My friend Ceal had brought me a jar of her own horseradish. As I was perusing recipes for a sauce for our ham I found this one and we LOVED it! Somehow the sharpness of the horseradish tames the bitterness of the cranberry more effectively than just sugar does. We loved it and it took about two seconds to make!
Cranberry Horseradish Sauce
Cranberries mixed with sugar and citrus are perfectly fine for turkey, but pork needs something a little different. Here, the tart quality of the cranberries is underlined by the horseradish, and together they enhance the sweet, sturdy nature of roast pork.
1 (12-oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1 (6-oz) jar prepared horseradish, including juice, or 1/4 cup firmly packed finely grated peeled fresh horseradish
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Bring cranberries, horseradish, sugar, and water to a simmer in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, stirring and mashing berries frequently with spoon, until berries break down, 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve sauce warm or at room temperature.
7. And that's a jar of gorgeous lemon curd that my beloved Boo brought me. Mmmmmm. I love lemon! Once I have an oven perhaps I'll make something with it. "Once you have an oven," you say? That's right...I have no oven.
I was in the kitchen pulling together Christmas dinner. It was very simple and laid back....ham glazed with marmalade/garlic/mustard/brown sugar. I wanted to make scalloped potatoes but Owen requested mashed, simple creamed spinach, and the above mentioned cranberry sauce. I poured a bit more glaze on the ham and turned up the oven temperature. I busied myself doing other things when all of a sudden I saw a flash come from the oven. Not good. It ran through my head that maybe the glaze had burned from the broiler...only to realize that I wasn't using the broiler. I cautiousy peered into the oven and saw a small section of the baking element happily burning away. I hollered and eventually four Blackwelder boys crowded into the kitchen. We turned the oven off but it kept going....we eventually pulled the oven out into the middle of the kitchen so we could unplug it and it promptly went out. We went ahead and ate our unglazed pork but I couldn't help obsessing about the oven a bit. Later that night I went online and tried to find the part. Of course, no parts listed for our oven as it is too old so I did what any smart person would do and went to bed.
The next morning we looked at our bedraggled stove, the places where the plastic has broken through on buttons and you have to just reach in and push little things inside to set the timer, etc., and wondered whether it was time to bite the bullet and buy a new stove. Then we made the mistake of looking at our credit cards and realizing how much we've spent and how little credit we have left. Woo-hoooo! Merry Christmas! I cried and got grumpy. Ernie decided to try to get the baking element out to see if it matches a newer part. Only problem? He forgot we'd plugged the stove back in that morning. Whoops. I heard a yell come out of Ernie that I'd never heard before. We thought we'd totally destroyed the whole thing but eventually realized it had it's own circuit breaker. So we're back to having a stove top but no oven. We did eventually find a part online and we have our fingers crossed that it will fix it....because we went out and looked at stove and god damn they are expensive. There were some Samsungs I kinda liked but they all have buttons on the top that say things like "crispy pizza" or "chicken nuggets"! I am NOT buying a stove that says chicken nuggets on it. What were they thinking? Ernie just shook his head and told me he loved me. But honestly.....CHICKEN NUGGETS on the back of my stove for the rest of eternity?
Well, no matter as we can't afford a stove. Whew.
8. Well, enough about my Christmas squalor. Don't forget about KEVIN GORDON on New Year's Day! Potluck at 4:00 (bring something baked...ha!) and music at 5:00ish. Bring CASH, no PayPal this time. I'll be making Hoppin John and something else.....bring greens or cornbread or nothing at all. Just come and enjoy. He is a magnificent songwriter and a sweet pea to boot. Hope to see you! Just yell if you have any questions!
9. And on that note I must go as I'm in the kitchen and Ernie is attempting to take apart the dishwasher and he's getting REALLY grumpy! For the sake of a happy marriage and continuing our pleasant Christmas squalor...I bid you goodbye.
Merry Christmas all (twelve days...remember?)