Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday One Through Five

1) I'm so excited! For Jim's side of the family, we're using "my" (actually ripped from Marie Green) idea of giving only handmade or hand-me-down/secondhand gifts. I think this is a great opportunity to both save money and be much more personal and creative. Yay! It's like Little House on the Prairie, but without the whole almost freezing to death/ starving/having to wash out one's flannel sanitary rags in a bucket of ice water aspect!

2) I'm going to learn to make pie crust from scratch today. I will either ruin Thanksgiving dessert for twenty-some people, or emerge a stronger person. It's another epic smackdown of Sarah versus Pastry. I have at long last mastered cookies (for instance, there is an important difference between softening and completely MELTING the butter, apparently) so I am feeling hopeful.

3) On Saturday I helped decorate Jim's family's coffeehouse for Christmas. Oh, and Adelay did too, inasmuch as drinking three cups of pink lemonade from the fountain and getting insanely hyper about all the sparkly lights could be considered helpful. No, actually, that's all I expected from her, and she did of course fulfill that expectation, but she also ran bags of ornaments back and forth to the different trees for me, which WAS genuinely helpful. So hey! Having kids has finally paid off!

4) Tomorrow we're having a big Thanksgiving brunch at my mom's house with my side of the fam before heading to Indiana for Jim's side in the afternoon. So that's two enormous meals in about a five hour time span. Relatedly, I have resolved to work out five times this week. Two down, three to go!
(Side note: does anyone know how to work out one's leg muscles without somehow managing to make one's thighs LARGER? I mean, I appreciate the added muscle tone and I know, I know, exercise is about HEALTH, not aesthetics, but who are we kidding? If I'm going to bother working up a sweat, I'd appreciate looking better for it!)

5) I'm really in the mood for Christmas music today, especially after reading Shelly's post. But I need some new music, and stuff the kids would like, too. Anyone have suggestions for Christmas albums that you and your kids enjoy together?

Edit: Also, the Swiss Colony catalogue came the other day, and it was SO FUN to watch Addy and Eli poring over every single page with pure, unadulterated sugar lust on their little faces. Addy kept jabbing spastically at the items and announcing, over and over and OVER with no sense of irony whatsoever, "THIS one's my favorite! No, wait, THIS one! Or... THIS one is my favorite thing!"


Anonymous said...

I always absolutely LOVED the John Denver and the Muppets christmas album. God, that sounds so lame saying it on the internet, but we listened to it every year on the old record player, then tape deck, then cd player and every year we all sang along with miss piggy as she went "BAH DUM DUM DUM" after five gold rings. To this day I smile about it, and still listen to it every year

Hillary said...

I just love Christmas music, period. Though, I do have two exceptions: Feliz Navidad and Little Drummer Boy (any version). Those songs hurt my ears.

If you win the piecrust smackdown, share the secret. I haven't quite mastered that stuff, yet.

Jess said...

I don't have kids, and actually, this album may not be kid-like at all, but I LOVE Trans-Siberian orchestra. Some of the only Christmas music that I can listen to without getting sick of it.

Shelly said...

I love the handmade christmas gifts idea. very cool.

CAQuincy said...

I love most of the "A Very Special Christmas" Albums. Great songs on there!

What part of Indiana??? We'll be in Idaville (small, tiny, miniscule, blink-your-eye-and-you'll-miss-it town on I-24) tomorrow, and Fort Wayne on Friday or Saturday. I'm from Logansport (another small town on I-24).

Pie crust is one of the few things I can do. Use ice cold water. And I even put my crisco and flour in the fridge for my pie crust.

d e v a n said...

2 - good luck!! If you figure it out, you'll have to post your recipe. I consider myself a pretty good cook and baker, but cannot make a stinkin' pie crust.

2 Tday meals! Have fun!

desperate housewife said...

CAQuincy: We'll be in Ft Wayne too!

Jana said...

I adore the idea of homemade/hand-me-down Christmas gifts....wonder if my family would go for that next year?

One of the few Christmas albums all five of us can stomach (my husband is a musician so he's the big music snob of the house) is Vince Guaraldi's Christmas album. He's the guy that wrote the music for "A Charlie Brown Christmas." It's quite jazzy, but fun to listen to.

Maybe running will help trim your thighs? All the runners I know have super skinny ones. (Obviously not talking about myself here.)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Marie Green said...

1. Yay! Let's have Little House Christmas's together! I'm hoping I actually remember to post the things we make/thrift/find around our house for the 2nd hand Christmas... you should too. I think it would be very interesting to see! (Did you know that my "real" name is Sarah. Marie is my middle name. What's your middle name?)

2. For pie crusts, that simple little tool called a pastry cutter is KEY to breaking up the butter w/o softening it too much. Do you have one? Or does a nearby neighbor/friend?

5. I'll be checking back for Christmas music ideas... our current selection has not been updated in YEARS.

Marie Green said...

P.S. Thanks for the link!

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Swistle said...

Oh, the SWISS COLONY catalog!! I'd forgotten all about it! I think I should buy some stuff from there now that seven dollars isn't two months' allowance or whatevs. I always wanted one of those things that looked like oversized Hershey Kisses, filled with fudge or whatever.

Swistle said...

Also! My mother-in-law had this good idea for butter in pastry: FREEZE the butter, then use a CHEESE GRATER on it. You get butter that's all set to cut into the flour.

desperate housewife said...

Marie, really Sarah: mine is Elizabeth.

Fran said...

Peeing myself laughing over the Liitle House thing!! Also we love Jewel's Christmas CD and thank you Swistle for the freezing the butter tip!!