Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas

I realize I’m a little early with this greeting, but we have a loaded schedule for these three days.  My sister in McPherson, Kansas called a couple of weeks ago and invited us to her house for Christmas.  It’ll just be her, her son and his wife, and us, because they will be celebrating their family Christmas with their grandkids next weekend.  We hadn’t made any specific plans here, so since Maxine is past ninety years old and lives so far away, we are glad to have an excuse to go see her.  However, I neglected to tell my daughter, Rachel, about our plans until two days ago.  She and her husband keep so busy with their jobs and their commutes to the city that we don’t talk that often.  The several weeks before Christmas make up Rachel’s busiest season on the job, too.  

Rachel said, “Well if you aren’t going to be around for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we need to get together before you guys go.  We could just do finger foods Sunday, so there shouldn’t be a lot of cooking.”  

I should mention we don’t do gift-giving any more.  That takes a lot of stress out of things.

It’s nice to know somebody cares enough to want to see you on Christmas, isn’t it?  So I agreed, figuring I’d make some hamburger dip and buy some chips and call it plenty for my part of the festivities.  Yesterday I remembered the half-ham in the freezer, but it was too late to get it thawed in time.  I checked with Chef Google and learned you can put a fully-cooked, spiral-sliced, frozen ham in the oven; you just have to allow more time and cover it tightly with aluminum foil; here’s hoping!  Rachel came by last night and left enough chips to sink a battleship, a cheese tray, and other tasty treats.  

Then I decided to boil some chicken thighs and make noodles.  

Seriously?  What happened to the finger foods?  Well, this family loves noodles.  We have nothing against eating a bowl of noodles and calling it finger food.  Besides, if there’s a lot left, you can freeze cooked noodles just fine, although if they’re fit to eat, I’ll probably just send them home with somebody.  

This morning I looked around the kitchen and noticed the loaf of bread on the table:  It’s the only loaf of bread in the house, and what if we all want a ham sandwich?  So I got out the bread machine for the first time since we discovered Sara Lee Butter Bread (which has already lost a lot of its attraction, but it’s the best we can find.  It isn’t as soft and fresh as when we first discovered it).  So as I type this, there’s a ham in the oven, noodles drying on the table, and bread baking.  And when I consider the number of people coming today, I realize there’s no way all this stuff will get eaten.  But it’ll freeze just fine, all but the hamburger dip I made this morning.  It wouldn’t hurt my feelings too much to toss it, if I had to.  Oh, did I mention I made Oreo Delight and a cherry cheesecake pie?  Good grief, what was I thinking?

Sometime tomorrow we’ll get on I-70 and head west toward Kansas, stopping at granddaughter Amber’s house to drop Gabe off.  Cliff dreads the drive, but I told him I’d download a book we can listen to on the way.  I chose a “Chet and Bernie” book, which I know he’s going to consider stupid (you know, it’s a dog that is narrating the story), but I think he’ll be entertained.  If not, I will be.  I’ve read the book before, but it’s been awhile.  

The grandson and Heather will be around to watch the place and feed the cats and calves.  Once we get to my sister’s house, it’ll be a relaxing time of visiting and eating.  


Back Porch Writer said...

Merry Christmas Donna to you and your family. Enjoy the time with everyone. Love how your finger food fest was met with love and then the noodles and dessert and heartwarming dips were born! ha. Sounds like our meals here. The neighbors have brought us all wonderful cookies from all directions. I was trying to keep sweets out, but we are enjoying them. George hands back a bottle of his homemade wine in return, lol.

Jean said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Margaret said...

Merry Christmas and safe travels! Could you take some of the left over food with you to your sister's? I am in a bit of a panic because I thought Christmas eve was Tuesday instead of TOMORROW. I have two batches of time consuming cookies to make and am wringing my hands over timing. said...

Your Christmas plans are wonderful! Ours will be quiet ~ the 3 of us and 3 little dogs.

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I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Merry Christmas ! Hope you have a safe and happy trip!


merry christmas. godspeed.

Margie's Musings said...

Donna, you are just too much! All that work for "finger foods"! I hope you have a lovely visit with your sister. You need to see as much as possible of her since she is in her 90's. She may not be around forever.

Have a wonderful Christmas! There will be eight or nine of us at my daughter's. We each take a dish or two so all she is responsible for is the meat and potatoes.

The Feminine Energy said...

It's never too early to wish "Merry Christmas", sweet friend. Hope you're enjoying yourselves and that all went well. Lovingly, Andrea xoxo