Monday, December 26, 2011

On the second day of Christmas ...

... I must admit I'm feeling a little lost this morning!  It is the first day I have had where after I got up in the morning, I don't have a plan of a million things that have to be done!

I purposely made myself stay off of the computer on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I really wanted to just relax, take a step back, and appreciate my family by giving them all of my time.  I got up really early on Christmas Eve and started my fudge.  This is not 8 minute fudge; it's my grandmother's recipe that she made for years and years, and it holds just wonderful memories for me.  But once you get it to a boil, it has to cook for about 30 minutes to reach the right stage.  Then I brought out the chocolate snowflake cookie dough and baked those (I had made that cookie dough and sugar cookie dough the night before).  Next came grandma's bon bons ... a peanut butter, powdered sugar, nut and ground raisin ball (the raisins really are yummy), dipped in milk chocolate.  By then I was pooped and so I cleaned up the kitchen and decided I would leave the rolling out of the sugar cookies to my sweet daughter.  She was happy to oblige and did a great job!  This is the first year in I can't remember how long that I got all of my baking done! 
Yummy ... you know the funny thing? Everyone (but me) had their stockings full of candy from Santa, so we never even had any cookies or candy yesterday for Christmas.  We had a nice dinner here with my mom and I made apple and cherry pies.  I love cherry pie for Christmas, but the kids don't eat cherry pie, so have to make an apple for them.  I usually do not bake much; we all try to eat healthy, and having sweets around is way too tempting.  All the cookies and candy I made for Christmas are shared with our friends.  I started years ago making a big plate (container) of candy and cookies for our friends that live around the corner from us.  She doesn't bake very much, and I know they appreciate the homemade goodies ... that is our gift to them.  Other than that, I usually give some to my mom, and then we freeze the rest and eat it a little at a time.  The funny thing is no one even asked me yesterday where the candy was!

We had a wonderful Christmas, and the only thing that could have made it any better would have been snow!  It was chilly last week in San Diego, but as usual, Christmas day was in the 70's.  I don't know why that is, but it is always warm on Christmas!  Here are just some random things I learned this Christmas ...

Do all my Christmas dinner prep the day before
-- boil and slightly mash potatoes and refrigerate.  The next day after the pies have cooked, pop the pan in the oven after I turn it off and it will warm the potatoes; right before dinner I mashed them and added some butter, milk and salt and pepper.  They tasted great.  [Thanks to my friends Jayne and Mindy for that tip!]
--bake sweet potatoes; take out of skin and mash.  Right before dinner add butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows
--make pie crusts and refrigerate; roll out when making the pies Christmas day
--measure all the dry ingredients for popovers (Christmas breakfast) the night before and leave in bowl on counter covered with a cloth; measure the milk and leave in a container in the fridge along with a bowl with the amount of eggs needed

This made my life so much easier on Christmas day.  I didn't feel like I was running around all day.  I actually sat down for a couple of hours and watched Christmas movies with my kids.  My favorite Christmas movie .. I think I already told you ... It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart.  But it must be the black and white version!  We only watched half of it yesterday; today I'll watch the other half.

I plan to get a little sewing done today; I have to get this block of the month finished for the store and I am only four blocks from done!  It's hard to concentrate when I'm working at the store, so I'm going to finish them up here.  That way I can start putting the top together .. . yahoo!

When I googled the second day of Christmas, this is what I found ... today, December 26, is St. Stephen's Day in Ireland and other parts of the world.  My maiden name is Clancy, so there is a little Irish in me, don't you think?  And here are the lyrics to a song sung in honor of St. Stephen's Day ...
The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,
St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze,
Although he was little his honour was great,
Jump up me lads and give us a treat.
As I was going to Killenaule,
I met a wren upon the wall.
Up with me wattle and knocked him down,
And brought him in to Carrick Town.
Drooolin, Droolin, where's your nest?
Tis in the bush that I love best
In the tree, the holly tree,
Where all the boys do follow me.
Up with the kettle and down with the pan,
And give us a penny to bury the wren.
I followed the wren three miles or more,
Three miles or more three miles or more.
I followed the wren three miles or more,
At six o'clock in the morning.
I have a little box under me arm,
Under me arm under me arm.
I have a little box under me arm,
A penny or tuppence would do it no harm.
Mrs. Clancy's a very good woman,
a very good woman, a very good woman,
Mrs. Clancy's a very good woman,
She give us a penny to bury the wren.

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