I am trying to perfect tea cakes. I have my great grandmother’s “recipe”. Really a set of instructions that she tried to put measurements to when relaying it to my aunt. I have the dough down pretty well. I need to survey some of my older relatives to get more information. How thin is “really thin” and were they soft or crisp when cooled?
I made a variation of the dough this past weekend. I substituted eggnog for the milk, increased the vanilla a bit and added a good spoonful of nutmeg. They have a subtle flavor Rock and I like. I think our son will like them. He is a fan of eggnog.
At the antique mall, the older duchess found a Sugar Plum Fairy Barbie doll. It wasn’t complete, but when I explained to her why, she seemed to understand. We got it and after we got home, I pulled up a video of the Bolshoi Ballet performing the Sugar Plum dance. She danced her doll around while listening and partly watching. Maybe in a couple years both of the duchesses will be ready to sit through a production of The Nutcracker Ballet. I have wonderful memories of my mother, the children and me dressing up and attending the ballet in Beaumont at the Julie Rogers Theater. My niece danced in it as a child, too.
I am keeping Christmas music playing and when on the road in the evenings, I am looking out for Christmas lights. The tree is up and the handful of decorations I use are put out. Each year there is some variation of what I do. Every year I use deer antlers in the dining table centerpiece because Rock likes them. And I want to do things he likes. I change the details around them. Sometimes I get carried away and we are pushing the centerpiece out of our dinner plates. Oh, well…………
I haven’t been Christmas shopping, yet. I have a couple of things I picked up along the way. I suppose sometime this week I should get busy. I seem to wait later every year. I told my bunch I don’t want anything wrapped up under the tree. I have some projects around the house I would like for them to do instead.
Ten days and counting down to Christmas Eve. I really had better get myself busy. A lot to do for our family gathering. I am already busy enjoying this special time of the year. A gathering with friends for dinner, special moments during Sunday morning services, music, lights, decorations, Duchesses. The younger one will be here this weekend. We’ll see what she finds to explore for the season. Yep, I’m already busy!
This past weekend was a whirlwind! We got up and went to my brother’s to have a short visit for his birthday. Then on to the party place to give the older Duchess a birthday present and get hugs. The younger Duchess was at both parties. Double blessings. Next, we rode out to Montgomery to a spectacular venue for a fairy tale wedding. Our life long friends’ son wed his beloved. Everything was lovely. The men all looked handsome in their suits. My girlfriend looked spectacular in her navy evening gown and made a wonderful showing dancing with her son. We all teared up watching. It was more touching than the bride and her father dancing.
Rock and I had an adventure riding home. Following the google map in the dark along unfamiliar back roads. We stopped to eat at Whataburger in Livingston in our evening attire. He had shed his coat and tie, but was still gorgeous in his red shirt. We enjoyed our time to visit with each other while riding all over the place capturing moments with very important people.
Sunday, I cooked turkey and dressing, dumplings and all for a belated Thanksgiving meal. We ended up only having all the girls. The Duchesses and their mothers. Their daddies couldn’t attend. The girls play well together for the most part. They are very loud when they get going at times. Running and screaming through the house.
I have a set of china that was a gift to my parents from my maternal grandmother. I don’t know how she afforded it, but there are twelve place settings and some side pieces. I always use it for Thanksgiving. I want the children to have memories of it when I am gone and they are old.
We serve ourselves buffet style. I’ve never really tried boarding house style. Think the Walton’s or the Picket House. All the food in serving bowls on the table being passed around. I think I would like it and I certainly have the bowls for it. Maybe we can give it a trial run in the spring.
Christmas is usually a casual arrangement of hors d’oeuvres and sandwich trays. Platters of cookies and a few pies make dessert. Throwaway plates are the usual for that day. Shooting and opening gifts are the main events for Christmas Eve. Though I would be in serious trouble if I didn’t serve Cheese Torte and Ham Rolls.
I have waited till this week to start on Christmas decorating. I got the tree out of the closet. It’s still in the box. I should have everything done up by Friday. I hope I have enough working lights to go around. I want to have it done by then because I should have a Duchess over to spend some time with me. One this weekend and one another. I like the private times I have with each of them. Time to give each my undivided attention. And to get some undivided attention. Grannies need to feel loved by their grands. So do Paw Paws.
In this season of festivities, I will make time to be quiet with as many of the ones I hold dearest as possible. Yes, we will play and feast and have a ball. But we will connect more deeply, too. If we make it a point to do so. Intention is the word currently in fashion. It is an idea that should never be out of fashion.