Thursday, December 31, 2009


Tahoe and Reno enjoy their last snuggle in front of the evening fire. Our home may have been more visually perfect before we allowed dogs to romp in the house. But how they open our hearts to joy, more than makes up for rumpled throws and tipped over pillows.
Trevor, our oldest son, shows off his skills which earn him the title of Designated Turkey Carver. The beauty with which he lays the meat on the platter makes me want to serve the bird at home.
As much as I enjoy dining out, there are rituals like this which spawn deep feelings that simply can't be replicated in public. Not at any cost.

The guys at Orchard's Fresh Market in Whittier get a huge shout out. I never thought I would be able to buy a smoked turkey as good as mine: what they did with the hickory pellets- with only 24 hours notice... the meat was juicy, tender...the smokey goodness lightly rising from the fork with each bite...mmmm... I just might dismantle my dishwasher every year so I have an excuse to pick up this holiday tradition instead of fretting for 12 hours over my own smoker.

The elegant glass stands are a gift from Kenny and Shannon. Don't you love how tempting the gleaming glass domes make Sheryl Steven's English Toffee and the fudge and baklava look?
When the dishwasher went out, I thought there would be no baklava- but the good folks at Claro's Italian Market were open special on a Wednesday to help their customers out.

The New Years Holidays are at the intersection of Yin and Yang. On the Eve, we look back. Prayers are said for gone missing from our lives. Any regrets are silently scribbled on scraps of paper and burned in the fireplace to burden us no more. In the morn, the only thing left in the ashes are the lessons of mistakes. The squares of the calender are tattooed with the numerals of the New Year . All the blank pages are eager to be filled with the elixir of youth-anticipation.


  1. Everything looks very home-made with love and care, Lydia.
    Happy New Year 2010 and New Deacde to you and all those you love :)

  2. Oh, my goodness! Fudge AND English Toffee!!! Sugar Heaven!!!

    Happy New Year!

  3. Lydia,
    Beautiful, and what makes it so special is the fact that those you love are sharing you magnificent meal with you. My mouth was watering reading about it and seeing the photos!
    My Daryl and Kevin have taken over the duty of official turkey carvers each Thanksgiving. Dad has passed that chore on to them now. I must say they don't do such an artistic job as Trevor tho.
    Hey, what I can't figure out is how come the broken dishwasher has an affect on whether you cook or you buy? Now, if it had been your stove that had gone out I could understand that.:)
    It is obvious that you pour much thought, planning, $$ and hard work into your celebratory meal. I know it is done out of love. That's why I do what I do.

    Hugs and a VERY HAPPY 2010 to you and family!

    XOXO Trisha

  4. Happy New Year, Annie, Miss Jean and Trisha!
    Trisha- You asked about the dishwasher and cooking.
    There are many tools to cook with- the barbecue, the smoker, the ovens, microwave, etc- but only two dishwashers. The, one (which should be) plugged under the counter, and the spoiled one (me).

  5. Alas, you and I are on the same page with no dishwasher. Mine took a turn south and I haven't had the time or energy to go look for another one. So, it's a "hand job" for my dishes for now. Not so bad really, it reminds me of my youth when the dishes were part of my chores.

    Your meal of smoked turkey looks like Heaven. We have a 'water smoker' and many a turkey was perfection from that vessel.

    Blessings and Happy New Year to you and your family L.
    Oregon Sue

  6. Happy New Year, Oregon Sue! Meeting you was one of the joys of the holiday season.

    After your descriptive, I will not be able to wash dishes by hand without laughing.

  7. It looks like you had an abundant and rich Holiday my dear Lydia....LOVE the way that Turkey was placed so perfectly on the plate....(I carve the Turkey at my dear friend Betty's each year and it is such fun...)

    Burning up the regrets in the fireplace---GREAT Idea! I will have to do that next year....!

    Your doggies look just adorable and I love that they are such a part of your family. Animals bring such an open heart, don't they?

    A Very Happy New Year, My Dear...I hope 2010 is the BEST year, ever, for you and yours.

  8. Dear Lady of the Hills- Thank you for stopping by. It was as perfect a holiday as I could wish for. If it is true that how January 1 goes, so goes the year, this is going to be a terrific one.

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