Monday, November 29, 2010

Counting down to Christmas

The halls are decked. Now what? Do what Santa does. Make lists. Start checking them twice. It doesn't matter what you start unless you finish. 

However: lists are like medications. They should come with a warning label. Used judiciously, they are energy-enducing, stress-shrinking diets. Shared too freely with a mate- they are known for  nasty side-effects. No man wants to be reduced to being slave to the list on the refrigerator.

That said. this week their are packages to go be wrapped and sent to relatives far away.  For a couple neices and nephews it wouldn't be Christmas without some of Uncle Gerry's beef jerky. One niece in the Rockies misses nothing about California- except our weather and Abba Zabba bars. Some mini's are on the way...

For in-person presents, even the most humble deserve to speak. " I love you" before they are opened. It's all in the presentation.  Sometimes the sticker kind of tags are alright- but more and more I find the hang tag style are more creative. They also allow you more space to write names on the back of the tag large enough to be legible. If the string ties don't work with the ribbon- ornament hangars, floral wire or ribbon can be put into service.
Money saving tip: The floral picks are easy to store in a shoe box for reuse.

Sunday- I let my imagination flow with an appetizer idea.  With my friend Trisha coming over for a break and I know she loves Almond Champagne, I decided she would be the perfect guinea pig.

Running errands was the perfect length of time to allow 5 chopped dried apricots to macerate in 2 spoonfuls of  apricot jam.

Brie fit perfectly into the oven to table vintage pottery.

The bowl is lined with crescent roll dough from the deli: seams pressed together.

As lovely as the box the brie comes in is: it and the rind were discarded.

The apricot mixture is spooned over the brie like a jaunty hat.

Almond slices and dried cranberries strewn across- the hand motion is almost like feeding fairy-sized chickens):-.

The edge of the dough was loosely gathered- like a duffel not quite closed.

17 minutes in the preheated 350° F degree oven and out came heavenly hors d' oeuvres: a love match to the Almond Champagne that dreamed them into being.

Something I've noticed this season. I understand a store clerk not initiating "Merry Christmas". Business transactions in a multi-cultural society makes for dicey situations. However, when I say "Merry Christmas" around the time the sale is rung up- this is clearly the reason I am at the cash register. Wouldn't it be appropriate for some response indicating some level of good will? It is like there is a gag order against a pleasant response. Is anyone else out there experiencing this?

* You won't need to use all the dough in package.


Anonymous said...


Heavenly it was! Oh thank you so much for using me as a guinea pig! Feel free to do so anytime! :) Your house was decorated beautifully and it was such fun sitting at the little table by the fire enjoying your delicious creation! Yes, my favorite Champagne too and good company!
Now it has put me in the mood to get my decorating done but first I need to start wrapping. I do have Christmas cards ready to mail and the club's too.
One day at a time, right?

Thank you again for a lovely time.

XO Trisha
p.s. When at Staples today the nice man checking me out said "Merry Christmas" before I did! That was nice.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh MY...That looks YUUUUUMMMMMYYYY! I always have a warm Brie at New Years---with Apricots, as well....It is so deicious. But I never really thought about how it is made. And there you are Lydia! THANKS for this! Yours looks scrumptious!

You are already so far ahead into Christmas mode...I applaud you. I haven't done anything and just may not....too much going on here.
And I truly do not understand the lack of "Christmas Spirit" in the stores....I have never experienced this in the past so it is foreign to me to hear about this. Not being able to go to any stores, I don't know how things are here---But I find it very bizarre, I must say.

And, thanks for the Heads Up about more recemt pictures of the Museum..I hope your friend has some...THAT would be really fabulous.

Anonymous said...

Oh Lydia, this looks even better than the one you had with apricots when we had DD girls movie night at your house.

As I said in email, I intend to marinate the apricots in apricot brandy that I already have. The cranberries are such a festive color addition, too, but you know me, I'll leave off the nuts! What an awesome idea to do it encrust!

Now, hopefully I will be invited somewhere I can take an appetizer along!

Usually sales people have responded like wise to me when I've wished them a Merry Christmas. I think they are told not to unless the customer expresses it first. Well, can't say that's bad as I have lots of Jewish friends that only celebrate Hanukkah.