Wednesday, December 30, 2009
"You know that superstition, right?" I asked him.
Then I remembered...actually I've only know about that superstition for about a decade myself. Someone warned me that the amount of laundry left in your pile at end of the year will double in the coming one. I can't say if the superstition has any teeth, but I will tell you that I *haven't* been heeding the warning of the cautionary tale - and my laundry has, indeed, been out of control.
Over the past few months I have donated and downsized so much that it's just silly for me *not* to be caught up with my laundry. Not necessarily from a superstitious point of view. Rather, more like, "getting back from vacation and not finding dishes in the sink makes me smile" frame of mind.
How about you?
Food traditions? Cleaning? Gifting? Visiting? Bill paying?
Do you make greens on New year's day?
I hear there are folks that don't wash anything on that day - from laundry to dishes - respecting a tradition about health in the family.
What are your family traditions for New Year's eve or day?
Do you have any superstitions?
Did your Grandma have any superstitions that you remember?
I'd love to read your comment below.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Not 5 minutes after Christmas was over, the stores started to shelve the Valentine's stuff. Bleck!
Cheryl at A Pretty Cool Life has noticed a disturbing trend in blogland of ripping down the tree and Christmas decorations...almost as soon as the last present is torn open.
What in the world? Why aren't people taking a breather? For me, I'm relaxing. Chilling. Enjoying the quiet.
(And, the fact that there are no more presents to wrap and the scissors can finally go back in the drawer.)
Not only is our Christmas tree still up - but our Thankful Tree is still up, too. (We just decided to hang our Christmas hats on it.)
Through January, we plan to finish modge-podging our salt ornaments and maybe even create some new ones. Heck, I still have a second ornament wreath that I want to complete.
So, in our house, it's firmly Christmas. Yup. I'm enjoying the holiday - now that all the traveling is done! Later, when I finally decide to let Christmas go...it will still firmly be Winter.
How about you?
Is your tree down?
Are your Christmas Rubbermaid tubs already filled to the brim?
Have you headed to Hobby Lobby for Valentines crafts yet?
Or, are you taking it...slow?
Thursday, December 24, 2009
When I remembered a craft that I wanted to try. I saw this at Remodeling This Life where Emily said they were "easy peasy." She made pretty pumpkin colored frosted candles.
And, recently I saw that Karla at It's the Little Things That Make a House a Home did them, too.
And, she she agreed. Easy peasy. She made these pretty white ones.
So, I thought...I should try these, too. (Once I drive home, considering I was still standing next to my car at the Mobil station.) I stopped at the local Hobby Lobby - where candles are 50% off this week - LOVE THE LOB!
Let's play a game of "Which one of these is not like the other." The two pretty red ones are for a hostess gift for Christmas. (Shh, don't tell!) And, the tall purply one is for me. (Aw, I shouldn't have. *Smooch*)
Poof! It's done!
Well, THAT was fast.
Shall we back up?
Okay, you take your brush - I used a 1 inch crafting soft bristeled brush that we use for salt dough ornaments. You brush on Modge Podge. And, roll in Epsom Salts. Kinda like this...
Oooh, an "action" shot.
Sit back and admire your work.
This is soooo easy. The gals were right.
In 5 minutes, using a 50% off candle, I have a finished product that stores sell for $12.
Hope my hostess likes her 2 red ones.
Me? I already love my purply one.
(Sitting on my 50 cent Hobby Lobby charger.)
So, what color would YOU make? Show us YOURS!
Share your perma-links in the comments...
And show us your "5 Minute Frosted Candles." Linking Up to:
Monday, December 14, 2009
To see a more recent post - which includes the recipe - head here...
Pomegranate Granita Recipe!
One day, outta nowhere, the POM Wonderful company offered to send this little blog writer a case of pomegranate juice. I accepted. Soon after, a full case of 100% pomegranate juice arrived to my door. (And, it was packed nicely with freezer packs, since it's perishable.)
We drank some. Wow, that's tart - but good, I thought. Tim liked it straight. I thought perhaps I should use it in cooking. I'd like to report that I made a fabulous pomegranate reduction for pork. (I'd like to, but I can't. The holidays are rapidly approaching and there are oh so many things at the top of the list.)
Since I needed something fast, I tried the Alice Water's Chez Panisse POM Grantia recipe found on the POM Wonderful site.
I added some white wine that I just happened to have laying around.
And, some additional water, to offset the alcohol - so it would freeze.
My granita did improve with the addition of a hint of fresh lime juice, too.
It was very...very...nice.
And, I think the color and flavor is perfect for the Christmas season.
I have a flat Tupperware that I use for all of my granitas.
(Yep, I make a lot of them.)
Now, my sis asked whether I felt beholden to the POM Wonderful company to put in a positive word. Nope. I told her I would report the not-so-good stuff, too.
Like...the bottle caps.
Seriously- the bottles are adorable! But, I could NOT them open. Asked the boyfriend. He couldn't open them either. He literally got out the wrench - which worked great - thankyouverymuch! (Note to self: never hurts to keep a wrench in the junk drawer.) So, I really hope that either POM Wonderful decides to make an easy open cap - or that perhaps I just received a uniquely tough cap lot.
Now, I mentioned the cute little bottles. Well...
Wouldn't they make the most adorable little snowmen?
You crafty folks out there - you can see it, yes?
So, here's the scorecard:
Flavor - Tim and I both gave it thumbs up.
Health - Big ol' antioxidant. Read more here.
Flexibility - There are lots of recipes available - many at the
Easy open - Um, no.
Handy - Yes, the bottles are. While you might want to go old school and immerse a pomegranate in water and fish out the arils, then squeeze them - I'll simply use the juice available at most grocers.
To thanks once again to the POM Wonderful company for providing some tasty options for dinner and dessert. Oh, and crafting. Let's not forget those little snowmen.
Friday, December 11, 2009
It's worth doing again.
You give a gift. They receive it.
They give the offspring (or instruction) to their neighbor.
And, so on...
And, you can donate as little as $20.
You can see my post from last year or just head to Heifer International for more information. Go on...
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
We three...dorks, of Christmas cheer, bring you...
Our Christmas Pez Tree!
It was a blast to make.
Well, the laughing and eating of Pez was a blast.
The "Ouch, that's my finger under the hot wax" - not so much. ;)
Bobble-head... Santa... Yoda.
Tim's mom used to make a Starlight Mint tree.
My mom....would have liked to make a candy tree, but likely bright and shiny objects distracted her. So, Tim and I compromised. We walked the candy aisle in Tar-jay until we found something festive and wacky. Pez. Perfect.
Tim, the Middle-Schooler, and I - worked in pairs. It was many hours and lots of laughs. Tim wanted to make a "garland" in yellow Pez - hopefully you can see that in the pics. I thought it was a nice touch.
The rest of the tree is random.
Well, random meaning...we tried to make sure that no two of the same color are next to one another, nor above one another, and there all with the "P's" up and the "Z's" down...and, can I JUST TELL YOU that there are verrry few red Pez in each bag - oh, and there's one mistake, two oranges on there vertically, but we're not fixing it - because..."The great thing about a Pez tree is that there's no wrong way of doing it."
Least that's what Tim kept telling me, so I didn't get all flustered.
To mount Dear Santa Yoda, we took great expense in securing a golf pencil.
We set our tree on a holiday plate. (We're not sure if the Middle-Schooler noticed it was a cute little penguin,yet. Shh, don't tell him.) And, we put the extras out for folks to eat. Since
So, there you have it. 5 bags of Pez, many hot glue sticks, and a few truly fun hours later, we have our tree.
Have you made a candy tree?
Let us know below!
Friday, December 4, 2009
Step 1. Call over the nearest Middle Schooler. Grab Pillsbury biscuits from the fridge. (Any kind is fine. Okay, maybe garlic would be a bit gross.) Make holes in the center of them. If you want donut holes you could punch them out with a
Step 0.5 - Take your Cast Iron Camp Stove (dutch oven or other heavy pot) and fill it with a few inches of oil - being sure to stop a few inches from the top edge. (We always want to leave room so oil doesn't overflow, right?) Take your handy probe thermometer...
Me? I like this style but I only paid $20 at Bed Bad and Beyond for it. (I love it because you can set it for 350 and it the alarm will go off when the oil is ready. So, you can step back get the donuts ready. Just be sure that you lift the probe off the bottom for a few seconds to be sure you are getting an oil reading and not the bottom of the metal pot.)
There's Dad...Step 3...showing us how to lay the donuts in. You can use a spider like the one shown. Or, you can use your fingers, carefully, laying the front of the donut in the oil and laying the back down away from you.
If there are any platters - which there won't be if you are gentle and lay the donut down away from you - they will splatter away from you.
Step C. Don't over crowd the pot. 2 is our max here. And, actually, I think we did the rest 1 at a time. (Over crowding can cause sticking, it drops the temp of the oil so the donuts can become greasy, and overcrowding makes it difficult to remove them without splattering.)
It wasn't bad if there was only one donut.
But, with two, there just wasn't enough room.
(Later we switched to a large serving fork to gently pierce and flip 'em.)
(Our chef couldn't help drawing in it.
When we volunteer at church making pizzas,
he leaves us notes drawn in the flour, too.)
They were simple to make - and it was fun having all of us involved in the process.
(Did you notice that you can indeed use a glass top electric oven to heat a cast iron camp stove?)
Next time we might try making all donut holes.
Or, taking a pastry tip and filling them with homemade jam.
Or, maybe melting some chocolate bars...with a teaspoon of shortening in the microwave and dipping the donuts.
Or, dipping them in colored sprinkles for Christmas.
What would YOU do?
If you decide to try these, I'd LOVE to hear from you!