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» Wednesday, December 25, 2019Christmas After All
During the afternoon I made a short jaunt to Lidl to pick up milk and bread, including a loaf for Christmas dinner. Afternoon dinner was a bit of a disappointment. We usually have macaroni and "gravy" on Christmas Eve, and I made some sauce yesterday, but the boneless pork ribs I used were very lean and hard, and it seemed overcooked.
Something fun happened later in the day. A few days ago I was listening to a "Happier With Gretchen Rubin" podcast when she talked about something called a "chaffle," which is a waffle made with one egg and shredded cheese, the ultimate in low carb. I told James about it, and he was intrigued enough to order a small, one-waffle waffle iron from Amazon. It arrived and for supper he made "chaffles" with Swiss cheese and some with cheddar. I tried one of the Swiss. I really hate the taste of cooked eggs, so I poured on the maple syrup alà Addie Mills and found it bearable. Maybe I'll have some eggs once in a while via chaffles.
I had Christmas specials on all day and we watched The Homecoming at night. James got so busy with the chaffles that we never did go out and see Christmas lights, and it had to be an early night due to his teleworking next day.
I remember all those Christmas mornings I was up in the "wee smalls" because I just couldn't wait for Christmas morning! Since I couldn't get up my mom and dad early, I would gather up my stuffed animals instead and have Christmas with them (I would buy them new ribbons at Garr's Fabrics every year). But now I'm an adult, and the best gift is sleep! So James was at his post at seven, and I slept until after eight.
Spent the morning prepping and then the afternoon cooking up the green bean casserole and the baked maple butter carrots I was taking to the Butlers. We had lunch about one and then opened gifts. James gave me three books, a Babylon 5 guide I didn't have, the Rivers of London novella The Furthest Station, and Tip of the Iceberg, a man who travels around Alaska. He also found a new Uno game for me, Uno Flip. This has a second side of differently colored cards that you play when you get a "Flip" card in the regular deck.
I bought him a Jethro Tull performance DVD, a book on the sinking of the Bismarck, and one of the two new "1632" alternative history stories.
"The fids" also "bought" us seasons 4-6 of Perry Mason so now we have the entire series (which even CBS All Access doesn't!).
About three I gathered up the food and the gifts and drove to the Butlers' house for Christmas dinner. James would join us after he finished work.
It was a lovely dinner, but Ron and Lin always have a lovely Christmas for all of our "family by choice." Each of the dishes was made with love by someone. Charles cooked a 27-pound turkey. Alex made a roast and Clair a pot roast with delicious gravy. The Butlers bought a Honeybaked ham and Ron made his killer mashed potatoes and Lin made pies. Then there was a big relish tray, corn pudding, the French bread I brought, and biscuits, and challah bread, and our carrots and beans. The green beans came particularly well even though I never did anything like this before. James walked me through it: saute some onions, then I made a mix of cream of celery soup, chopped up fresh celery into it along with slivered almonds, and then layered the onions and the frozen beans, pouring the mixture on top of them, and sprinkling the top with French's french fried onion rings, baking until it was hot. Clair particularly liked it with with the cream of celery soup.
Then we talked awhile and had dessert, and talked more and did presents. I opened two and saved another two until James got there, which he did rather late. Almost everyone had left before he was able to arrive and eat some of the food I saved him, but mostly to talk with those who were left. Helped tidy up a bit and then left Ron and Lin to some post-Christmas peace and quiet. Luckily our usual Thursday-Saturday weekend was upon us and we could stay up a little while to digest our dinners.