It all goes so quickly this time of year. *Poof* - Christmas is over, New year's is breathing down our necks and pretty soon it will be MLB's Birthday, President's Day, Groundhog Day . . . and then I better get started Christmas shopping again.
Actually I did do some "Christmas shopping" yesterday, and plan to do a bit more over the next few days. I stopped at a Hallmark shop and picked up the large white card holder sleigh and reindeer that I had my eye on since the beginning of the season - now 50% off, of course. Plus some Christmas napkins and a gift bag. Now that we've decorated the house, I know what other things I'd like to have next year, so I'll stop at Lowes/Home Depot this afternoon and see what they are blowing out.
[Only 362 shopping days left!]
Gary was on call Saturday so I dropped him off in the morning and went home to clean and fuss and pet the cat. I also made dessert for Sunday night - when we were in Napa we ate at Auberge du Soleil and had the most amazing "Crisp Filo Chocolate Dumplings" for dessert. The Executive Chef was kind enough to share his recipe, with the caution, "The attached recipe is a bit large so, you may want to scale it back."
He wasn't kidding. I scaled it to 1/4 and that would still make about 65 of the dumplings. Even though I followed the instructions, they came out larger than the ones I had eaten, so if I cut the size in half, we would have had about 125 or so. Luckily, one of the steps is to freeze them, so we have about 30 frozen, plus half of the ganache filling to use some other time. It actually wasn't that difficult - just a bit time intensive - and now that I've run through it once, I have a better idea of what to expect. Gary really liked them, so I may just keep a batch in the freezer so that he can make a quick dessert when he's in the mood for chocolate. It only takes about five minutes to get them from frozen to melting in your mouth warm chocolate treats.
Christmas morning, Gary was covering for one of his partners who has four-year old twins at home, but he was done by 1:00. I talked to Mom early before they went up to Ron and Pam's for Christmas. I picked up Gary and we came home and opened stockings - although Suki had opened her stocking the day before - she received a ball with bell inside plus several corks. After she's done playing with them, they'll end up on the wine cellar wall. Santa-Mom gave - as always - wonderful stocking stuffers, including new socks. We opened presents - lots of books and games, a great leather covered box with bath soaps and salts, and a new slow-cooker. Gary got a bike repair stand, and he gave me a lovely Tiffany's silver bracelet. Suki enjoyed the bows.
Gary's Mom came for dinner on Sunday night. As it happened, it was the first time since the 1950's that Christmas and the first night of Hanukkah fell on the same day, so we lit both the Christmas tree and the menorah. We had a little spinach salad with goat cheese and balsamic fig dressing, a rib roast, potato latkes, and asparagus with a lemon beurre blanc. And the aforementioned chocolate dumplings, of course. His Mom brought presents: a terrific food basket for Gary, with all sorts of treats that we'll enjoy over New Year's, and a pair of black leather gloves and a beautiful scarf for me. She also brought me a tiny little leather wallet that she had gotten for me when she was in Tuscany earlier this year and forgot to give me earlier. We had all gone in together to get her a digital camera, so Gary helped her set it up. It was a very nice evening.
Gary was back on call on Monday, although I had the day off. I dropped him off and went home, intent of doing some organizing and cleaning. I glued another row of corks to the wine cellar wall, and cleaned Zim and Mr. Dwiky's tank, and then Gary called at 9:00 to say he was done doing rounds and was heading to the on-call apartment. I packed up a bunch of food and went over. We watched movies and snacked and read all day and it was very quiet. I called Mom to wish her a Happy Birthday. Dad and Ron were visiting Mur and Mom and Pam were relaxing and trying to coax Caesar the cat out from under the couch. I finished reading "Map of Bones" which was good, although it got a bit confusing towards the end, not helped by the fact that I was trying to finish it before going to sleep and it was nearly midnight before I went to bed.
[Slept well, though.]
Gary is on call again on Wednesday, but then has off until next Tuesday so after we see the kids for dinner on Thursday night, we'll head down to the shore and I'll commute on Friday and Monday. We hope to go to "Crabby's" for, well, crabs for dinner on Friday and then Gary will make lobster for New Year's dinner. A crustacean sort of weekend to welcome in 2006.
Quote du jour:
"It doesn't seem too unusual to have a live hermit crab here in Atlantic City, but when you think I brought it all the way from Texas, it's unusual."
Phyllis George (1949 - ____) US sportscaster
During her Miss America question period with Bert Parks, 1971
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