Thursday, January 3, 2008

Goodbye, 2007!

This butternut squash puree was the first course of our Christmas Eve dinner. I peeled and chopped the squash and simmered in chicken stock to cover, until tender. Using slotted spoon, moved squash into Cuisinart, added one chopped, crisp, sweet, delicious apple and pulsed.

See how pretty? It glistens; it's not dull like those I have pureed in the blender. The food processor leaves the tiniest parts in the liquid, whereas the blender creates another thing altogether and obliterates the distinction between solid and liquid. Although I served other wonderful dishes that night, I believe this was the hit of the evening. I drizzled a tiny bit of pure maple syrup in the center and added chopped parsley. It was truly delicious.

The dried fruit compote is the same one I served for my gals at our Christmas party. Easy peasy; it is beautiful, stores well, and makes a great gift!

Christmas Eve was always the time we opened gifts when I was a child. Mom served a smorgasbord - a light supper - that night. She had sardines and anchovies, pickled watermelon rind, olives and gherkins and other "strange" things. Well, my children think of those things as strange. I never did, and liked most all of it. She served cold sliced ham with a variety of sliced cheeses; mustard and mayo and Durkee's Famous Sauce. She heated egg rolls from Wolferman's and we made sandwiches.

Was there dessert? I cannot recall. I do remember the grownups, especially when my Swedish grandparents visited, lingering, laughing, talking over their coffee. Then the dishwashing began and that seemed endless. But eventually, we three children were encouraged to run to the back bedroom and look out a west window, far up into the night sky. "Do you see red lights?" "Do you hear the jingle bells?" Of course we did! Soon, to the sounds of adults exclaiming, "He's been here! Come see!" we ran to the other end of the house to find the undertree space filled with gifts. Without a doubt, it was the night of all nights; we lived for it and looked forward to it all year long. If you had asked any of us what our favorite day of the year was, it was Christmas Eve.

I served ham this year, and we made sandwiches; I served scalloped potatoes and a lovely carrot souffle along with the fruit. Dessert was an apple pudding cake with cinnamon ice cream. Success! I was relieved when we abandoned the table for comfortable chairs in the livingroom, around the gift laden tree.

The next day, Christmas Day was my day of rest. That's when I knitted on the ball band burp colths; I am using Ty-Dy cotton and Rowan Handknit. These are fun to do! By the way, Lancelot was unconcerned with all the commotion; a warm radiator cover in a sunny window was just perfect!

Lurking in the back of my mind, all during the holiday preparation time, was the yellow baby blanket that begged to be completed. So finally I made the last push, and on January 1, 2008, I finished it! Hooray! Now I have a question for you. It is about 25"x28" and seems pretty small to me. If it were blocked, it would be much larger. Blocking would flatten the pattern, and give inches to length and width. What do you think?

This yellow blanket belongs to 2007. I am ready to knit on the family blanket again; that is the Log Cabin VI, with the Mission Falls Cotton. I will try to keep you posted on progress!

A fresh start is a good thing! I hope you will be kind to yourself and get a fresh start, too!