Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Prep - Dec. 11

I can't seem to post as regularly lately.  I had hopes on Dec. 1 of posting most everyday as we prepare for Christmas, but obviously that hasn't so much worked out.  But that doesn't mean we haven't been preparing for Christmas. 

When I last posted, G, my singing Silver Fox, was carefully selecting his top 3 or 4 treats to make this year.  We have made one of those - his peanut butter balls.  They are like a homemade Reese's peanut butter cup but with a bit of a jus' deb touch.  At the very end, I garnished them with a drizzle of white chocolate.  I began by a simple zig-zag drizzle, but then I got a little crazy and put an L on some of them.  See how pretty they turned out?
Why an L?  Well, that's a part of the story that I haven't told you yet.  L is for G's last name....which will be my last name in about 3 weeks.  If you are a relative stranger to me, you aren't even aware of my current last name, but that's ok.  My new one will start with an L. 

So, um, yes, there has been preparations of another kind going on, too.  We're not just preparing for this Christmas; we're also preparing for a wedding.  And I'm the bride.  I've told a few folks that I made a much better MOTB than B.  But I love this Mr. G guy, so I am the B.  More on that later.  For now we're back to Christmas.

We've made 2 of my 4.  The first was the peanut brittle.  G and I made it Friday night because the weather was clear and low humidity.  This was G's first experience with peanut brittle, but don't let that fool you.  He has some serious homemade candy experience.  Let me put it this way:  the man comes with his own candy thermometer.  How cool is that?  So when it comes to buttering the counter top, he does it like an old pro.  Or stirring the peanut brittle and pouring it up on that buttered surface - again like an old pro.  He even "got" the stretching and turning over part like he'd been doing it his whole life!  My mother would have been so proud! 
And since Saturday was also clear, we made toffee - a double batch of a compromise recipe - my old stand by but with a couple of additional touches.  We also poured it up a bitter thinner since that was what G was used to.  You should have seen us scoring and breaking the cooling toffee into rectangles ready to dip.  We were like a well-oiled machine.  We still have about half that needs to be dipped in chocolate, but here is a view of what we've done so far...

I want to tell you a couple of other things about my G.  He does lots of things around the house - like very well.  His efforts are really turning this house into our home.  He chose this poinsettia and has been teaching me about new leaves.  I love poinsettias, but I've never gotten one myself before, but I love how it looks in the living room.  We took 3 of the centerpiece bases from S & K's wedding to create the pyramid and then added a couple of Christmasy candle figurines, and voila!  We have Chrismas!

Here's a pic of the tree.  While I love the tree, what I really want you to notice is the newly painted walls in the background.  Yep, that's G's handiwork.  For the first time in my life, I have accent walls.  Can I keep him?
He has even helped to decorate the dining room.  Shopping with G is easy.  He cares about creating beauty in what will be our home.  How cool is that?  That doesn't even count his ideas about making improvements around here like adding hooks for us to hang pots and pans on.  Or adding cabinets.  Or organizing the garage and basement.  Again, can I keep him?
Anyway that's what we've been doing.  We both love Christmas, and G comes with Christmas music.  My home is suddenly full of music again.  And singing.  And spontaneous dancing.  It's wonderful.  This is the most romantic holiday season of my entire life. 

Can I keep him?

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Prep - Dec 1

I could have titled this "Christmas Prep with G," but then you'd probably think that I'm boy crazy or something jr. high and silly like that.  So I stopped it at Christmas Prep.  There, don't you feel better about how wise and level headed and non-boy crazy I am?

Pay no attention to the fact that G and I are sitting here at my dining room table together.  While I am blogging, thinking about how non-boy-crazy I am, he is looking at Christmas goodie recipes from his former lifetimes.  Pay no attention to the fact that we've already decided that we'll each choose our top 3 or 4 goodies to make this year.  Pay no attention to the fact that he helped my family put up the Christmas tree last week.  Please ignore that G asked to see my Christmas cookie cutters.  Or that he wondered how we decorated cookies that were cut from said cutters - as in, colored sugar or icing or sprinkles, etc.  (The answer is icing, by the way...outlined with a non-royal icing "flood" cause it tastes better and has a nicer texture than the royal icing flood, but more on that later this month...Oh, and his answer was icing, too, which I thought was a very good thing...)

Pay no attention to any of those things.  This blog is only about Christmas Prep.  Period.

Do you believe me yet?

Would you like to see a pic of G...of my "Silver Fox" as someone named him recently?  See how focused and serious he looks while he selects his top 3 or 4?  Proof that I'm not boy crazy, right?

I think he's now at his top 8...and he keeps smiling at me like "you really want me to choose only 3 - 4?"  I can tell that we may need to start this discussion MUCH earlier in the year from now on.

If I snapped a pic of him now, you'd see almost the classic Rodin's The Thinker statue.  This is serious stuff here.  Serious. 

Would you like to know my top 4?  Oh good, thank you for asking.  Mine were easy.
  1. Peanut brittle - my mother's classic that we make every year. 
  2. Toffee - the debate this year is whether we are using my recipe or G's.  I'll let you know who wins.
  3. Sugar cookies - mainly because I like the decorating.  They may or may not be eaten.
  4. Gingerbread - because they are my daughter, B's, non-favorite cookie.  They would be her favorite if she was pro-favorite, but since she is anti-favorite, then they are her non-favorite.  Make sense?
I'll try to keep posting about the Christmas Prep - especially the foodie type stuff.  And I'm sure that I won't say hardly anything about Christmas Prep with G.  Almost nothing.  Almost.  Almost like he's already not part of this post. 


Speaking of how forgotten he already is, his latest question was how many does my sugar cookie recipe make - as in, if he chooses something that makes less than X, can he add another item to his list? 

Good thing he's cute.  It helps to be the Silver Fox....and now he's singing...yes, ladies, I have a singing Silver Fox.  I have a feeling he is going to get away with choosing a few more than only 3 - 4....hmmmm..

But remember...I am NOT jr. high boy-crazy!

Merry Christmas!!!