Monday, January 02, 2006

Christmas 2005

The night before our Christmas festivities, we had a glorious takeout dinner from Kurama. That was a great way to kick off the holiday.

More important than any other significance of Christmas Eve was that it was the second anniversary of this blog. It was also time to set up the tree. As many of you will remember, my family sets up the tree and celebrates all on the same day. This year, AE joined us, which was fun and she helped a lot with hanging the ornaments. When the tree was lit and the Bach Christmas Oratorio was playing, I took a 3 minute movie with my Canon SD500. It worked very well, but some people might get sick while watching it, given my inexperience and apparent lack of concern for steadiness. I gave my parents a hard time about the tree's having a gap because we got it so close to Christmas and there wasn't much left to choose from, but it really doesn't show from most angles, or at least this one.

I got a nice selection of gifts this year, because my parents finally started getting things from my Amazon wishlist. That way I got lots of little things like CDs, chocolate covered lemon peel, an electric frying pan, a quesadilla maker and the Herbfarm Cookbook. The CDs were the complete works of Cat Stevens, 50th anniversary two album set of Jim Croce, the Clay Aiken Christmas Album and the Joan Baez album of Bob Dylan's songs. The lemon peel is not quite as good as chocolate covered orange peel, but it is excellent. I seem to eat it at about the same rate.

We had an eclectic dinner that night. It included shrimp with cocktail sauce, AE's shropshire blue cheese, whole wheat French bread, guacamole and corn chips. I may have left something out, because we had a lot of food on the table. Oh yes, we had spinach and gorgonzola salad from WholeFoods.

After my parents left for the night, AE and I watched a movie, the Young Visiters. Note, that is not a misspelling. It was a kind of odd British comedy that was a little sad in a way. One of the recognizable actors was Hugh Laurie, who played Wooster in Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster, Black Adder and is currently the star of House, which I haven't seen.

It was pretty obvious that I'm not used to having house guests. I had been talking to AE in the hall and then I started shutting off lights in the great room. Just a couple of minutes later, she popped her head around the corner and said something. I nearly jumped out of my skin. I got used to it after a couple of days, but it was pretty funny.

Christmas Day is just a day of recovery and food for my family. Dad and I made his crepe style pancakes. This time we put big chunks of fresh pineapple drizzled with semi-sweet chocolate in them. It was very good.

In the afternoon, AE and I watched the three original Wallace and Gromit movies and I made rolls. They didn't rise for some reason. I don't know if I added too much flour, killed the yeast or both. They ended up being delicious anyway. I also made a Constant Comment spice cake, which was on the back of the Constant Comment box. Basically, you cook five tea bags in a half cup of milk and add it to the rest of the cake batter. I used decaf, because I didn't want to worry about when I ate it. It's good, with a subtle spiced flavor, but it's not spectacular. We still haven't finished it, so I'll be surprised if I make it again. I'm tempted to make it with Red Zinger instead, but that could be very strange. I did think it was very pretty, as you can see.

Dinner was very good, because my mom made a turkey breast, dressing, gravy and asparagus.
The dressing was some of the best she's made in years. She had been concerned, because WholeFoods only had the whole wheat French bread, but it was perfect.

The next day, AE and I spent most of the day washing dishes. She did the drying and I did all the washing, which seemed ideal and very efficient. Then we watched new version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I wasn't sure how excited I was about seeing it again, but it was definitely a good movie. I really do like the scene with the squirrels. It was especially good, because I could see squirrels out of windows on either side while I was watching it.

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