Sunday, December 24, 2006

quote of the day

I hear that in many places something has happened to Christmas; that it is changing from a time of merriment and carefree gaiety to a holiday which is filled with tedium; that many people dread the day and the obligation to give Christmas presents is a nightmare to weary, bored souls; that the children of enlightened parents no longer believe in Santa Claus; that all in all, the effort to be happy and have pleasure makes many honest hearts grow dark with despair instead of beaming with good will and cheerfulness.
~Julia Peterkin, A Plantation Christmas, 1934

Friday, December 22, 2006

christmas candy

I've been making candy. Yesterday I made my world famous fudge. Now, I need to give you a little history about this candy. My Mom would make fudge every Christmas. It was usually hard and grainy but I loved it and had no idea that fudge could come in any other texture. When my oldest sister grew up, married, and had a place of her own she began to make her own fudge. I sampled it one day and it was soft and smooth. I asked her what was wrong with her fudge, didn't she go by Mom's recipe? No, she said, this is the way fudge is supposed to be made. I was shocked. I was disillusioned. How could this be? So when I grew up I started making fudge the way I always loved it as a kid. I cook it and cook it and beat it and beat it and scrape it onto a baking sheet just in time to prevent the wooden spoon from becoming encased in the fudge like a fence post in concrete. Very few people will eat it so I get all the hard fudge I want every Christmas.

Today I made peanut brittle. There is a science to it. When the batch reaches 300 degrees or hard crack, as they say in the candy making vernacular, it's necessary to remove it from heat, add the vanilla/soda mixture and stir like crazy, then pour it out on cookie sheets to cool. If you go past 300 degrees it will burn. On the first batch I hesitated for just a nanosecond after reaching hard crack and discovered a new type of peanut brittle. I think I'll call it Premium Dark Brittle. It's not burned, it's just well done. It tastes good to me. I offered some to my daughter Kelly but she passed. I'll see if Dorothy will try it when she gets home. If I can market this and it catches on it may turn out to be the ship coming in that I've waited for for so long.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

quote of the day

Life comes from physical survival, but the good life comes from what we care about.
--Rollo May

birthday party

Hunter's birthday cake.
Hunter blows out the four candles on his cake.

Friday, December 15, 2006

quote of the day

There is an important difference between love and friendship. While the former delights in extremes and opposites, the latter demands equality.
--Francoise d’Aubigne Maintenon

feeding jenna

I'm baby sitting Hunter and Jenna today. When lunch time came it was easy to take care of Hunter. Just make him some pancakes and he's good to go. Now that Jenna is eight months old it takes a little ingenuity to get her fed. Here's how I accomplished it: I put her in her high chair and things went fine for the first ten spoonfuls, her mouth opening like a baby bird's whenever the full spoon of lasagna approached. But the edge was soon gone from her hunger and she looked around for something to play with. She rippped a few leaves from Dorothy's house plant, so I scooted the high chair further away. To get her back to the business of eating I used the time proven method of pretending the spoon is an airplane and her mouth the hanger, and it worked for a second. She turned around and stood up in the chair trying to reach for the plant. I believe for every problem there is a solution, so I removed her from the high chair and set her on my lap and continued to feed her lunch. She pulled a cup of coffee off the table and into my lap. (Fortunately the coffee wasn't hot and our Cocker Spaniel, Lizzie, licked it up off the floor so there's no mess to clean up) I put her back into the chair and tried to feed her more. She had finished half the jar so I called Kelly to see if that was enough. I had to end the phone conversation when Jenna got herself caught in the high chair. She had one foot caught between the slats at the back of the chair and the other between the slats at the side of the chair. It was like solving a puzzle getting her extricated. Then it was time for her formula.

I mixed her formula and sat in the recliner feeding her. She held the bottle with one hand while she pulled my beard, squeezed my nose, and pulled my glasses off with the other hand. I noticed then that both Jenna and I had considerable amounts of lasagna on us. I hope I didn't get any on grandma's chair. Dorothy will be home from work soon and we'll be taking the little ragamuffins home. I think I'll stop by the optometrist's office and see if he can bend my eyeglass frames back into their original shape.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

quote of the day

Courage is as often the outcome of despair as hope; in the one case we have nothing to lose, in the other, all to gain.
--Diane De Poitiers

hunter's birthday

I haven't posted to the blog in two weeks. That's a record for me. Since Dorothy started a full time job I've been doing all the cooking, cleaning, etc. A house husband's work is never done. Woe is me. Well, that's my whine for the day.
We've had three birthday dinners for the grandkids in recent weeks and I haven't posted one photo. I'll try to get to that soon. Hunter's dinner is this weekend and he's requesting hot dogs. He also wants a cake with a dinosaur on it, so I had his mom take a picture of him and I combined that with a picture of a dinosaur for the photo below. Tomorrow I'll take it and get an edible image made and Dorothy will put it on the cake.

Friday, December 01, 2006

let it snow!

Our cheeks are rosy and comfy cozy are we
We're snuggled up together like three birds of a feather would be.