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Monday Musings: 12.19.2011Edition December 19, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in Musings, random stuff.

If you receive this blog in a reader or by email, please pay no attention to an unfinished, draft-looking entry you may have been notified of, then you can’t find it.  Wordpress has evidently changed the way it does things, and, rather than SCHEDULING this post, it just POSTED it.  Sorry for any confusion – I’m just as confused as you are!  And if you don’t receive this blog in a reader or by email, you should, really!  See what you’re missing out on?


Goodness, it’s been a crazy week around here!  Both of us working late, trying to get stuff done for the holidays, then, along comes Saturday, and it’s market day!  Although the cold weather brings a somewhat smaller selection at the public market, it also helps cut back on the crowds, which is definitely a good thing!

I was able to find some reasonably nice green beans, which will be perfect with Christmas dinner, as well as some “okay” fennel and some locally grown barley.  Didn’t really need barley, but I especially like to support this particular farmer. Plus – we can always use barley!



Part of Peeps and my Christmas gift to the family is to provide Christmas dinner.  Let’s face it, my mother’s not as young as she used to be (who among us is?), and it’s always nice for anyone to be able to relax and enjoy a nice dinner without all the work that’s involved!

With our schedules being what they are this year, we’re going to have to try to keep it fairly simple and to do as much prep work throughout this week as possible – neither of us has any extra time off until after the holiday, and Peeps works Saturday, as well.

So. . . if you don’t hear from us much this week, that’s part of why.

Christmas menu:

  • Prime rib au jus
  • Individual Yorkshire puddings
  • Death Potatoes
  • Roasted baby carrots with sage and walnuts
  • Fresh green beans with lemon vinaigrette
  • Mother’s going to make her “green” salad  (a molded Jello-cottage cheese-pineapple thing, and it’s always on the Christmas table)
  • Homemade dinner rolls – white and wheat
  • Angel food cake with lime curd and/or sour cherry sauce
  • Gingerbread with whipped cream

Fairly simple, but it should be loaded with great flavors and at least reasonably healthy (except the death potatoes).

I think I’m gonna have to call Nate the Tech again.  The other night, my computer randomly shut down and I got  the BSoD.

Nate did tell me that some of the memory’s not working and I need new (or more) BAM! RAM.

I think I’d rather have BAM!



I have always waited until the weekend before Christmas to put up my tree.  I just hate to see people rushing the season by decorating super-early.  We’ve been viewing a veritable carnival down the street since the week before Thanksgiving.

The problem (one of them) is that by that late, the pickings are pretty slim.

On top of that, in recent years, I’ve preferred a smaller, potted tree.  I like the idea of planting it out in the yard in the spring.  That, and I’m not sure I need a  big tree to get knocked down (or peed on) by the dog (or climbed by the cat).

So we chose only the most special of ornaments – The Boy’s birth date ornament, one that he’d made for me in Cub Scouts, a couple of handmade ornaments I made in years past, a couple of blown glass ornaments Peeps and I found on vacation one year, including his favorite flying pig.

Even though our tree is kind of Charlie-Brownish, I  like it.


Oh, and we got to The Jar’s training class a little early this weekend, and who did we run into but Leslie – the lady who runs a local rescue organization – the very same lady who is fostering Gretchen again.

Leslie was on her way to a home meeting – to hopefully find another truly forever home for The Gretch.

We wish them the best – I can’t think of a better gift this young couple could give themselves this Christmas than to adopt Princess Gretchen.



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  We’re trying to keep things as low-key as possible this week, since we’re also working on doing the Christmas dinner prep.

Monday – Last week’s roast was very good, if a little on the rare side for my taste. The good thing about that is that you can always cook it a little more!  Peeps is going to take the leftover meat, combine it with some potatoes, and we’ll do roast beef hash and poached eggs.  Yay for breakfast for dinner!

Meanwhile, we’ll be making lime curd for Christmas dinner.  I love lime curd – I hope there’s enough!

Tuesday – A while back, we picked up some shark (yes, shark!) fillets on sale.  I’ve never had shark, but Peeps has.  He says it’s like swordfish (only cheaper) and plans to pan-sear it in butter and olive oil with a bit of garlic.  The last of the baby spinach and some rice on the side, and it’s a meal.

Meanwhile, I’m going to attempt a cherry sauce – puree a quart of cherries, then cook them down with some sugar and a bit of brandy, just until it starts to thicken.  That will be a fantastic topping for angel food cake.

Wednesday – We have not had split pea soup in far too long!  The soup is done, so it’s a simple matter of heating and eating.  Gosh I love nights like that!

Of course, we’ll be trimming and blanching about 5 pounds of green beans, so maybe it’s a good thing dinner is so simple!  I want the beans to taste as fresh as possible by next Sunday, and I think the best way to do that is to blanch them.  I hope.

Thursday – A couple of weeks ago, The Boy left us a note.  On that note was a list of things he’d like for dinner, including tacos.  And beouf bourgignon.  It seems that we had a surplus of boneless short ribs in the freezer, so I thought it might be interesting to try this recipe with them.  We shall see – we spent the better part of Sunday braising the ribs, and they’ll get de-fatted and reheated Thursday, along with some sort of potato and vegetable.

And, in the meantime, we’ll be putting together the bread dough for the various dinner rolls.  That can sit in the fridge and “rise” slowly for a couple of days.  It’s all good.

Friday – Yay pizza night!  Not much more to be done there – Peeps will assemble pizza as he cooks it.

And he’ll season the roast with a combination of rosemary salt, garlic, and black pepper.  We’ll also peel and cut 5 pounds of potatoes – they can soak for a couple of days.  Saturday, I’ll bake the angel food cake, gingerbread, and mix up the vinaigrette for the beans.  It’s all good!

Did I miss anything?

Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.





1. Judy - December 19, 2011

I really had to hunt to find this as I got the “other” one and thought it was just your way of saying how busy you both were. So the real one is sure one I would not have wanted to miss. It does look all good! Thanks for taking the time and setting the scene for those of us who follow along. It is snowing like crazy here at this very moment. I don’t remember asking for a white Christmas so I guess I was out asked by others. Later and have a great week ahead.

Hey, Jude, I’m glad you found us! I guess I’m going to have to slow down a bit here pretty soon – I’m making myself NUTS trying to keep up! 😀 We’ve barely gotten any snow yet – a bit of a dusting here and there, and that’s it. NOT that I’m complaining! 😉

2. Pary Moppins - December 19, 2011

Your Christmas menu sounds amazing! I am definitely putting the Death Taters on my list of things to try vedy, vedy soon. We have the same green Jell-o salad down here in the South where there MUST be a Jell-o salad on the menu for big family meals. Always. Although sometimes we make a pretzel Jell-o salad or a Coke salad instead of the green salad. Have a very merry Christmas!

My mother offered to make the Jell-o salad in a different flavor this year, but honestly? I think the original is best – green jello, cottage cheese, and crushed pineapple. Otherwise it’s just not green salad. 😀

But . . . pretzel Jell-o salad? 😯 Do tell. . .

3. sjbraun - December 19, 2011

Before I forget – I made your pumpkin scones last week; totally de-lish! I love your little tree! It looks so … refreshingly simple. I love the idea of planting it outside later as well. So glad to get an update on Gretchen. I have actually wondered about her several times. Please tell us if you find out she does get a forever home! And your market is open year-round? How amazingly awesome! Merry Christmas!!

Susan, I’m so glad you enjoyed the scones – they really are a nice change from all the sweets during this season.

We planted our Christmas tree (a blue spruce) in the front yard a few years ago, and it seems to have become the neighborhood peeing tree – every dog that walks by the house (plus, of course, our own) feels the needs to stop and water it. 🙄

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