Saturday, November 30, 2013

Today in Pictures

The kids brought us breakfast in bed, complete with menu--how could you not like that menu?  Mama and I both had cheesecake!  Bud had Strawberry Shortcake.  Sis had cheese and crackers.
Bud joined Sis for free skate after her ice skating lesson.  It was a parenting golden moment to see her helping him learn how to skate and his trying so hard.
 

Thanksgiving Review

Thanksgiving is behind us, though not completely; there are still some leftovers hanging about--7 desserts is about five too many (my in-laws got a little carried away, though we all appreciated what they brought.)  But we already looking forward to the next holiday.

Yep, my birthday!

Oh, and that other December holiday.

But I want to take a few minutes to look back over Thanksgiving, specifically the meal, though not exclusively (see recipes here and here):

  • the brie was too strong and it's still not the ideal appetizer for this group--keep working on this (should've gone with the popcorn idea);
  • but the pecans were a great success--I liked the candied ones with the balsamic better than the glazed with the sour cream; the Mashuga Nuts that Mama brought were good, too;
  • deboning that turkey really is the fastest and, for us, best way to go;
  • extra gravy is required (1/2 cup oil + 1/2 cup flour + 8 cups stock);
  • we LOVED the sorta-homemade green bean casserole--the portabello mushrooms were so good;
  • there was too much vanilla in the sweet potato crunch casserole--cut that in half, add orange juice and cinnamon (we already added about a teaspoon)--it works well with both the crunch and the marshmallows--even Bud liked them;  and the real baked yams made it extra special;
  • dressing--more cornbread; McCormick's poultry seasoning is stronger than Penzey's; 
  • LIME JELLO SALAD!!!
  • rolls are really only good the day of;
  • extra horseradish in the NPR cranberry sauce--I added about an extra teaspoon or so, accidentally, and Mama loved it;
  • we all liked the apple butter pumpkin pie--the apple butter gave it a zesty tang;
  • and, finally, I think my favorite dish of the day was the whole stuffed and baked pumpkin with custard--it was subtle and delicious (Goo thought it needed more sugar).
  • We are always eat an hour, almost exactly, from when I thought we would, and that's ok.
It was a wonderful Thanksgiving, especially with all of Goo's help in the kitchen day of, and all of the kids' help leading up to the day.  We relaxed, played inside and out (in both places with new remote-control cars--this kept the kiddos out from under foot, except when the cars veered into the kitchen), and were thankful for family, health, and happiness.  What more could we possibly want?

Not the Advent of Advent

While Advent starts tomorrow--which always means our Advent sock calendar--I'm hardly ready, coming as it does so quickly upon Thanksgiving.  This year, I'll consult with the kids about some possible activities and also this list of giving ideas from 100 Days of Real Food.

But that's not to say we're not in the holiday spirit already.  Today, Mama and the kiddos set up our annual Lego winter village, along with this year's piece, the carousel.  It's a lovely little village and they were so excited to put it up.

Of course, we were also listening to Christmas carols while they did it.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Museum-Tree Trek

We made our now annual pilgrimage to the city to see the museum holiday trees--the creche at the Met and the origami tree at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH).  And we listened to our first spate of Christmas carols on the way, starting with the standard first one "All I Want for Christmas," then "Christians and Pagans," "Do You Hear What I Hear?", "Do They Know It's Christmas?", "As Long as It's Christmas," "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," "We Need a Little Christmas," "Baby, It's Cold Outside," and others.  

Besides those two trees, we had a few extra stops at the Met, mainly the gorgeous textile exhibition tracing the cultural exchanges via fabric in the early modern period, Interwoven Globe, that I had wanted to see.  Photographs don't do the skill justice--you can see the colors and patterns, but, until you're standing in front of the real thing, you can't appreciate the individual stitches or painting that goes into the creation of chintzes and damasks, silks and cottons, Indian and Chinese trade textiles.  Plus, there were several 18th-century gowns to ogle.  The kids wanted to see the Greco-Roman galleries, to look for mythological subjects,  and stumbled across an actual Percy Jackson scavenger hunt that we went on.  We found all the cards in the brochure and several others on our own, including this Artemis and the stag--the kids really know their myths!


On the way to the creche, we wondered through the Julia Margaret Cameron photography exhibition and the Silla/Golden Age of Korea show.  We spent some time at the creche talking about how long it would take to unpack and install it.


And then we went for lunch.

And headed to AMNH, which was a madhouse.  But the origami tree, themed on "Wicked, Wild, and Wonderful" alongside their poisons exhibition, was marvelous.  I liked the owls, seen here, and the Sherlock Holmes deerstalker cap.


They even had Macbeth's witches.  Clever as well as creative.


Of course, we visited the rabbit diorama in the Hall of North American Mammals and walked through the old Pacific Northwest Native Americans gallery half a dozen times.  

By then, we were ready for home and took our usual route up Broadway and the West Side Highway to head to Connecticut, with the most beautiful pastel sunset in our rearview mirrors.

And about 70+ Christmas trees on cars headed in the opposite direction!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Live Blogging: The Sun has Gone

...to bed and so must we....so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night.

Thanks for sharing the day with me.

Live Blogging: It's Hard to Eat All Day

Bud is taking a nap on my shoulder....

Live Blogging: Dessert is Done

One for each of us:  apple butter pumpkin pie, pecan pie, struffoli, cheesecake, chocolate cake, strawberry shortcake, and baked custard in a whole pumpkin.   Yum!!!!

Live Blogging: Kitchen Experiments

Goo was excited about my stuffed whole pumpkin and made it happen.  Thanks, cooking buddy!  We'll have to wait two hours or so for the results.

Live Blogging: Ready, Set...

Getting it on the table.

Live Blogging: Secret's in the Sauce

Just worked my gravy magic.  I give it an A- for color and flavor, B for thickness.  A good gravy.

Last dishes heating.  It's always a dance with one oven.

Live Blogging: Crunch Time

Now is the time it gets busy:  the turkey is almost done; we just combined the delicious green bean casserole and the sweet potato crunch (we added cinnamon); the dressing is ready for the oven, later everything else.

But, as usual, we'll be an hour or so "late."

Ma and Gong just gave us a Tai Chi demonstration.  And I dropped the pecan pie on the floor, our requisite mishap, but neither the pie nor dish were damaged.  Amazing.

Live Blogging: Turkey in the Pan

Our resident almost-osteopath is in the kitchen cracking the turkey, since we butterfly and de-backbone it a la Mark Bittman.  Next year when he's a doctor, he can send us a bill! 

Live Blogging: Good Morning!

Bud came into our room around 7 a.m., "Happy Thanksgiving!"  He was so excited; it was so touching.  But he managed to stay quiet until Sis and Goo roused a bit later . . . and they all played some Minecraft downstairs while Mama and I got a bit more sleep.

As I was broiling bacon cheese bites for breakfast, Ma and Gong arrived.  The party really begins!  They bought three whole cakes from Junior's in Brooklyn--cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, and chocolate cake!!--and also some remote-control cars for the kiddos.  It's always Christmas with grandparents.  As long as the kids don't chip the new paint on the baseboards . . . .

It's the relaxed time of the day before we really dive into meal prep.  Familial, joyful, peaceful.

And then there'll be cooking.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Live Blogging: Good Night!

Whew, settling into bed after a busy up-and-down day.  After our takeout pizza dinner (mmmm, Portuguese pizza with peppers, ham, onions, kalamata olives, and hard-boiled eggs!), we all watched the 50th anniversary Doctor Who (again, for us, for the first time for Goo.)  And we liked it just as much the second time (especially because I enjoyed spotting the Easter Eggs!)

While the kids headed to bed, Mama, Goo, and I headed to the kitchen to make dressing, the last of our preparatory tasks.  Then we sat around chatting until Goo fell asleep.  Poor fourth-year medical student, hardly gets any rest.  Mama and I stayed up even longer after he went to bed, as we talked about the day's events (mainly my aunt's injury and the conversations with my uncle and my parents.)

And now it's almost midnight and time to go to bed.  But at least there will be no alarm waking us up!

(One shout-out to Mama Teacher, who is not having the holiday she planned after her husband injured his leg this evening.  Please please please call us when you need something, even if it's just pie!)

Live Blogging: Dinner

Our traditional pre-Thanksgiving dinner: take-out pizza!!

Live Blogging: Gratitudes

I'm thankful for my beloved Aunt Sis, who we just learned has fallen, broken her hip (again), and is in the hospital, where she'll spend the holiday before moving to rehab.  Again.  She weighs only 88 lbs now (at nearly my height, 5' 7" ish) and is sleeping a lot.  I hope she is peaceful and comfortable.

And I'm thankful for Goo, who showed up after a full shift at the hospital (he's a third-year medical student) totally prepared to play with his niece and nephew.  They have played the piano for him, watched "What Does the Fox Say?", had a dance/gymnastics party, and made two pies--pecan and apple butter pumpkin--before settling into Minecraft now.  He is a blessing.


Live Blogging: The Beginning

While I would count the beginning of the festivities to an afternoon coffee visit with Mama Teacher when she picked up her rolls, the kids would probably say it was the end of school and now Goo's arrival.

Let the chaos commence!

Live Blogging: Thanksgiving Begins Soon

I suppose "live blogging" seems a little passe in the time of FB and Twitter, but I'm often a traditionalist (if that word can be applied to the internet), so I'll be live blogging Thanksgiving again this year.

And since the kids will be home in a little more than an hour, and Goo and Mama, separately, not long after that, Thanksgiving is upon us!  (And yes, after this morning's activities, I'm resting up with the latest "Supernatural" before the holiday marathon.)

Wishing you and your loved ones a bountiful and peaceful holiday!

Authenticity

When I woke up to an exceptionally dark house this morning, battered by wind and rain, all I could think of was "how am I going to prep for Thanksgiving without any power?"  That's a bit too authentic, even for me!  Luckily, the power was restored in an hour or so, much to the disappointment of the kids, who had to go off to their half-day of school.  So today, I am grateful for people who work on holidays and in bad weather for our health and safety--first responders, public works, and the power people.

We're well on our way to being ready over here.  Sis and I made four pie crusts last night (for two pies, one baked brie, and an extra, just in case.) I've glazed and candied pecans, made two cranberry sauces, defrosted cornbread for dressing, baked sweet potatoes for casserole, and frozen a big batch of dinner rolls.  All while listening to the radio and talking on the phone.  Whew!  If I can find room in the fridge, I'm going to make the Jello salad.

And I've found a new dish:  a whole stuffed and baked pumpkin, the original colonial version of our modern pumpkin pie!  I got the idea from my friend Miss Lori, who made two different stuffed pumpkins with her kiddos a few weeks back; hers were savory, but I wanted more of a sweet custard.  And so I found a recipe last night. 

And went to the store this morning and got the ingredients, already having the pumpkin.

So, we still get a bit of colonial authenticity even with our power back on.

-=-=-=-=-=-

Baked Whole Pumpkin, or Colonial Baked Whole Pumpkin “Pie”

1 pumpkin, 5 to 7 pounds
6 whole eggs
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons butter, in tiny cubes

Wash, dry and cut the lid off the pumpkin just as you would for a jack-o’-lantern. Remove the seeds and save for toasting later. (See recipe below.)

In a mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, whipping cream, brown sugar, molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger; fill the pumpkin with the custard mixture and dot with the butter. Cover with the pumpkin lid and place pumpkin in a baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the mixture has set like custard.

Serve from the pumpkin at your table, scraping some of the meat from the pumpkin with each serving.

Yield: 8 servings

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Due Date!

Today, the kiddos' first school project was due--"Can-A-Characters," sort of like a proto-book report/art project.  They had to dress up a coffee can (How old is this project?  Who buys cans of coffee?) like the main character in a book of realistic fiction.  That's right, none of the kids' current favorites (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and all those biographies.)  Then, inside the cans on slips of paper were descriptions of the character, behavior, lesson of the story, and how the kids were connected to the character.

Sis chose Ramona, from Ramona Forever.   The can is dressed like Ramona on the cover of the book.  I can't tell you what Sis wrote about Ramona as she wouldn't even let me glance in her direction as she wrote her sentences.
Ramona
Bud chose Opal from Because of Winn-Dixie, which I have never read.  He also added Winn-Dixie.  He liked that Opal was friendly and kind to animals, the way he takes care of our cats Albus and Hermione.

Opal and Winn-Dixie

As you can deduce from the pictures, I helped with the hair.  Mama helped affix some of the felt, but, otherwise, these were the kids' projects.  We made structural suggestions, when asked (especially with affixing Winn-Dixie's ping-pong ball head and pipe cleaner legs) but really tried not to take over.

I remember book reports, though I'm sure they were never quite this creative.  I chose Helen Keller for a biography book report once, starting a long-lasting interest in her, but it was just sentences written in pencil on notebook paper, perhaps with a "fancy" manilla paper cover.  I don't recall too many others.

But I think I'll remember these cans for a long time (and will probably keep them!)

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Party's Started

I have made the rolls!  Yep, my Big Batch Dinner Rolls, all 24 of them, are all ready to go and in the freezer until I a) give some to Mama Teacher (almost an annual tradition) and b). defrost them Wednesday night to cook Thursday.  As some of you may recall, last year's dinner rolls (and dinner, see lessons learned here) were a disaster when my bread machine decided to lose its metallic coating IN THE DOUGH.  Well, I have a new bread machine (still a handy little Oster, since the last one lasted almost a decade), and everything turned out just fine.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to make the pie crust to refrigerate overnight until pie-baking with Sis on Wednesday and also either the 7-Up Jello Salad (I had to; I've missed it) or the various cranberry sauces.  That leaves putting together the dressing (note to self:  defrost cubed bread on Tuesday night) and baking the sweet potatoes for Wednesday.  Oh, and maybe roasting the pecans.  Everything else--mulled cider, the baked brie, turkey, gravy, green bean casserole, and whipped cream--will wait til Thursday.

And that might look like this:

-2.5 (10:30 a.m.) Assemble brie, baked, and serve with crackers; mull cider and serve
-2.0 (11:00 a.m.)  Roast turkey
-1.5 (11:30 a.m.) Assemble sweet potato and green bean casseroles
- 1 (12:00 p.m.) Remove turkey; dressing and sweet potato casserole go in the oven (45 minutes each)
- .50 (12:30 p.m.) Green Bean Casserole into oven (15+ minutes); start on gravy
- .25 (12:45 p.m.) Dinner Rolls in oven (about 20 minutes); finish setting table
0.0 (1:00 p.m.) DINNER
+1 (2:00 p.m.)  Whip cream to serve with pies
+2 (3:00 p.m.) Somebody else does the dishes!

-=-=-=-=-

Miss K's Baked Brie
Roll out a boxed pie crust ( I use the Pillsbury pie crust found in the cold section near the orange juice - 2 in a box) with a little flour into a large circle. Spray the baking dish with Pam (or whatever) and put the pie crust in the dish. Place the large brie in the middle (I use the President brand), top with a layer of preserves (for the party I used apricot but I've used others like orange, etc.) then top with sliced almonds (if you use cranberry then walnuts are good). Fold up the pie crust around the brie, pinch closed and tear off extra crust. Put a light egg wash all over and then if desired, put another thin layer of preserves and nuts on top. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
K.K.

Trio of Pecans from Saveur's article "Southern Belle" by Wendell Brock
Glazed Pecans
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup sour cream
2 cups pecan halves, lightly toasted
¾ tsp. vanilla extract

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Whisk sugar and sour cream in a 4-qt. saucepan until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbling and thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pecan halves and vanilla extract until well coated. Spread on prepared baking sheet; let cool completely. Break into bite-size pieces before serving.


Spiced Pecans
  • 2 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp. granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ⅛ tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • ½ beaten egg white
Heat oven to 300°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Mix dark brown sugar, paprika, cayenne, salt, coriander, garlic, cumin, and allspice in a bowl. Mix pecan halves and egg white in a bowl until combined. Toss nuts with spice mixture to coat completely. Spread on prepared baking sheet; bake until browned and crisp, 25–30 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Candied Pecans
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. flake sea salt
Heat oven to 325°. Spread pecan halves on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 10 minutes; set aside. Boil brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until mixture is foamy and slightly thickened, 2–3 minutes. Add pecans and cook, stirring constantly, until well coated, about 3 minutes. Spread on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt; let cool completely. Break into bite-size pieces before serving.

Mark Bittman's 45-Minute Roast Turkey

1 8- to 12-pound turkey
10 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed, more to taste
1 branch fresh tarragon or thyme separated into sprigs, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or tarragon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put turkey on a stable cutting board breast side down and cut out backbone. Turn turkey over, and press on it to flatten. Put it, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Wings should partly cover breasts, and legs should protrude a bit.

Tuck garlic and tarragon under the bird and in the nooks of the wings and legs. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Roast for 20 minutes, undisturbed. Turkey should be browning. Remove from oven, baste with pan juices, and return to oven. Reduce heat to 400 degrees (if turkey browns too quickly, reduce temperature to 350 degrees).

Begin to check turkey's temperature about 15 minutes later (10 minutes if bird is on the small side). It is done when thigh meat registers 165 degrees on an instant-read meat thermometer. Check it in a couple of places.

Let turkey rest for a few minutes before carving, then serve with garlic cloves and pan juices.

YIELD10 servings



Gravy
Be patient and really let that roux brown!
Heat 3 tablespoons grease. Add 3 tablespoons of flour. Brown til copper-colored. Stir in 3 cups drippings. Add chicken bouillon and salt and pepper to taste.
 (Note:  for more gravy, use 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup flour, and 8 cups stock)

Mom


Dressing
It took awhile to get the moisture right, but now I know to double (at least) the stock with the dried bag stuffing.

½ cup margarine
½ cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 bag of stuffing
2 cups dry bread (or 2 more cups of Pepperidge Farms)
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon sage
1 cup chicken stock (double this amount!)

Saute onion and celery in margarine. In mixing bowl, crumble breads and add spices and onion/celery mix. Add chicken stock. Refrigerate over night. Bake at 350°F for 45 min.-1 hour.

Mom


Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish
Apparently, this recipe is a legend. Two years ago, for Thanksgiving 2001, I believe, my mom made it, having heard it on the radio and liking the horseradish idea. She told me about it and I thought Mama would be intrigued. So I looked it up on the internet—well, there are several sites about it—how awful it is, how it ruined a cook’s reputation and/or family relationship, how pink it is. Only a few letters and sites say it’s any good. Mama liked it but I don’t think anyone else did. This copy of the recipe is straight from http://www.npr.org/. Apparently, Susan Stamberg reads it every year and has only since learned that it was originally a New York Times recipe by Craig Claiborne in 1959.

2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed
1 small onion
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons horseradish from a jar ("red is a bit milder than white")

Grind the raw berries and onion together. ("I use an old-fashioned meat grinder," says Stamberg. "I'm sure there's a setting on the food processor that will give you a chunky grind -- not a puree.")
Add everything else and mix.
Put in a plastic container and freeze.
Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. ("It should still have some little icy slivers left.")
The relish will be thick, creamy, and shocking pink. ("OK, Pepto Bismol pink. It has a tangy taste that cuts through and perks up the turkey and gravy. It’s also good on next-day turkey sandwiches, and with roast beef.")
Makes 1-1/2 pints.

NPR radio


Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish
1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray(r) Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed and drained
1 unpeeled orange, cut into eighths and seeded
3/4-1 cup sugar
Place half the cranberries and half the orange slices in food processor container or food grinder. Process until mixture is evenly chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange slices. Stir in sugar. Store in refrigerator or freezer. Makes about 3 cups.

Oceanspray

Sweet Potato Casserole with Crunchy Topping
Potatoes
1 lb sweet potatoes or 29 oz. can, drained
3/4 cup milk
3 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Topping
6 tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
¾  cup crushed corn flakes


Beat together potatoes and next 5 ingredients.  Place in an ungreased 1 ½ quart baking dish.  Bake for 45 minutes or until edges leaves sides of pan.  Mix together all topping ingredients in a bowl until combined. Spread over baked dish.  Cook under broiler for 1 minute or until topping browns.

Gommie Hungry

Somewhat Homemade Green Bean Casserole
2 pounds green beans, trimmed, cut in half, and steamed (8 to 10 minutes or until tender),
6 tablespoons butter
8 ounces mushrooms, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
2 ½ cups milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
French's fried onions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook while stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.  Sprinkle in the flour and stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to let the flour burn. Stir in the salt and pepper.  Carefully whisk in the milk and soy sauce while scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a light boil. Whisk and cook until the sauce thickens to the consistency of a really thick soup, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Mix the sauce with the green beans and some fried onions in a casserole dish and toss to combine. Bake in the oven until bubbly, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with French's fried onions and bake until brown.

adapted from 100 Days of Real Food (they make their own onions)

Big-Batch Quick Dinner Rolls
1/2 cup lukewarm water 
2 cups warm milk ( 100 - 110°F)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons yeast, instant preferred
6 to 7 cups KA all-purpose flour

I put everything in my bread machine (using 5 cups of flour and then adding 1 1/2 more as needed).  I let it knead and then rise about 30+ minutes (i.e. not the whole cycle).  And then removed the dough, made a 12 x 8" rectangle, divided it into 4 rows with 6 rolls each, rolled them into balls, and placed them into greased aluminum pie tins. Allow to rise 10 minutes.  Then I covered them tightly and put them in the freezer.  I'll defrost overnight.  In the morning, I'll preheat to 350F and bake 20-25 minutes until golden.  Yum!

adapted from King Arthur Flour


7-Up Salad (my usual jello salad)
1-8 oz. (large) package lime jello
2 tablespoons hot water
12 oz can 7-Up
20 oz can drained pineapple
8 oz package cream cheese
1 cup pecans

Heat can of 7-Up. Take off heat and add Jello. Add the cream cheese that has softened in hot water or let sit at room temperature for awhile (you can microwave it for 1-2 minutes to soften). Add pineapple and pecans. Refrigerate.
Note: This looks beautiful in a jello mold. Just spray it with Pam and wipe with a paper towel before filling.


Church Pie Crust
Makes 2 crusts

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/3 + 1 tablespoon ice water

from Joy of Cooking


Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie
1 cup apple butter
1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine apple butter, pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in a bowl. Stir in eggs. Gradually add milk and mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake for about 40 minutes or until set.

Paula Deen

Pecan Pie
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo syrup (light or dark; I usually have light)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cup whole pecans
1-9 inch unbaked or frozen pie crust
Preheat oven to 350°F.  In large bowl, stir the first five ingredients until well blended.  Stir in pecans.  Pour into pie crust.  Bake 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between crust and center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.

 Karo syrup bottle

SPOILERS!

Okay, not really any details here, but I am going to talk a bit about the 50th anniversary "Doctor Who" episode, "Day of the Doctor."

As promised, we gathered together with snacks in time for the live pre-show (which was lame) and then the commercial-free 75-minute Guinness record-breaking, worldwide-simulcast show.

And we LOVED it!

I won't say much more--SPOILERS--can you hear River Song saying that?--except that it gave us hope and excitement for the upcoming series.

And our trip to London, with visits to the Tower of London and the National Gallery (both in the episode.)  Too bad we won't see the . . . SPOILERS!

Month of Gratitude: Other Parents

My gratitude for the weekend was for my Small Group Ministry (SGM) of parents of young children at our UU church.  This group meets monthly to discuss issues and ideas of concern and interest to parents, such as Newtown and also the spiritual lessons of parenting.  We also have monthly potlucks, more casual gatherings with the kiddos playing together.  I joined in January and we had a summer hiatus so I haven't been to many meetings, but the tight-knit group has been very welcoming.  We aren't even the only lesbian couple with twins!!  Go figure.  Though, we are the only family of color (but UU churches are pretty white, with a few multi-racial families.)  I'm not even the only vegetarian!!  So we fit right in.

And the food this weekend was great.

Chana Saag Aloo
A creamy savoury Indian dish using potatoes, spinach and chickpeas.
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1″ cubes
2 cups cooked chickpeas (one 19oz can)
1 large onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (398mL) coconut milk, or homemade (shockingly out of this, I had to substitute water during cooking and then stirred in some Greek yogurt for creaminess at end)
1 large bunch of fresh spinach, washed, dried, and chopped into thin strips (used frozen WF mixed greens)
1 large ripe tomato, chopped (used part of box of diced)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but adds nice body to the flavour)
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste
In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the chopped potatoes, onions, garlic, and all the spices, and saute until the onions are translucent.
Add the cooked chickpeas, nutritional yeast (if desired), and can of coconut milk. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Stir in the chopped spinach and tomatoes and cook until the spinach has wilted. Serve over a fragrant basmati or jasmin rice.
Makes enough for 4-6 people.

from VeganMania


Piggy Cookies
If you cover them as soon as they cool, they will remain soft and fluffy for a while, but as the days go by, they will harden and have the snap of a traditional cookie. If you want them to harden faster, don't cover them.

You can find pig-shaped cookie cutters online, or use any shape you like — but then, you need to change their name.

1 3/4 cups (10 ounces) firmly packed grated piloncillo or dark brown sugar

3/4 cup water

1 Ceylon cinnamon stick

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature, plus more for the cookie sheets

2 tablespoons honey

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature, plus

1 large egg, lightly beaten, for glaze

Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the piloncillo, water, and cinnamon and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the piloncillo has dissolved and the liquid thickens to a light syrup. Turn off the heat and remove the cinnamon stick.

Add the butter and honey and stir until they melt.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the piloncillo mixture. Mix with a rubber spatula until well combined. Add 2 of the eggs and stir until thoroughly mixed. The dough will be very sticky and gooey.

3. Place two long pieces of plastic wrap, one running horizontally and one vertically, in a medium bowl, letting the ends overhang the edges of the bowl. With a rubber spatula, scrape the dough onto the plastic wrap, then bring the edges of the wrap over the dough and secure tightly (leave the dough in the bowl). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.

4. Preheat the oven to 375°F, with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Butter two cookie sheets.

5. Sprinkle flour on a work surface and a rolling pin. Cut the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll out the dough about 1/4-inch thick. Using a 3-inch piggy cookie cutter, press straight down on the dough to cut out cookies, moving the cutter slightly on the work surface to make it easier to lift up the cookies. Gather the scraps into a ball and roll out again. Transfer the cookies to the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 1-inch apart. If the dough becomes too sticky, roll it into a ball, wrap it again in plastic wrap, and place it in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes before rolling again.

6. Gently brush the cookie tops with the remaining egg. Bake in batches for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and golden on top. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Sift confectioners' sugar on top of the cooled cookies, if desired.

on NPR
Excerpted from Pati's Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking by Pat Jinich. Copyright 2013 by Pat Jinich. Excerpted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mark it with a "T"

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for sharing; though between it and Christmas, perhaps too many of our charitable activities are scrunched up here in a 4+ week period, when organizations and the people whom they serve need help all year round.

Still, it's a good teachable moment and I'm grateful for the opportunities the kiddos have to serve, from making fringed fleece blankets for hospice patients to collecting bags of cookie-making supplies for the food pantry.    I give some thought to the projects they do, not wanting projects which in my mind reinforce notions of privilege, like upper middle-class children alighting on a soup kitchen for an hour or so to serve the "deserving poor."  This puts poverty on parade and makes service a spectacle, while also reinforcing "us" and "them," at least without some context and discussion of socio-economic privilege.  And since that can easily go over the head of a third grader, I find other projects perhaps work better.  But, I also don't want the project just to be money Mommy used to buy something, with the kiddo only carrying the cans of food to school.  Food drives are great, and we bought lots of cans of green beans and corn this year, but I want more than that.  

Like today, when our church's youth service team (now isn't that a great idea?) made more than a dozen pies for a local shelter.  Apple, pumpkin, and enticing apple butter pumpkin, all with from-scratch pie crusts!  The adult team advisors had it all down to a science--a table for making dough, a table for measuring out spices in little paper cups, a table for opening all the cans, a table for cracking eggs into waiting bowls, a Cuisinart table for mixing the custard fillings together. a table for filling the pies.  They even used the extra dough trimmings, slathered with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, for their snack, baking them in pinwheel shapes in muffin tins.  Yum!

Sis and Bud had a good time and were apparently pretty helpful--Bud can crack eggs like a pro and Sis can handle any baking task besides actually using the oven.  So I know who will be helping with our pumpkin and pecan pies this Thanksgiving!

-=-=-=-=-
Church Pie Crust
Makes 2 crusts

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/3 + 1 tablespoon ice water

from Joy of Cooking


Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie
1 cup apple butter
1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine apple butter, pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in a bowl. Stir in eggs. Gradually add milk and mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake for about 40 minutes or until set.

Paula Deen


Friday, November 22, 2013

Doctor Who Weekend

If you haven't heard, this weekend is the 50th anniversary of the television show "Doctor Who."  I introduced the kids to the recent reboot, after myself becoming enthralled with the show in the last year or so.  They've seen episodes from the 9th, 10th, and 11th Doctors and look forward to seeing the 12th--they even both recently chose actor David Tennant (#10) as the person they most wanted to have over for dinner, in the guise of the Doctor (good taste, I'd say--and they chose it independently of me and each other!)  They've also put visiting the Doctor Who show and seeing the T.A.R.D.I.S. at the top of their London list (along with Harry Potter studios and the London Eye.)  No doubt after tomorrow's episode, SPOILERS the Tower of London and National Gallery will join the list as well.

So, tonight we'll watch some episodes they haven't seen yet, probably rewatch some of the trailers of the anniversary episode, and tomorrow we'll be watching the live pre-show and then the episode at 2:50, simulcast around the world.

Gotta stock up on Jammie Dodgers.  (Only wish I'd had these to make cookies with.)

(But no fish sticks and custard.)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy Birthday, Cousin Hungry!

I hope you had a wonderful birthday!  It sounds like your party was fun.

Hope you got the package in the mail.

We'll call you this weekend.  We weren't ever together at home today and so didn't call.

We love you!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas Magic Comes Early

It's common this time of year to bemoan the early arrival of Christmas carols, particularly over store PA systems.  And while I will hum along, as I did today and last week at the craft store, I usually like to wait until after Thanksgiving to start the caroling.

But today was different.  Today, my hospice patient had me push a button on an angel someone had given her, eliciting a tinny tune.  But we sang along to "Silent Night" and kept going from there, together singing several of the Christmas classics.  Such peace and joy on her face as she sang along, possibly remembering 90+ years of celebrations and carols. She talked about caroling as a child and receiving apples, oranges, and a few walnuts in her stocking. And I was so happy to help her find those memories.  We laughed at the words we couldn't remember--I totally blanked on "O Little Town of Bethlehem"--but she actually did really well, all things considered, remembering words and having the breath to sing along.  She complimented my singing voice, after "O Holy Night."  We both said Johnny Mathis was one of our favorite Christmas crooners and I vowed to bring a copy of his CD next time.  We even branched off into showtunes at some point, singing a bit from Oklahoma and then Sound of Music, and discussed the dearth of Thanksgiving songs (beyond "We Gather Together" and "Super Turkey," which of course she did not know), but we came around back to Christmas carols before I left 1 1/2 hours later, promising to bring the lyrics with me next time.

So, for next time, after Thanksgiving, here are the words to some of the songs I hope we'll sing:

Angels We Have Heard On High
Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply,
Echoing their joyous strains.
Glo-ori-a
In excelsis de-o
Glo-ori-a
In excelsis de-o
Shepherds, why this Jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?
Glo-ori-a
In excelsis de-o
Glo-ori-a
In excelsis de-o
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ, the Lord,
The newborn King
Glo-ori-a
In excelsis de-o
Glo-ori-a
In excelsis de-o

Away in a Manger
Away in a manger,
No crib for His bed,
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head;
The stars in the heavens
Looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay.
The cattle are lowing,
The poor Baby wakes,
But little Lord Jesus,
No crying He makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus;
Look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle
Till morning is nigh.
Be near me, Lord Jesus;
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray!
Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven
To live with Thee there.

The Christmas Song
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yule-tide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.
Everybody knows a turkey
And some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.
They know that Santa’s on his way
He’s loaded lots of toys
And goodies on his sleigh
And every mother’s child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer
Really know how to fly.
And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said
Many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you.

Deck the Halls
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
’Tis the season to be jolly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Don we now our gay apparel
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.
Troll the ancient Yule-tide carol
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
See the blazing Yule before us.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Strike the harp and join the chorus.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Follow me in merry measure.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
While I tell of Yule-tide treasure.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Fast away the old year passes.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Hail the new year, lads and lasses
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Sing we joyous, all together.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Heedless of the wind and weather.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Do You Hear What I Hear?
Said the night wind to the little lamb,
Do you see what I see
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite
Said the little lamb to the
shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear
Ringing through the sky,
shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear
A song, a song, high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea
With a voice as big as the sea
Said the shepherd boy to the
mighty king,
Do you know what I know
In your palace warm, mighty king,
Do you know what I know
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold
Let us bring Him silver and gold
Let us bring Him silver and gold
Said the king to the people
everywhere,
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace, people everywhere!
Listen to what I say
The Child, the Child, sleeping in
the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light
“From home to home, and heart
to heart, from one place to
another. The warmth and joy of
Christmas, brings us closer to
each other.”

The First Noel
The first Noel the angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds
In fields as they lay,
In fields where they lay
Keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night
That was so deep.
Noel Noel Noel Noel!
Born is the King of Israel!
They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel Noel Noel Noel!
Born is the King of Israel!
And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from country far,
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star
Wherever it went.
Noel Noel Noel Noel!
Born is the King of Israel!

The Friendly Beasts
Jesus our brother kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable rude.
And the friendly beasts around him stood
Jesus our brother, kind and good.
"I," said the donkey, all shaggy and brown,
"I carried his mother up hill and down
I carried his mother to Bethlehem town."
"I," said the donkey, all shaggy and brown.
"I," said the cow, all white and red
"I gave him my manger for his bed
I gave him my hay to pillow his head."
"I," said the cow, all white and red
"I," said the sheep, with curly horn,
"I gave him my wool for a blanket warm
He wore my coat on Christmas morn."
"I," said the sheep, with curly horn.
"I," said the dove, from the rafters high
"I cooed him to sleep so he would not cry
We cooed him to sleep, my love and I
"I," said the dove, from the rafters high.
Thus every beast, by some good spell
In the stable rude was glad to tell
Of the gift he gave Emmanuel
The gift he gave Emmanuel
The gift he gave Emmanuel

Frosty the Snowman
Frosty the snowman was a jolly
happy soul,
With a corncob pipe and a button nose
And two eyes made out of coal.
Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale,
they say,
He was made of snow but the children
Know how he came to life one day.
There must have been some magic
in that old silk hat they found.
For when they placed it on his head
He began to dance around.
O, Frosty the snowman
Was alive as he could be,
And the children say he could laugh
And play just the same as you and me.
Thumpety thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Look at Frosty go.
Thumpety thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Over the hills of snow.
Frosty the snowman knew
The sun was hot that day,
So he said, “Let’s run and
We’ll have some fun
Now before I melt away.”
Down to the village,
With a broomstick in his hand,
Running here and there all
Around the square saying,
Catch me if you can.
He led them down the streets of town
Right to the traffic cop.
And he only paused a moment when
He heard him holler “Stop!”
For Frosty the snow man
Had to hurry on his way,
But he waved goodbye saying,
“Don’t you cry,
I’ll be back again some day.”
Thumpety thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Look at Frosty go.
Thumpety thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Over the hills of snow.

God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay;
Remember Christ, our Saviour,
Was born on Christmas day,
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.
In Bethlehem, in Jewry,
This blessed Babe was born,
And laid within a manger,
Upon this blessed morn;
That which His Mother Mary,
Did nothing take in scorn.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.
From God our Heavenly Father,
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.


Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the Virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell;
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Risen with healing in his wings,
Light and life to all he brings,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Hail, the heaven-born Prince
of Peace!
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace
Hail the Son of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lay His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Have yourself a merry little
Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
Our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
Our troubles will be miles away.
Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.
Through the years we all will
be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the
highest bough.
And have yourself a merry little
Christmas now.
“Perhaps the best Yuletide
decoration is being
wreathed in smiles.”

The Holly & The Ivy
The holly and the ivy
When they are full grown,
Of all the trees in the wood
The holly bears the crown.
The rising of the sun
The running of the deer,
The playing of the organ
Sweet singing in the choir.
The holly wears a blossom
As white as any flower,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our Saviour.
The rising of the sun,
The running of the deer,
The playing of the organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.
The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do sinners good.
The rising of the sun,
The running of the deer,
The playing of the organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.
The holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas Day in the morn.
The rising of the sun,
The running of the deer,
The playing of the organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.
The holly bears a bark
As bitter as any gall,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
To redeem us all.
The rising of the sun,
The running of the deer,
The playing of the organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.
The holly and the ivy,
When they are full grown,
Of all the trees in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.
The rising of the sun,
The running of the deer,
The playing of the organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

Holly Jolly Christmas
Have a holly, jolly Christmas;
It’s the best time of the year
don’t know if there’ll be snow,
But have a cup of cheer.
Have a holly, jolly Christmas;
And when you walk down the street
Say Hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet.
Oh, ho, the mistletoe
Hung where you can see;
Somebody waits for you;
Kiss her once for me.
Have a holly jolly Christmas,
And in case you didn’t hear,
Oh by golly, have a holly,

Jolly Christmas this year.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas
I’ll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents under the tree
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I’ll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams.

I Saw Three Ships
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day in the morning.
And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day?
And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas Day in the morning?
The Virgin Mary and Christ were there,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
The Virgin Mary and Christ were there,
On Christmas Day in the morning.
Pray, wither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
Pray, wither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas Day in the morning?
O they sailed into Bethlehem,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
O they sailed into Bethlehem,
On Christmas Day in the morning.
And all the bells on earth shall ring,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
And all the bells on earth shall ring,
On Christmas Day in the morning.
And all the Angels in Heaven shall sing,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
And all the Angels in Heaven shall sing,
On Christmas Day in the morning.
And all the souls on earth shall sing,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
And all the souls on earth shall sing,
On Christmas Day in the morning.
Then let us all rejoice again,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
Then let us all rejoice again,
On Christmas Day in the morning.

It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
With news of joy foretold,
“Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heaven’s all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they
come,
Love’s banner all unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
Over all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains
Old echoes plaintive ring,
And ever over its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas
It’s beginning to look a lot like
Christmas
Ev’rywhere you go
Take a look in the five-and-ten,
Glistening once again
With candy canes and silver
lanes aglow.
It’s beginning to look a lot
like Christmas
Toys in ev’ry store
But the prettiest sight to see
Is the holly that will be
On your own front door.
pair of hopalong boots and a
pistol that shoots
Is the wish of Barney and Ben
Dolls that will talk and will go for
a walk
Is the hope of Janice and Jen
And mom and dad can hardly wait
for school to start again.
It’s beginning to look a lot like
Christmas
Ev’rywhere you go
There’s a tree in the Grand Hotel,
On ein the park as well
The sturdy kind that doesn’t
mind the snow.
It’s beginning to look a lot like
Christmas
Soon the bells will start
And the thing that will make
them ring
Is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
With the kids jingle belling,
And everyone telling you,
“Be of good cheer,”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
There’ll be parties for hosting,
Marshmallows for toasting and
Caroling out in the snow.
There’ll be scary ghost stories and
Tales of the glories of Christmases
Long, long ago.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
There’ll be much mistletoeing
And hearts will be glowing,
When loved ones are near.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Good King Wenceslas
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel
"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."
"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather
"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."
In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

Jingle Bells
Dashing through the snow
On a one-horse open sleigh,
Over the fields we go,
Laughing all the way;
Bells on bob-tail ring,
Making spirits bright,
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh
day or two ago,
I thought I’d take a ride,
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side;
The horse was lean and lank;
Misfortune seemed his lot;
He got into a drifted bank,
And we, we got upsot.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle all the way!
What fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

Joy to the World
Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and
nature sing.
Joy to the earth! the Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
while fields and floods,
rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessing flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth
and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of His righteousness,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders, wonders of His love.
“For somehow, not only at
Christmas, but all the long year
through, the joy that you
give to others is the joy
that comes back to you.”

Let It Snow!
Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
It doesn’t show signs of stopping,
And I brought some corn for popping;
The lights are turned way down low,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
When we finally say good night,
How I’ll hate going out in the storm;
But if you really hold me tight,
All the way home I’ll be warm.
The fire is slowly dying,
And, my dear, we’re still good-bye-ing,
But as long as you love me so.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Little Drummer Boy
Come they told me
Pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see,
Pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King
Pa rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum
So to honor Him
Pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.
Little Baby
Pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too,
Pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give our King
Pa rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum
Shall I play for you!
Pa rum pum pum
On my drum.
Mary nodded
Pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him
Pa rum pum pum
I played my best for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum
Then He smiled at me
Pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

O Come, All Ye Faithful
come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye,
O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him
Born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.
Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens
Of heaven above;
Glory to God,
Glory in the highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.
Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
Jesus, to Thee be
All glory given;
Son of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.

O Holy Night
holy night,
The stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of
Our dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world
In sin and error pining,
Till He appeared
And the soul felt its worth.
thrill of hope,
The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks
A new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees,
O hear the angel voices!
O night divine,
O night when Christ was born!
O night divine, O night,
O night divine!

O Little Town Of Bethlehem
little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie.
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
For Christ is born of Mary,
And, gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth.
And praises sing to God the King.
And peace to men on earth.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
You know Dasher and Dancer
And Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid
And Donner and Blitzen.
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all?
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
(reindeer)
Had a very shiny nose
(like a light bulb)
And if you ever saw it
(saw it)
You would even say it glows
(like a flash light)
All of the other reindeer
(reindeer)
Used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph
(Rudolph)
Play in any reindeer games
(like Monopoly)
Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say
(Ho Ho Ho)
Rudolph with your nose so bright
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?
Then all the reindeer loved him
(loved him)
And they shouted out with glee
(yippee)
“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
(reindeer)
You’ll go down in history!”
(like Columbus)

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He’s making a list,
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town
He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!
O! You better watch out!
You better not cry.
Better not pout, I’m telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
Santa Claus is coming to town.

Silent Night
Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heaven afar;
Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!
Christ the Saviour is born!
Christ the Saviour is born!
Silent night, holy night!
Wondrous star, lend thy light!
With the angels let us sing
Alleluia to our King!
Christ the Saviour is here,
Jesus the Saviour is here!
Silent night, Holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord at thy birth;
Jesus Lord at thy birth.

Silver Bells
City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style.
In the air there’s
A feeling of Christmas.
Children laughing, people passing,
Meeting smile after smile,
And on every street corner you’ll hear:
Silver bells, silver bells,
It’s Christmas time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Soon it will be Christmas day.
City street lights,
Even stop lights,
Blink a bright red and green,
As the shoppers rush home
With their treasures.
Hear the snow crunch,
See the kids bunch,
This is Santa’s big scene,
And above all this bustle you’ll hear:
Silver bells, silver bells,
It’s Christmas time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Soon it will be Christmas day.
“Christmas is the day that holds
all time together.”

Sleigh Ride
Just hear those sleigh bells jingling,
Ring ting tingling too
Come on, it’s lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you,
Outside the snow is falling
And friends are calling “Yoo hoo,”
Come on, it’s lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you.
Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up,
Let’s go, Let’s look at the show,
We’re riding in a wonderland of snow.
Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up,
It’s grand, Just holding your hand,
We’re gliding along with a song
Of a wintry fairy land.
Our cheeks are nice and rosy
And comfy cozy are we
We’re snuggled up together
Like two birds of a feather would be
Let’s take that road before us
And sing a chorus or two
Come on, it’s lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you.
There’s a birthday party
At the home of Farmer Gray
It’ll be the perfect ending of a
perfect day
We’ll be singing the songs
We love to sing without a single stop,
At the fireplace while we watch
The chestnuts pop. Pop! pop! pop!
There’s a happy feeling
Nothing in the world can buy,
When they pass around the chocolate
And the pumpkin pie
It’ll nearly be like a picture print
By Currier and Ives
These wonderful things are the things
We remember all through our lives!
Just hear those sleigh bells jingling,
Ring ting tingling too
Come on, it’s lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you,
Outside the snow is falling
And friends are calling “Yoo hoo,”
Come on, it’s lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you.

Up On The Housetop
Up on the housetop
Reindeer pause,
Out jumps good old Santa Claus.
Down thru’ the chimney
With lots of toys,
All for the little ones,
Christmas joys.
Ho, ho, ho!
Who wouldn’t go!
Ho, ho, ho!
Who wouldn’t go!
Up on the housetop,
Click, click, click,
Down thru’ the chimney
With good Saint Nick.
First comes the stocking
Of little Nell,
Oh, dear Santa
Fill it well;
Give her a dolly
That laughs and cries
One that will open
And shut her eyes.
Ho, ho, ho!
Who wouldn’t go!
Ho, ho, ho!
Who wouldn’t go!
Up on the housetop,
Click, click, click,
Down thru’ the chimney
With good Saint Nick.
Next comes the stocking
Of little Will,
Oh just see
What a glorious fill
Here is a hammer
And lots of tacks,
Also a ball
And a whip that cracks.
Ho, ho, ho!
Who wouldn’t go!
Ho, ho, ho!
Who wouldn’t go!
Up on the housetop,
Click, click, click,
Down thru’ the chimney
With good Saint Nick.
“It was always said of him, that he
knew how to keep Christmas
well, if any man alive
possessed the knowledge.
May that be truly said of us, and all
of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed,
God Bless Us, Every One!”

We Three Kings Of Orient Are
We three kings of orient are,
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain,
Moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.
star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.
Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King for ever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign.
star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.
Frankincense to offer have I,
Incense owns a Deity nigh
Prayer and praising, all men raising,
Worship Him, God most high.
star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

We Wish You A Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year.
Good tidings we bring
To you and your kin;
Good tidings for Christmas
And a happy New Year!
We want some figgy pudding
We want some figgy pudding
We want some figgy pudding
Please bring it right here!
Good tidings we bring
To you and your kin;
Good tidings for Christmas
And a happy New Year!
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
So bring it out here!
Good tidings we bring
To you and your kin;
Good tidings for Christmas
And a happy New Year!

What Child Is This?
What Child is this, who laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here,
The silent Word is pleading.
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Nails, spear, shall pierce Him through,
The Cross be borne, for me, for you:
Hail, hail, the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

White Christmas
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.

Winter Wonderland
Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight,
We’re happy tonight,
Walking in a winter wonderland.
Gone away is the bluebird,
Here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song,
As we go along,
Walking in a winter wonderland.
In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown
He’ll say: Are you married?
We’ll say: No man,
But you can do the job
When you’re in town.
Later on, we’ll conspire,
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid,
The plans that we’ve made,
Walking in a winter wonderland.
In the meadow we can build a snowman,
And pretend that he’s a circus clown
We’ll have lots of fun with mister snowman,
Until the other kids knock him down.
When it snows, ain’t it thrilling,
Though your nose gets a chilling
We’ll frolic and play, the Eskimo way,
Walking in a winter wonderland.
Walking in a winter wonderland,
Walking in a winter wonderland.