Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

I hope your day was wonderful, full of the spirit, family, friends and whatever you love. My day was nice and perfectly suited to me. I cooked a full turkey dinner with all the usual accrutremonts, served   two plates with dessert and champagne on the side and it was lovely.

The high point of my Christmas gifts was my Christmas Eve Box. Remember, I mentioned it before? I also made a box for the spouse. Here they are:

For the spouse I included things he likes at the moment which was not an easy task. I had to think small . . .

First is a sleep shirt in lieu of pajamas. He likes PJ tops. The long pants bottoms not so much. Thus, the sleep shirt. Longer than a PJ top and maintains some modesty. 
Then a one year subscription to Esquire magazine.

Next: Okay, if you must, chewing gum in three throwback iconic flavors. And diet soda for the non-coffee/tea/hot chocolate drinker.
And then the fun stuff: two decks of cards--one Pinochle, one standard.

And underneath, the Cheez-Its he's currently addicted to.
On the bottom is an electronic game called FlashPad.
Fun on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

My Box

The dark red pajama top has coordinating dotted pants.
Tucked in the neck is my current favorite CD and the DVD. It's Andrea Bocelli's concert in Portofino, Italy. Love it!

  There are hot chocolate K-cups for the Keurig coffee maker: Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate and just in case, one for Chai Tea. And microwave popcorn to eat while watching a movie. There's my Roku streaming device remote control in the box. I watched Love Actually. And the new knitting project making the final cut is . . . . . . Turkish Bed Socks! The yarn is Koigu, a favorite of mine for knitting socks. I kept you in suspense, but I'm sure some guessed it would be the socks instead of a hat. After all, my other blog is The Sock Lady

One small confession: The things for my Christmas Eve Box continued to increase after the lid was closed. I also got the electronic game FlashPad. 

And a new cookbook.

Christmas Day is over. I am H O M E bathed in the ambience of candlelight and having a final reflection on the day. And remembering a Christmas Day past . . .

Bona Fide Knitter

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Snow, Snow, Snow, NO!

Hey everybody! It has snowed here three times in a week! Is this an indication of the winter we are going to have? Is Mother Nature out for vindication after not mustering up any snow last winter?

I didn't think of taking pictures of the winter wonderland until a day after the last snow/ice storm.

View of backyard
with a little electronic enhancement

without enhancement

Right outside my front door I found some interesting footprints. What are they?

At first I thought the mailman had taken a tumble and those were his handprints.

On closer inspection they are definitely animal prints. And they are neither dog nor cat prints. I'm glad I didn't walk out and frighten whatever it was. I would have been the frightened one!

During this transitional season I've spent some time knitting Beach Socks 2013. At the rate I'm going, I might get them done before it's time to start Beach Socks 2014. I've spent more time making donuts and most of the time missing my Bichon babies. Oh gee, don't get me started on that.

I want to bake, but I don't want to eat the carbs or calories of baked goods. What to do? Don't bake! But I couldn't resist making my favorite apple cake. Actually it's my only apple cake. It's the only one I make. I adore it!

I've always loved a well made Jewish apple cake. I tried many recipes, but none measured up to slices I used to get from a cafeteria downtown, The Colonnade, no longer in existence, and from a neighborhood Jewish bakery I've lost track of. There was even a tolerable one sold at my neighborhood Acme Super Market. And then there wasn't. One day while searching for something to watch on a TV-not-hooked-up-to cable, I stumbled upon the Y Arts channel and Deborah Dal Fovo making her Nonna's Homemade Italian Apple Cake. I could hardly wait to make one. I've written about it before. It's not Jewish. It's Italian and it is THE apple cake! Just the way I like it: enough apples, moist, not too sweet and pretty to look at as well. Always a feast for the eyes and the tummy. Yum, yum, delicious!

It calls for just a few ingredients. Buy five Golden Delicious apples. I'm sure you have the rest of the ingredients on hand. A spring form pan, a couple of bowls, a wire whisk, peel, core, slice and arrange, bake in a 350 degree oven, and the best apple cake ever will be yours each time you bake one. And you will make it again and again. Easy, peasy, delicioso. Trust me.

When it's hot out of the oven my figural measuring cup set and measuring spoon set check it out.

Plated, Golden and Delicious


Can you see the moistness? Can you see the apple slices inside?

I have completed my Christmas Eve box. I can just lift the lid and save the box for next year. No ribbon, not bow, no tag . . . yet. I still have over a week to go. Something else might need to go inside. As for the tag, I won't need one. I know whose box it is.

I had to do some editing of the contents before I put the lid on. There were three knitting projects vying for a place in the box: (1) a free Ravelry download of a slouchy beret Springtime in Philadelphia,  (2) American Girl Doll Beret and (3) Turkish Bed Socks. How much can a person do on Christmas Eve while looking at a movie, eating popcorn and drinking hot chocolate?  I changed my mind many times, but the final decision has been made. Which one, you ask? You will find out after it is a fait accompli. Stay tuned.

Still a
Bona Fide Knitter