Archive for December, 2011

Lots of people eat certain foods on New Year’s Day to bring them luck. I know some people eat cooked cabbage, or corned beef and cabbage, for good luck. You’d have to promise me a lottery jackpot to get me to eat cooked cabbage. My friend Carla makes black-eyed peas for luck on New Year’s Day. Jay said his Mom would make mochi, a type of rice cake, for good luck. It’s traditionally eaten for Japanese New Year, and he says it’s delicious with soy sauce, though it’s basically a hunk of gooey rubber. You know what I’ll be eating on New Year’s Day? Aspirin.

My parents didn’t have a New Year’s Day food ritual when I was growing up, at least that I can remember. Maybe they opted for the aspirin, also. I can certainly remember some crazy parties at my house when I was little. My parents and their friends and family would often hang out at our house—plenty of food, music…and booze. My Mom would lay out a spread of fancy appetizers…our whole kitchen table would be piled with finger foods, dips and other edibles. They had a ‘bar’ on top of the stereo consisting of fancy decorative glass bottles filled with gin, whiskey, vodka and bourbon. Once the party got started, my parents would indulge us youngins for a little while and let us run around the living room until our bedtime. There were adults sitting around the living room laughing and eating and drinking. I have one clear memory of one of those parties when I was about four. Looking around the living room I thought, “Hmmm. Captive audience. Let me dazzle them with my fancy gymnastic skills.” I went to the middle of the room and started my triple somersault routine. My imagination was like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” — I envisioned that room full of adults cheering and clapping once I finished my amazing performance. Instead when I stood up, dizzy, I was met with blank stares.  Apparently they needed more to drink.

Well, whatever you all decide to do for New Year’s, I hope it’s fun and safe! And don’t attempt any somersaults in the middle of your New Year’s Party.


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I just finished making cookie batter and Rice Krispy treats to take to Christmas at my niece’s house with the family tomorrow. Well, I’m not actually offering cookie batter for everyone to eat—that’s for cookies for Jay later—but I will bring the Rice Krispy treats. I know they’re not the fanciest, or most challenging, treat to create. And I’m not able to brag about them on Facebook like other people who show each other up with their holiday delicacies, and daily driving dilemmas. I know what treats the kids like, and I make it. At least it’s not fruitcake.

When I was a kid, my Grandma Smothers would make her famous Molasses cookies for each grandkid, which meant a whole coffee can-full for each grandkid. Apparently they drank a lot of coffee. That can-full of Grandma’s Molasses cookies was one of my favorite gifts. My Mom made them for us, too, and passed the recipe down to us. I make them every year, and even bake about 700 to sell at the holiday bazaar where I work. They’re that good.

I imagine you’re waiting for the recipe. Sorry. I may have mentioned in one of my original posts that the recipe is a family secret. Let me cheer you up with this:

That’s an aluminum Christmas tree. We actually had one of those in the late ‘60s. Papa Don had a love for electronic gadgets, and these trees came with a color wheel that rotated underneath to shine different colors up into the metal branches.

That’s the color wheel, if you hadn’t figured that out yet. Quite impressive, right? I guess the aluminum Christmas tree phenomenon didn’t last long; I think we only put that tree up one or two years. You’d think those trees would’ve lasted into the early ‘70s—they would’ve worked well for acid-tripping hippies.

On Christmas morning, my sisters and I always had great gifts to look forward to. My favorite was my first bike when I was 7. Sometimes we’d get boy gifts when Papa Don forgot he had four daughters. But even those were fun. One of the coolest presents ever was a stereo my parents bought for me and Tracy when we were in Junior High. We shared a bedroom, so we shared the present. And we loved it. It had four speakers, which my Dad immediately set up strategically in our bedroom. He made us stand in the middle of the room with him and schooled us on the latest new “Quadraphonic” sound. My Mom walked by the bedroom door saying, “Oh yeah? I had quadraphonic before it was invented,” as she pointed to me and my three sisters. There were even headphones to go along with the stereo so we could blast our eardrums out and not bother our parents—my favorite artists then were Peter Frampton and Earth, Wind and Fire. Tracy’s album of choice was Gary Wright with his one-hit wonder “Dream Weaver.” Tracy sings really well, which she inherited from my Dad, and she would belt that song out while wearing those headphones. I don’t need to tell you how funny that was to me and my younger sisters….and our neighbors.

I hope you all get everything you want this Christmas!

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It’s been a long week. Actually it’s been a long two or three weeks, which I think is obvious due to the lack of posts. I’m hungry and Jay will be even hungrier when he gets home. Also, my niece is staying with us and she’s a vegetarian, so I try to accommodate her for each meal. So I have to figure out some dinner because I just don’t feel like ordering pizza. That’s the only thing that gets delivered in our area. It’s not like your fancy bustling city where you can get just about anything delivered. And it’s not payday so we really shouldn’t be getting anything delivered, unless it’s money.

So I thought, hmm…in this situation, WWMD?  (What would Mary Ann do?) Unfortunately, I think we all know what Mary Ann would do…she’d go to the fridge and whip up some Friday Night Casserole. I wonder if I could do that and actually make something edible?

I assessed the current leftover contents in our fridge which consist of:

Chicken Ravioli

Tortilla Soup

Small container of Guacamole

1/3 of a container of whipping cream

Homemade Salmon Dill Dip

Molasses cookie batter

1 Chicken Garlic Egg Roll

Smidge of homemade turkey soup

1 slice of pizza

And sure, I have a can of cream of mushroom soup in the cupboard.

I guess I could throw this all into a casserole dish and bake it at 350 and see what happens. My niece is out of luck and will have to resort to cereal. However, I think I’ll throw it all straight into the trash and also have some cereal. With some beer.

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