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Old 12-23-2016, 02:07 PM   #1
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Let the Holiday Begin!

I have officially begun the Christmas Holiday dinner. I salted the two prime ribs (one for those who like some pink, and one for those who don't).

Next I went to the store and bought some oxtail for the au jus (stupidly expensive for what it is - thanks to Food Network for jacking the prices on stuff that used to be throwaway scraps ), browned it in my cast iron dutch oven, now it's braising in the oven. Once that's done I add a couple of cups of red wine, reduce it about half, add beef stock, reduce that. Add some fresh thyme and rosemary and simmer for a few minutes, then cool and strain. Refrigerate until Christmas day.

That makes it so I don't have anything else to do until Sunday morning. Then I do the roasts by the reverse sear method, prepare my cheesy scalloped potatoes au gratin - that way I can let the oven do most of the work. Everything else is being brought by those among our 8 guests.

I love this time of year! Anybody else already started their holiday fun?
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Old 12-23-2016, 02:20 PM   #2
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Shopping is done.
Today is making the pecan pie and lemon bars and salting the roast.
Saturday we'll make the paklava, lyonnaise potatoes and prep the veggies
Sunday we cook all the stuff we prepped the day before and finish the au jus and make the Hollandaise.
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Old 12-23-2016, 08:11 PM   #3
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Gift wrapping is done. I sooo wanted to tape Ms Busy Paws to the table, but found the challenge was more fun and just made a game of it. We had Christmas music on.

Dx made a pumpkin pie today and tomorrow's breakfast egg bake to warm up.

We Both get the evening to chill and watch tv on the couch. Usually there is a lot/ some/ more often than not/ mad scramble to finish up on something. That somehow involves both of us, willingly or not. I'm not answering the phone, but I will listen if there is a message.

Merry ho-ho-ho's to ye.
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Old 12-23-2016, 10:09 PM   #4
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Since I won't be going to my daughter's home this year, I wasn't really planning anything special to eat at home. Maybe a scrambled egg or two. Then Spike stopped by with a Carando spiral cut ham. So it looks like I will be eating ham for Sunday.
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Old 12-24-2016, 12:47 AM   #5
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I ordered all my groceries online to be delivered between 10 am and noon tomorrow. It was a good thing I finally finalized I was even cooking this dinner cause I only had until 15 minutes from now to order! I reserved my time spot 4 days ago and they were all filled by yesterday morning!

In the morning I will make the pastries for my onion tarts, my ganache for the yule logs and probably bake the butternut squash.

In the evening I will make the sponges for the yule logs and fill them so they will be set up to decorate on Sunday morning.
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Old 12-24-2016, 03:36 AM   #6
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Packages wrapped, still have 3 cats...Django was most helpful making sure the tissue paper was not intact.

Mom is cooking, so we just have to show up. I will be getting home about 6 am Christmas morning.
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:11 AM   #7
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Mindy wasn't too helpful with the wrapping, but when I got the big shopping bag out to put the prezzies in, she perked right up, thought she had a new bag to play in. She was quickly disabused of that notion.

We will be heading out to Florida's west coast in a few hours (we both woke up and couldn't get back to sleep) but it's still a bit early to go yet. One of the GDs is going to be upset, at least for a little while. She's getting a VR headset and remote for her IPod. DD, Craig and I have been discussing what to do because we know as soon as she opens them that she's going to want to play with them. We have always let them open their presents shortly after we get there because that one will give you puppy dog eyes until she gets to open. So, Craig came up with the idea of printing out a picture of the headset, wrapping that up, telling her that shipment was delayed, and then giving it to her about an hour before we are ready to leave.

Both GDs are getting an ITunes card and cash, got the cutest little "mailbox" boxes at Dollar Tree for those. They even have the flag arm. I'm shopping there for gift boxes and wrapping supplies from now on, never knew they had such cute things.

Hopefully the prime rib is thawed out this morning. It was still pretty hard yesterday even though it had been in fridge for about 18 hours. Need to get it salted. Hopefully, Craig will do that while were waiting for it to be time to go. I'll probably make the pastry dough for the pecan pie and maybe make up the mushroom bread pudding either shortly or when we get back home since I have to work tomorrow, though will probably run out of work at some point.
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Old 12-24-2016, 05:46 AM   #8
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Packages wrapped, still have 3 cats...Django was most helpful making sure the tissue paper was not intact.

Mom is cooking, so we just have to show up. I will be getting home about 6 am Christmas morning.
I only had one present to "wrap" - put one tissue on bottom of bag, insert gift, cover with more tissue. Monkey made sure the tissue was crumpled and torn! Violet just laid at my feet unimpressed!
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Old 12-24-2016, 05:58 AM   #9
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My holiday began and ended yesterday. My daughter dropped off my yearly envelope. I haven't heard from my youngest. I guess he will be working on Sunday. Pirate will be cooking the ham dinner. And my granddaughter and her friend are supposed to show up on Sunday also. But I am not counting on it.

I do have to frost the three layer Hershey's Chocolate cake for Pirate's birthday. Then come Tuesday, he is going up north to see his boys and grandkids. He will come back on Wednesday on the commuter rail. I may have to make a second cake. My grandson's family love that cake. And they asked Pirate to bring one with him. Someday I will get the chance to bake a different cake.

I also have to make up a couple of jars of Hershey's chocolate syrup. I know, you can buy it in a squeeze bottle. But the homemade has no chemicals or preservatives in it. And it has such a fresh taste. I guess one jar will go up north with the cake.

When I had just the first four kids, I always had a can of Hershey's cocoa on hand. It had the recipe for the syrup on the side. Then in all my travels, I lost the recipe. I had to write to Hershey's to get it back in my stack of reliables. I also received a slew of coupons for their products.
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Old 12-24-2016, 06:14 AM   #10
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Off to work today to open for a half day. We are on the trans Canada highway so it will be very busy with travelers and locals picking up the last of their xmas goodies. I'd like to close but we can't pass up the opportunity. Hope to get closed up around 2. Then, down to the shrink wrap machine to wrap everything that is left in the meat case because we are closing for two days, clean out the salad tables and line fridges. Hope to get out of there around 2:30. Home by 3 ish...still need to wrap everything, clean the house, cook dinner, drink a few Ceasars. Tomorrow is the first day I don't have to get up for work in months. Still have to get dressed, although, I may just go in my house coat. We are going to drop off gifts at GF's kids house for the grand kids and stuff...then, home to start xmas dinner shenanigan's.....
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Old 12-24-2016, 10:13 AM   #11
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...got the cutest little "mailbox" boxes at Dollar Tree for those. They even have the flag arm...
SO found those mailboxes too. She bought out the store (about 6 or 8 of them. She filed them with cookies or little breads.
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Old 12-24-2016, 06:36 PM   #12
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SO found those mailboxes too. She bought out the store (about 6 or 8 of them. She filed them with cookies or little breads.
She must have gotten some of the bigger ones. They had sizes from just enough room for a gift card and/or cash, which is what I bought, to almost real mailbox size in our store.

Everybody loved their gifts. Craig got some hot sauce that is a private brand at a farmer's market where they live and I got some argan oil products for dry skin that our DD had raved about to me that I said I would try, but probably never would have ordered for myself and she knew it.

The VR stuff was a hit and the GD took being told it wasn't there a lot better than expected, but was really happy when grandpa snuck it into the house and she found it.
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Old 12-24-2016, 06:53 PM   #13
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She must have gotten some of the bigger ones. They had sizes from just enough room for a gift card and/or cash, which is what I bought, to almost real mailbox size in our store.



Everybody loved their gifts. Craig got some hot sauce that is a private brand at a farmer's market where they live and I got some argan oil products for dry skin that our DD had raved about to me that I said I would try, but probably never would have ordered for myself and she knew it.



The VR stuff was a hit and the GD took being told it wasn't there a lot better than expected, but was really happy when grandpa snuck it into the house and she found it.

They were about 5-6" long x 2"x3" with red flag.
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Old 12-24-2016, 10:20 PM   #14
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I've never really been much of a Christmas guy, but this year felt a little different for some reason. I'm in a new house, and it's the first time in twenty-some years I'll be by myself on Christmas. Daughter and her boyfriend are off visiting other family in Denver.

So I thought I would get in the spirit, regardless, and just go with the flow. I actually put up a tree and will be having a small family dinner and celebration on Wednesday when DD returns to town.

I have to admit the tree does sort of cheer up this old house.

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Old 12-24-2016, 11:27 PM   #15
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I've never really been much of a Christmas guy, but this year felt a little different for some reason. I'm in a new house, and it's the first time in twenty-some years I'll be by myself on Christmas. Daughter and her boyfriend are off visiting other family in Denver.



So I thought I would get in the spirit, regardless, and just go with the flow. I actually put up a tree and will be having a small family dinner and celebration on Wednesday when DD returns to town.



I have to admit the tree does sort of cheer up this old house.




Nice job on the tree, Steve. Your home looks nice too.
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:38 PM   #16
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That is so pretty, Steve! Love it!
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Old 12-25-2016, 12:06 AM   #17
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Thanks guys - Merry Christmas to you!
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Old 12-25-2016, 12:54 AM   #18
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I've never really been much of a Christmas guy, but this year felt a little different for some reason. I'm in a new house, and it's the first time in twenty-some years I'll be by myself on Christmas. Daughter and her boyfriend are off visiting other family in Denver.

So I thought I would get in the spirit, regardless, and just go with the flow. I actually put up a tree and will be having a small family dinner and celebration on Wednesday when DD returns to town.

I have to admit the tree does sort of cheer up this old house.

Wow, Steve...what a beautiful home you're making. The Christmas tree is beautiful and I love all the woodwork. Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2016, 12:54 AM   #19
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Your house looks so festive, Steve! Love the picture rail in that "tree" room. With our house's 7 1/2 foot ceilings, though, I could just use a chair rail if we had them.
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Old 12-25-2016, 01:45 AM   #20
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Steve, I am printing your picture on nice glossy paper and hanging it up above my monitor. Since all our Christmas decor is in storage waiting for this place to sell, I have to live vicariously through someone else and I picked you - love the tree, love the house!

Well, the sponges are made for the yule logs, the ganache is in the fridge, the chocolate has been tempered for the bark and marked with the texture mat and the egg nog ice cream has churned and is in the freezer. So, that just leaves making the cream filling and putting it all together tomorrow. TB is still none the wiser that he is getting his own special gluten free log complete with Almond nog ice cream which is a little thin but tasty!

I am sitting back with a cup of hot cranberry juice (pure, not cocktail) with a cinnamon stick and dash of agave watching the fireplace channel on the TV and feeling totally not stressed that it is one hour and 15 minutes to Christmas Day. I think this is a first for me!
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