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Making Something New

To begin with, I wonder if poinsettias are a Christmas tradition everywhere. The weather this year must have been conducive for them because in many yards, the leaves are the brilliant red that you see in the pots sold in stores and garden centers. Lovely, made even more so by the morning dew.
Just like you, we/I have been gathering with folks for the holiday season. Last Thursday I went to the home of a new friend, Lisa, who shares the same birthday as my sister Lisa!! When I was a child my Dad was a huge Ohio State fan, which makes perfect sense because he was born in Ohio, as was I. So, as it turns out are these two ladies.
Pam, waving at me, is a fan via marriage. Lisa, on the other hand, came by her fandom as a student, and what you see on the wall is something pretty darn amazing. That, my friends, is a collage with not only a Woody Hayes signature (long time coach there fyi), but the diagram and photos of the band of which Lisa was not just any old member, she was the very first woman to "dot the I" in Ohio at halftime. Band geeks will get what a big deal this is. If only we got to see those halftimes on television like we used to....

Then, on Friday night, we gathered with the recently unemployed at Barb and Steve's house. You might note the pile of dollar bills in front of Mr. Peck who won them in a dice game.
All but one around the table were laid off from Darden in the last year. Fortunately, most have found new jobs. Someone put a clever little tag on the bottle of wine...
Let the record stand--none of us got Blitzen!

Is this the embodiment of a Florida snowman, or what?
People are so darn clever aren't they? Below, one of my favorite Christmas light displays this season!
Which reminds me, have any amongst you been watching the Great Christmas Light Fight on ABC? I don't know how I happened to see a commercial for this show, but the fellow doing the sound bite hooked me before I'd even seen it...."If you can't see it from Space, it ain't worth doing." Indeed, the episodes we saw embodied that motto! I guess Monday night was the finale which we missed because we were out to dinner for our daughter-in-law's birthday.....well, you knew all this already. Jon and Alissa arrived safe and sound and the dinner was great fun.

The bread I made last week,
would have won no beauty contest, however, the taste was pretty darn good, although, I got such a crust on there it took some muscle to slice it! Excellent hearty toast, that is if you like a work out.

Twix Cookies---what a concept!! Click the link for details!

I did just that, deciding it was a wee bit too time consuming for this time of the year, so I decided to take it slow. Not once have I ever made shortbread even though I love it. Chocolate is good and all, but I'm a buttery cookie girl myself.  I followed the recipe to the letter--none of this saying it was pretty good, but I substituted this, and this, and this......I read those comments online, and it makes me crazy. Follow the darn recipe folks!!

It begins with a lot of butter,
and the iPad. Except the image and words on the iPad were visible for about a minute or two, then I would have to re-enter Bruce's password; when you are making something brand new, this is a real pain in the neck. I texted Matt right then and there, wondering what to do. Fortunately he got back with me, and I changed the setting allowing me to actually consult the recipe about a gazillion times. So, you make the dough, which includes some finely ground oatmeal. After the ingredients look like dough, you mash it all down in an upturned springform pan set on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
I borrowed a biscuit cutter from Corrine to put in the center as directed. Actually when she was over the other day she insisted I keep it as she has no intention of ever making biscuits again.
Here is what it looks like after the first cooking. After removing the biscuit cutter, and the pan form, I scored the dough and using a wooden skewer poked all the holes in it.
After which you return it to the shut off oven, propped barely open with a wooden spoon, to dry out for an hour.
Once it is completely cool, you cut on those lines and it all worked according to plan except for the fact that I was meant to cut it into 16 triangles instead of the 13 pictured! The end result? Delicious!!!
Next up--finding a second biscuit cutter to tackle those Twix cookies! Biscuit cutters seem to be an endangered species as I've yet to find one in the stores.

While we are on the subject of something new--here's a good one for you. In all 41 Christmases in the Peck household, never have I done this before. As you can see our tree, on sunny days, gets afternoon sunshine and heat.
Well, Mrs. Camera Crazy put her hand into what she thought was the water receptacle, and found it dry. Using a gigantic water jug, she added water. And then she added more water because she still could feel none. It was then that she noticed the red cloth, skirting the tree, had some water on it. But she did not remember spilling any of the above mentioned water. Then she noticed it spreading. Followed by more spreading. Followed by a mad scramble to remove all of those lovely packages from under the tree because.......the water receptacle was overflowing!!! And here you thought she was slightly smart. :)

Aside from a few packages that required re-wrapping, a complete disaster was averted with help from Mr. Peck. Talk about something new!!

Merry, Merry Christmas friends,

Gail

p.s. That's a Happy Christmas to those in the UK.

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