Shopping was hard this year. We just shelled out cash for one of the big boy's class ring and paid for both big boys to go on their annual youth trip at the Big God Conference in Myrtle Beach. And big boys like big expensive toys. It was a tough one but they got what they asked for and they seem happy. (Except for my screw up buying the right game for the WRONG system. It all worked out, Santa found the receipt.)
Of course, being the procrastinator I am, (hey, give me a break - I bought all the damned presents - mostly on time! I even skillfully stacked them and camouflaged them with a sheet - the ones that would not fit under the big boys' beds.) I'm always wrapping presents until Christmas Eve. Junior was being a good little elf helping with the placing of presents under the tree...until the one large box would not fit under the tree, even though it would slide up neatly next to the tree. I didn't realize just how tired the little man was until that meltdown. "Mama, de prez ant wont' fit under de tweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!" Oh my! Three rears its ugly head again. Junior, would you like to revisit your new "I'm NOT taking a nap!" policy? You should really think about it long and hard.
I did do a lot of holiday cooking. I made crockpot candy and even got a little help spooning them out from a not-so-surly teenager (I reckon he knew Santa was watching). 174 pieces divided into three containers on a Friday turned into ONLY 1 container in the fridge by 7:30 am Monday. It should be called CRACKpot candy, it's that good.
I finally opened the KitchenAid Stand Mixer box and made two batches of banana nut bread over two weekends. Oh my!! I can not describe the awesomeness of the KASM - there are no words. Best. Kitchen. Accessory. EVER!!
My favorite part of the KASM is the receipe prep. It's like playing Alton Brown in your own kitchen!! The KASM instruction manual preaches almost nothing but DO NOT OVER BEAT your goodies. (This is probably a good rule to apply to most anything in life. Do not over beat your goodies!) You have to be READY! to put all your stuff in the mixer at the right time to avoid over beating. Nothing like a little PRESSURE to go with your awesomely intimidating FIRST stand mixer EVER.
Junior and I decided we needed to make chocolate chip cookies for Santa. Junior remembered this from last year! So Junior and I have all kinds of ingredient bowls set out on the counter. I'd left the butter in the mixer to soften earlier in the evening. I spun the butter around a bit to make sure it was indeed softened and I was satisfied with the yellow mush so I unlatch the head thing and kick it back to scrape and add the eggs and sugar. Junior is short and three so he's standing on a chair, right next to the mixer. He sees the butter on the paddle and before I can say, "Noooooo!!!" he sticks out his tongue and LICKS the butter and says, "MMMM! Deese cookies good!" Dammit boy.
We got all the wet stuff in the mixer and it was time for the flour. Junior did a good job of scooping it into the chute without getting most of it on the counter. When they were done mixing I gave him the beater to "clean" and he was done after that. He got what HE wanted, I was left to plop 'em out on the cookie sheets.
Junior also remembered that we put carrots out for the reindeer last year and he asked to do it again this year. I'm glad *I* remembered to buy carrots!!
Everybody but me slept in Christmas morning. I'd been wanting to make fudge for the first time so I made a pot of coffee and started my fudge experimenting. I had no clue it was SO EASY to make! I can't believe I let myself be so intimidated for so long. It was kind of scary when the boil started making the ingredients "grow" in the pan but it did not boil over the side of the pan. The hardest part is scraping the marshmallow fluff out of the jar. Sticky stuff!
My last holiday cooking duty was to provide pinto beans and fry bread for the Friday night dinner. Most of the family got together at Mom & Dad's and had Indian tacos. Fry bread is hard work and well worth the reward. I made two batches and there was only 1 bread left when we'd finished filling our gullets. Also, I had flour ALL OVER my NEW shirt but managed to not get it all over the floor.
Dinner was really good but my favorite part of the night had me acting like I was 10 years old again. And torturing my younger siblings. Again. SO FREAKIN' GOOD!
Brudder and his family had just left and Junior and I were running around hiding from each other. I was waiting in the dark hallway when Brudder came back in for the 3 items one always leaves when traveling with small children. I heard him telling mom he left something in the back room and could hear him headed my way to get it. I scooted back a little and crouched down like a cat. Hell, I think I even wiggled a bit like kittehs do just before the ATTACK! I should probably be ashamed that I was THAT excited. But I am not.
I got him good though, just as he stepped to where I was I jumped up with a RAWR! and he did shriek a little as he jumped. And it was a sweet sweet wave of HA! I STILL RULE YOU! that washed over me. So very awesome.
I hope you all enjoyed your Holiday Season as much as I did! Here's to a prosperous NEW YEAR!