If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009: A Photo Essay

I've been living up to my promise and taking time off this week. While this is good in many ways, it has put me way behind on blog posts. I figured I'd better complete the Christmas post before New Year's actually arrives.

No-Knead Bread

Christmas Eve Day at the House of Dirt and Rocks is all about the baking. I tried another loaf of the No-Knead Bread, this time on a pizza stone. There is still room for improvement but luckily Santa brought me The Book the next day.

I had to interrupt my normal baking schedule to go and meet Pumpkin in the middle of the day. Although she was coming over for Christmas dinner she wanted to give me my present early and privately. She told me it was something she had made by hand and that she was aiming to make me cry. She succeeded.

Activity Passport

Last year, when we did a community project for mothers and daughters, we had developed Activity Passports (coupons for activities mothers and daughters could do together) for our participants. Pumpkin designed the activity passports and made each one individually ('cause she's crafty that way). Each passport had approximately 10 coupon-sized activities and stickers for the participants to mark which ones they completed. Pumpkin's gift to me was a scrapbook-sized passport filled with activities we can do together even though she is moving 3 hours away. The passport needs to travel with me when I go and visit her.

The Rolling of The Cinnamon Buns

Note Delicious Shrimp Cocktail and Cheese Platter

More important than the bread is the baking of the cinnamon buns. This is an all day affair, as it takes a minimum of 8 hours. What you are seeing here is the end phase, which occurred at the same time b was serving appetizers.

Scallop Prep

Lobster Tail Prep

Seafood Grill

While I was busy baking, b was busy cooking up Christmas Eve dinner. We opted for surf & turf this year. Somehow we are sans pictures of the turf but the surf included grilled scallops and lobster tails. Quite yummy.

Mostly Empty Tree

Full Tree

In previous years I've been a stickler for not putting presents under the tree until right before bedtime. This rule was born of necessity since up until Angel turned 18, he had a difficult time containing himself in front of a tree full of presents. This year we let them pile up throughout the day.

Champagne Cocktail for b; Mimosas for Angel and I

Christmas morning starts with stockings in bed. No one was awake enough to think of photos. We quickly moved on to champagne and opening presents under the tree.

Angel's Lettered Chest

There were many fine presents this year. For Angel it was a bit of a Pi Kappa Phi Christmas, including two lettered shirts that I sewed myself. (Actually I must confess that Pumpkin came over to show me how and even sewed the tricky Phi). Angel got me this amazing book of dragon-related short stories. Not only is there one by Jane Yolen but I am discovering many new fantasy writers that I adore. I also got a new digital camera from b that will hopefully translate into more photos on the blog. b thought the hit of the day was a little laser cat toy. Much of the day was spent watching The Brute chase a red dot. b claims it is like having a remote-controlled cat.

After all the gifts were opened it was time for the unveiling of the cinnamon buns. They did not disappoint.
The Glory That Is Cinnamon Buns

The buns were just the beginning of the day's eating festivities. Pumpkin did come over to dinner, which was a huge hit, but unfortunately between the champagne and the wine and the general merriment, photos were once again forgotten.


Seeking Solace said...

What a lovely holiday!

Julie said...

Your tree is beautiful. But the seafood is killing me...it looks SO GOOD! And cinnamon buns...yep. That's sheer glory. It looks like a great time.