I feel like I have so much to say, but my eyes just stare at the empty "page." Rather than be all smooth and put together, I'll go with some bullets and randomness. Stuff.
I've been working on my "tagged" blog post for a long time. Why is that so hard? I have six things, so far.
This weekend flew by. I had a great weekend of Christmas parties. Friday was a work party, but I love this group of people. I had a great time. I was the designated driver, so I was a good boy. Although, I did eat a lot of desserts.
Saturday, was my cousins' Christmas party. My Dad's Uncle's kids and their families. It's been a while since I spent a lot of time with them, but I grew up with these people, so it was great to see them again. A few individuals dominated my green beans, although collectively, it seems they don't like them. But they do like jello salad, and it turns out that I do, too. There was no ambrosia, but I have high hopes for Easter! My kids had a great time, too. It's nice to see Allie hang with the adults and carry on a conversation so easily. She's growing up.
Oh, there was a HUGE ham, but I was second to ask for the bone, so someone else had dibs on the carcass. Yeah, merry Christmas! ;)
Speaking of Allie growing up, she is 5' 6" now. When asked if she wished she wasn't so tall, she said "No, I just with my friends were a little taller already."
We were going to go to church this morning, but I thought it was Saturday and cleaned all the way through church time. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, right? Right? Crap.
I made split pea soup tonight. It was great, and the kids ate it.
It's the World's easist soup to make, so make some.
World's Easiest Soup (aka Split Pea)
8 cups water or broth (I used 4 cups homemade ham stock and 4 cups water)
1 lb split peas (one of those packages from the grocery store is one pound)
3 bay leaves
1/4 tsp mysteriously exotic Bulgarian herbs (which merely turned out to be summer savory...)
1 tsp salt (unless your broth is really salty, of course)
1 tsp vinegar (white, red wine, or cider, I suppose)
ground pepper (some)
Sort through peas and discard anything not peas. Rinse and put in a pot with a lid. Add the liquid and herbs and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for an hour to an hour and half. Your goal is to get the peas to break down when stirred, so keep it bubbling until this happens.
If you want it thicker, uncover for the final 30 minutes or so. You can't really overcook them, as long as you don't burn the bottom, so simmer until it's just the right amount of thick. Too thick? Add more water.
Done? Add the vinegar and stir. Taste and salt until salty enough. Pepper it up and serve in bowls. I added ham.
I'm looking forward to Christmas. Christmas Eve at my ((ex)step) Mom's. That's right. Ex-Step-Mom.
"I'm the ex wife of your mother's first ex husband's best friend."
"What's that make us?"
"Absolutely nothing. Pass the ambrosia."
She's like my Mom, though. She's even remarried, and my kids call her husband "Grandpa Will."
I love Christmas Eve at Mom's, with the traditional Christmas gumbo, cheesecake, and sweet potato pie. These foods were the beginning for me. I knew how to cook, but learning these dishes took me to the next level in my love of cooking. ...plus, I've inherited my powers of cheesecake from this Mom.
Oh, I just thought of #7. Sweet.
Speaking of step-parents and Christmas, my genetic mother's second husband (of 3?) had an awesome family. They were Japanese by way of Hawaii, and the Christmas spread was the best thing, ever. I have fond memories of taking my shoes off at the door, and entering a world of bbq pork, wontons, skewered meats, teriyaki jerky, shrimp with the heads still there, and things wrapped in bacon. mmmm.... bacon.
Also, his family was wonderful, especially his little sister, who in retrospect, might have been an exotic dancer.
I still need to get a tree. A good Charlie Brown tree isn't searched out, it's the only one left. I can still see piles of trees at the lots, so I have a day or so more before I stop at a lot to pickup my loser tree. It better be bad!
Long, but I've got still more...
Thoughts and prayers go out to some friends having hard times. From minor colds, to broken bones and hospitals. Big bills to lost jobs. Broken garage door openers to leeking roofs, to totaled cars... I hope that things get better and you can feel the Christmas spirit by Wednesday and Thursday. You guys and girls are all in my thoughts and prayers.
little dog lost