Your Geevie brings to you…
A favorite Christmas song:
A favorite Christmas movie:
A Christmas memory:
Around the holidays we always had nuts on hand. And I don’t mean just our family. (ba-dah-bump)
We always had an assortment of pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts. Curiously, chestnuts were never part of the party. But they all sat in a bowl on our coffee table along with a nutcracker. I must specify here that it wasn’t one of those scary looking ones with the menacing teeth that look like they’re going to come alive in the night and eat your brain…
(by the by, these are a Christmas decoration I do not now nor have I ever OR will I ever own. If you ever send me one, I shall be sending it back. Because I’m a big wuss that way. They rank right up there with porcelain dolls or masks on display. I chalk this irrational fear up to watching too many Tales from the Dark Side/Night Gallery episodes when I was a kid)
No, instead we had the little silver one that required both manual dexterity as well as patience to correctly operate, neither of those things did I have in abundance as a child (or even now as an adult). The trick of course was to crack the nut so perfectly you wouldn’t have to use the little pick that came with it to get the nut parts out of the shell – which could often become gritty and nasty.
I tried to carry this tradition on into my adulthood but when you have a mix of small kids and cracked nuts, it becomes quite more work than I remembered as a child myself… and thus a lot less fun.
I just buy the can of mixed nuts and am over it. The only problem with this is the less work you do to spring the nuts from the shell, the more you actually eat.
This is a little less desirable to me than a carpet full of shell pieces.
Maybe this year I’ll spring for another nutcracker and a good ol bag of mixed nuts.
And maybe even spring for some chestnuts as well.
A newer tradition started when I got married was that I made deviled eggs as part of the relish tray that you leave out while you’re preparing the big meal. The reason being is that I inherited a crystal relish tray from my mom, and it had a spot for the eggs to go. Being a stickler for things being done just so (remember pregnant Barbie), I decided I’d make them even though I’m not particularly a fan of deviled eggs, or even eggs in general.
Turns out, my family adores the deviled eggs and it’s become a holiday staple in my house for as long as my kids can remember. In fact, my 17 year old son told me this year that he had tried some deviled eggs at a friend’s house but they weren’t as good as mine.
Kinda makes a mama proud – especially since this is a recipe I basically eyeball and never really learned from any one source. You can add to or take away from the following basic any recipe any way you desire. The best thing about this particular tradition is how you personalize it for your particular group.
6-8 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved
Put the yolks into a bowl and add the Miracle Whip, mustard and pepper. The ratio you use can be changed to your personal preference (you can also use regular mayo instead of MW, but I like the tangy sweetness that comes with the MW instead). I use about a tablespoon of MW, a tsp of mustard and then pepper to taste.
You could also add pickle relish.
A trick I learned from Paula Deen is to use one whole egg into this mix so that it’ll give you extra full eggs.
Top with paprika for a splash of color, and if you’re feeling especially brave you can add some jalapeno slices.
Christmas Charity “Joy to the World”:
We’ve covered food, health and presents, but one group we cannot leave out on Christmas are our four legged friends. A lot of puppies and kittens are given as pets during the holidays, while older animals sit in cramped cages at the local pound waiting for someone to grant their Christmas wish of a second chance at a new home.
Check out the ASPCA, who do such a great work for these forgotten dogs and cats. And visit your local animal shelter.
Sometimes your greatest gift – and greatest friend – is closer than you think.