Sonntag, Dezember 09, 2007

On the Ninth Day of December . . .

. . . we celebrated our annual Tree Decorating Event.

As usual, 90% of the decorations are on 10% of the tree.

Mike and Todd did their usual job.

Not all the decorations ended up on the tree.

Celia put up a new stair garland for me. I wish she would just do the whole house. Say, why not? I'll call her when I get done here.

It took two goes to get fudge. I missed the cooking part of my mom's demonstration last week, and got sugar crystals in the pot. We had to leave for church, so I waited until Laurel came up and made her recook it for me. There was some doubt during the beating phase (which required three people and went on and on and on) as to whether or not it had cooked enough, but in the end it was a success.

I used the recipe from Hillbilly Housewife with a couple of modifications: I used cream instead of milk, and more of it; 2 cups to start with, and then the extra Laurel needed for recooking it. I tossed in a whole stick of butter, and instead of cocoa I used a whole 3 1/2 oz. bar of Lindt Excellence 70% dark chocolate. Whoa, mama, that is some good fudge. Y'all go right out and get that Lindt chocolate.

It doesn't hurt to use vanilla bean crush in it, either.

. . . I am sad for my friends whose lives are difficult right now. One friend's husband has been seriously ill and in the hospital for many weeks; they hope he will be home for Christmas. Another friend is coping with a car accident and a family member's mental illness. One of my piano students and his family will be spending their first Christmas without their dad, who committed suicide this spring. An aunt, crusty but beloved, might have died when she fell and was unable to press her Life Alert button for many hours. Luckily she regained consciousness and was taken to the hospital. She will spend the holidays with her daughter (they celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas) but will probably not be able to return to independent living.

I think of them and pray for peace and comfort for them, for you, for all of us.

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