Well like all things in life, there are those Christmases that are memorable in their wonderfulness, and then there are those that hold memories for other reasons.....and thinking back there are far more of the former
- I'll start with my best Christmas memory....my first Christmas with my sweet husband. We had been dating for a few months and I kinda had that feeling about this guy. He was sweet and funny, cute and kind. And he drove that hot little car! Well Christmas Eve came, and I was, as I usually am on that day, helping my Presby friends get ready for their big annual community turkey dinner that precedes the evening service. R had mentioned that he might stop by after work. And stop by he did! He arrived just as the prep was heating up, we were in need of an extension cord...he had one in the truck. We needed someone handy with figuring out how to hook things up....no problem, he was on it. And the next thing I knew he was in an apron next to me scooping mashed potatoes and chatting up the diners. After dinner and clean up we went together to my friend C's lovely service where I thrilled to hear his bass next to my soprano on the carols. After a little lull it was on to my church to get ready for our late service. There too he pitched in, folding the bulletins, changing the hymn board, passing out the candles, just generally making himself very useful....yep he was a keeper. One of our college kids, home for the break was, typically, the first to note to her godmother after the service...."Oh, I see Rev. Kate's got herself a guy." Oh and indeed she did! My friends tell me of that Christmas it was written all over me that I was a goner for him. It's very clear that was the year I got the best Christmas gift ever!
- This is one of those "oher ones." I don't remember why it was we moved on Decmber 21st. But we did. And everything that could go wrong pretty much did. Most of the promised moving crew failed to appear, it snowed (of course it did, it's Minnesota! It's December! Duh.) But it snowed a lot We measured it in feet as I recall. But we did finally get everything schlepped from point a to point b. And someone (perhaps it was me) insisted that there must be a tree. I was young and foolish. So on about the 23rd or 24th we went to get a tree. The pickings were slim by that point, but we found a tree, such as it was and hauled it through the snow, back to the apartment and....couldn't find the tree stand of course. So back out we went and got a new one. It was simpler. While we were out there we got some lights, knowing full well that finding ours was pretty unlikely at this point also. Back we went, into the stand, up with the lights and into the corner....fini! No ornaments, no trim. And I'm not sure we even lit it. But we did have a tree.
- My first Christmas on the prairie. I was sort of living in two places. Here, but not really here. Home was still in the big city, friends and family were there, but because of work, I had to be here. Sad and lonely on Christmas night I fell asleep under the Christmas tree. I remember a friend comforting me and telling me that in years hence this would become home and of course she was right.
- Many Christmases have this memory for me from childhood....midnight Mass followed by hot cocoa and a new pair of pajamas. My mom and I would walk to Mass a block away. The church was always so beautiful, all golds and red, smelling of candle wax and incense. There was no choir, but the organ was amazing and we filled the place with singing. After church I always got to open the one present mom handed me (the pjs) while I drank my cocoa and then go to bed in the new jammies.
- Another repeating memory from the past is my dad's Tom and Jerry's. His recipe is lost in time. No one has ever made them like him, thick and battery and sweet. I got to have them sans alcohol as a kid and then graduated to the real thing as a grown up. I bought the commercial ones and being sooo disappointed that they were nothing like his. I can still see him in my mind's eye in the kitchen of our apartment with the big mixer working on his batter. This was something that was all his project and they were great!
Tom and Jerry
12 eggs separated
3.5 lbs sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Beat egg yolks with 3lbs of sugar and nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves until thick and light
Separately, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form
Gradually beat in remaining sugar into egg whites
Beat egg whites until stiff
Gently fold egg whites into yolks.
To make the classic Tom and Jerry:
Preheat a 6oz mug with hot water and drain
add 1 HEAPING dessert spoon of batter mix
add 1/2 oz JAMACAIN RUM and or/ 1/2 oz good BRANDY
add hot water to taste