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Thursday, December 24, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

HELLO & MERRY CHRISTMAS from your Garden Daddy here at the garden home! Well the day is finally here we have waited for. But didn't it happen really fast this year? It seems it was just Labor Day in September and I was heading for Master Gardener classes. Then it was Halloween and the ghost were flying everywhere around the neighborhood. And then it was turkey day and Thanksgiving weekend with "Black Friday". Then I had the LANA Holiday Home Tour weekend and the great time that was, meeting and greeting and welcoming approximately 325 guests into my home.
Now it is Christmas Eve 2009. I had dinner guests last night for a non-traditional dinner of spaghetti with a wonderful Italian sausage sauce that I simmered for over 5-hours as I always do for my pasta sauces, a good cabbage slaw with onion, mayonnaise and lemon juice, black eyed peas cooked with some very-very lean pork tenderloin for seasoning and the "coup d'gras" was the homemade bread with softened butter. Dessert was some glazed apple loaf that came as a gift from a neighbors daughter. I spent the last few days catching up on my usual Holiday baking. 15-loaves of homemade bread, given to every neighbor on my block and behind me not only makes good gifts but the very gift of a loaf of homemade bread to me signals the sharing of our very basic and most human needs and I cherish the smiles when they see me coming every year now and knowing on Christmas morning they are making fresh cinnamon toast or even the odd turkey sandwich with some mayo and mustard, salt & pepper. The gift of basic bread. I have also made some very nice oatmeal cookies loaded with white chocolate chips, walnuts and dried cranberries. I baked my annual holiday peanut butter cookies as well. This is a little "recipe story" My sister-in-law (a.k.a. "life coach") told me last week of a friend of hers who asked for and got a recipe from Neiman-Marcus some time ago and they told her while she eating at their in-store cafe that the price would be $2.50 and she told them to just add it to her luncheon tab on her NM account card. When she got her statement the next month it showed a $250.00 charge on the bill. She called NM and inquired about the "mistake" on her statement. They told her "No, there was NO mistake". They billed her $250.00 for a copy of a recipe for a dessert she had been eating and they made it stick as well. So she decided to share the recipe with everyone on her Christmas card list, enclosing it with her Holiday greetings.
This time of year takes me back in time, not like my brothers speak of so often to the time when we 3-boys lived in North Alabama in our formative years but takes me back to the time I have always thought I SHOULD have lived...I have had thoughts this year of some future Holiday travel for me to go somewhere in England where they relive the Dickens years and experience "A Christmas Carol" recreated. I want to walk the snow lines streets where street vendors are selling their products from carts. Where the town folk are dressed in period style. Where I can see the "prize turkey hanging in the window still"! I will work on that.
I am looking forward now to the new year and to a new gardening season and hopefully by mid March I will be well on my way to the revamping of the vegetable garden and working to get that plot ready for the spring planting and design. I am already thinking and working on mental designs and cannot wait to get the house "undressed" from the Holidays and take time to settle in the rehab'ed sun room and working on that plan this winter.
But I leave you today with many thoughts on my mind but with the following for your pondering as your Christmas Garden Daddy affirmation: "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. "...Charles Dickens from "A Christmas Carol"
(BTW: If you click on the tree below it will open in a new window that shows flashing lights on the tree!)

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