As you may be aware, tomorrow is New Year's Eve and people every where will be celebrating with a bit of bubbly. A number of years ago I saw an episode of Three Sheets where a bottle of champagne was opened with a saber. You can watch the episode here on Hulu. Oddly enough I do not have a saber hanging around the house, so never even thought about trying to replicate the opening. That is until the New York times ran a story about How to Saber Champagne and it turns out you do not need a saber at all, only an icy bottle and a chef's knife. Will you give it a try?
That would be me! This afternoon my friend Deborah, aka Wildfire, stopped by the house with a present. Seems Santa was either confused or hitting the egg nog a little hard, because he left a present for me at Deborah's house. What could it be?
Two cases of Weck jars!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh yes, a happy dance happened. They are so beautiful! The tulip shaped jars are just begging to be filled with some Brandied Cherries and I think that is how I will spend New Year's Day. I happened to have a big bag of summer cherries in the freezer. Excuse me, I think I need to do another happy dance.
This new addition to the household means I now have 1/5, 1/4, and 1/2 liters jars. Be still my heart.
I am sitting here at 12:10 AM, at my desk/window perch completely enjoying the sights and sounds around me. About an hour ago the family and I arrived home from an epic show put on by Brian Setzer. My ears are ringing just a bit and it is going to be awhile before I can calm down enough to sleep.
First off, the house is quiet. After much chatter about the show and bowls of ice cream, everyone else has gone off to bed. I do not see much light outside. A street light, and then a mile or so to the lights of the marina, and then just one faint light twinkling at the edge of the island. No stars. This time of year there are lights on the deck that make me very happy.
A wind has come up and I can hear gusts blowing against the front windows, followed by the sound of tree branches brushing together. I have a number of glass art pieces on the deck and they tinkle and swivel. Not enough for me to be worried and bring them inside, just enough for the movement to catch my eye.
I read an article this morning about the Holidays becoming just one more thing on our To Do lists. How there is so much to be done, but extra minutes in the day are not provided to do them. It made me think about legislation that is enacted without a way to pay for it.
In the past we were all about the holidays. Growing up Jewish, I did not have a ton of traditions to pull out every year. Growing up Catholic, Husband had a few, but not many and that meant we were free to make our own way. When the kids were little we stopped "school" at Thanksgiving and spent the rest of the year reading, playing, cooking, decorating, doing puzzles, playing games, and generally enjoying each others company. Now that the kids are in college and high school, we do not have the luxury of time. This year, for the very first year, I would have been happy to skip it all. It is an awful feeling. There is so much I want to do and so little time to do it and in the end I feel like I am failing. Isn't that weird? How did this happen and when will I be able to regain the magic of this time of year?
How are you doing out there? Checking off your list? Wishing for one more week? Happy with your plans? I am curious.
I have never purchased a crochet magazine. To be honest I do not buy knitting magazines very often either, but this one caught my eye.
crochet today! The Music Issue. The cover model looks a little like Marie Osmond back when she and her brother had that variety show. Watching the clip I see they do not look alike at all, but my brain dredged up that image while looking at the magazine.
There is a pattern for a studded guitar strap.
Do you have memories, or wish you had memories of Janis and Jimi? There are sweaters for that. Maybe you have a secret love for Stevie Nicks? The pattern for a flowy, fringed shawl is here.
Perhaps you are all about the Amigurumi?
The Fab Four never looked so cute. All of them.
There are headphone cozies! You know how I love a good cozy.
And my personal favorite?
The album pillow!! I imagine a pile of these spread around our music room. The same room that holds stacks and stacks of vinyl.
Reading through the patterns they seem to be pretty straight forward, even for a new crocheter like me, and there are charts. Crochet charts are still a challenge for me, but I am determined to learn.
A really fun group of patterns to make while you have the stereo turned up to 11.
Boxes have begun arriving at Casa de la Peña. For the most part they have been birthday boxes, as Youngest Son turned 13 Saturday, but there was one mystery box. I often shop with Etsy, or little sellers, and so do not always recognize the return address of packages. This was the case last week when an unknown box from Glashaus appeared. I did what I always do, I opened it.
Joy of joys! I read the packing slip and held my breath. Could it be? I pawed through the packing peanuts to find another box and at that point let out a little squeal. Oldest Son was watching the whole thing and found me amusing. I pulled out the second box, opened it up, and sure enough
Weck jars!!!!! A happy dance was done right then and there. Oldest Son did not make fun of me, he is good boy. A Hanukkah present from my mom. Wow!
An extra set of rubbers and a fridge cap. I did not even know they made a fridge cap! That mom of mine, she knows how to shop. SO happy. What should I put in them?
I recently discovered a shop that carries practical, quality gifts that will be treasured. Kaufmann Mercantile has a great sense of style and carries products that are well made and meant to be used forever.
Oldest Daughter will be receiving this fire starter. It is made with a naturally shed elf antlers in Montana. I imagine she will pack it with her during all of her globe trotting adventures.
Over Thanksgiving, Oldest Son lamented that his new roommate did not have a rolling pin and he had not been able to make a pie. American Maple made in the US.
This is a little treat that Youngest Son is going to sneak onto Santa's cookie plate. A couple of years ago a beer was added to accompany the plate of cookies and carrots. He is going to slip it onto the plate when Husband is not looking.
I call this recipe quiche only because years ago I began with a traditional recipe for quiche. I have changed it so many times that it is not really quiche, but we love it just the same.
Everything is local and most is organic. The eggs came from Steibers Farms and the cheese is Beecher's Smoked Flagship. The green beans had been frozen from this summer's garden and the red peppers I put up at the end of the summer when they were so plentiful. An easy, vegetable filled pan of goodness.
The dish is made by layering sliced potatoes to cover the bottom of a square baking pan. Cover that with sliced green beans and top the green beans with sliced red peppers.
In a separate bowl whip 6 eggs, some milk, salt and pepper. Once that is combined add in about 4 ounces of shredded cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cook in a 350 oven for approximately 45 minutes.
Serve it hot or at room temperature and heat any leftovers in the microwave for lunch. There are seldom leftovers.
I have not been on the computer much in the past few days, at least not in the normal ways. Last night I poured a class of champagne, put my feet up, and tried to get back in the loop. It did not work, the internet moves too fast and I was only able to get a handle on what had happened that day. Oh well, I hope I did not miss anything important.
Very productive weekend at Casa de la Peña.
The kitchen floor is in!!! I can not believe what a difference it makes. We have been living with that old, cracked, mismatched, stained floor for years and years. Husband and I installed the new one with a few hours time and a few hundred dollars. SO pleased with the results.
Next week Husband will get all the trim put in place and finish up the last row of drawers. While he is working on that, I will paint.
I am going to extend the orange over the entire wall.
The windows still need to be framed and we do have a replacement for that broken light fixture. Its a funny story I should type up. Then I think that is it. Kitchen will be done. I do not want to jinx anything, but I am REALLY hoping everything will be wrapped up by the end of the year.