I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 4, 2019

Finishing the Year ~ New Years Menus and Other Stuff

Hi everyone! Welcome 2019!

The past few days I've been slowly dismantling the Christmas decor around the house. All that remains is the red toile pillow covers and the red/ pink and white transferware china. I may leave the red and white plates up a few more weeks to show a friend who will visit me mid-January. (She thinks she only likes blue, lol. I'll show her.) And the Christmas tree, tiny as it is, is still glowing happily in its corner. I won't take it down til Twelfth Night, on January 5th Twelfth Night refers to the last day of the Twelve Days of Christmas, from long ago when Christmas was celebrated not from Halloween til Christmas Day, but from Christmas Eve to the 12th night, or Three Kings Day, when the Magi/ Wise Men arrived  with gifts for the holy baby..

I hate taking down my Christmas tree. It's not the work or effort---I enjoy dusting each ornament, wrapping it carefully in tissue or quilt batting cutaways, and setting each into its nest for the year. What makes me sad is the ending of it all. When we fold away the season's bright baubles we also must let go of all the hopes and joy and anticipation that were so wondrous just a few short weeks ago. (Or if you're a Halloween starter, 2 1/2 long months ago!).

All that's left are memories, and some sprinklings of glitter ground into the floor.

New Years! If you watched the TV Times Square broadcast on NYE you know we had torrential rains all evening. Not cold, but  very wet.

Usually I meet friends for a very early drink but this was no night to be on the road. Instead I invited a friend who was also home alone, and who lives nearby, for dinner.

I had a too large for one person filet mignon, which we shared.


Filet mignon with bearnaise sauce

Baby lettuce greens with balsamic vinaigrette and warm goat cheese.

Baby roasted potatoes.

Stuffed portobello mushrooms,
filled with mushroom stems, chopped and parsley 
and asiago cheese.

Easy and delicious! Mo wore his party crown we'd found on the sidewalk on our walk a few days before. It's lovely rose gold glitter; he likes it a lot.


New Years Day menu 
[Family arriving home, time unknown)

Roast Pork glazed with garlic and TJ's pepper jelly
and gravy

Potato pie, recipe below.

[or] Baked butternut squash with nutmeg and cinnamon

Steamed Brussels sprouts


No desserts either night, though on NYE my friend and I had a ''finger'' of the Grand Marnier.
Mo was snuggly in his new puffy throw.


New Year's Day was beautiful, 60* though windy.

Here is the the first sunset of 2019! More fade than glory, but peaceful, and nice.

And so now we open our unwritten book,   the future lies ahead waiting for us to fill its pages. May the year bring peace and happiness to everyone.


Slightly off topic, a brief New Years Rant: I am so sick and tired of the declutter / minimalist hordes. All these pious people who go on about simplifying their lives/ homes / worlds--while selling us tchotchkas to clutter us up. It seems either phony or money grubbing, not sure which. Disingenuous?

As for me I don't want to simply or declutter, I love my stuff! I want to wear French perfume and diamond earrings and buy cool stuff. I don't want to spend an entire year not buying a single plate, bowl or yard of fabric. What's the fun in that?

I'm supposed to be entertained/ fullfilled by self-denial? Like I'm a Medieval anchorite?  I hate that now I have to think and rethink if I want to write about items I've found thrifting or at the flea; I feel uncomfortable being a collector, as if I should keep my finds hidden from a disapproving world. No thrills of the hunt, just the smug satisfaction of mouthing the current buzz words?

There's a book just published, about living a minimalist life. That book, in hardcover not Kindle, sold out everywhere! On FB I had to leave a message: "I don't feel the need to to clutter my home with your $$$ book on minimalism."

This year I bought a few [used] books again. Ten years ago I got rid of ALL my books. Yes my quilt books, my Susan Branch books, my hard cover Lee Childs and Vince Flynns. My childhood collection of Beatrix Potter books; all my Tasha Tudor books. I even threw away years worth of  twice-weekly letters from my mom, and a lifetime of birthday cards. I regret my decisions almost daily. I love the books I now bought, they may be clutter, my exhusband always despised books as  "your mess", but I want them, and now I have 4 or 5 of them, along with six sets of dinner china, hundreds of quilts, and two sets of formal silver flatware.

Yes, I am still frugal. The books were second hand; my thermostat is still set at 55*, I mend socks and clothes; that's okay, just thrifty. (And truly I'd buy new socks if I could find the kind I like!)

This simple life crap is 2019s buzz, just like clean eating was 2017-2018's. My classic cooking may not be gluten free, soy free, dairy free...but it NOT dirty or unclean. Who makes this stuff up, Gwenneth Paltrow? Oprah? I hate it. Right now I am taking the pledge: NO minimalism. Ever.

And last: I bet Biggie the Pug [AKC Champion Toy Dog 2018] weighs a heck of a lot more than freakin' 18 pounds,lol. Some person on FB said Mo is fat. We cried.



gone to the beach.....

Potato Pie

one deep dish pre-made pie crust, pre-baked 375* for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile make a bag of prepared mashed potatoes, using fat free Half and Half.
 OR enough fresh made mashed potatoes to fill the pie shell

Add 4 oz/ 1/2 bag of grated sharp cheddar,
2T butter
two bunches of scallions, washed and chopped into 1/3" pieces, 
including nice green parts. 
Sauteed until translucent, but not too soft.

!/2 package of precooked Oscar Meyer bacon, 
diced and cooked on paper towels in micro til crisp.

Salt pepper parsley to taste.

Whisk everything together with a fork, add more milk or cream if needed to be fluffy but not wet.

Bake at 375* for about 50 minutes, 
until the crust edges and top of the filling begin to look pretty and brown.

Cool 2 minutes before cutting.

Yum! Fast and so delicious, best with prime rib, but nice with pork roast too.

PS I am having computer disk and photo upload issues. Bear with me please.