Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bleak Outside, Cozy Within

Our holiday weather hasn't been inspiring--though clouds and intermittent drizzle are easy to bear compared to the upheavals of storm that have descended on other parts of the country.
Our Christmas dinner was at 6 pm next door with our family, then home to sit by the fire until bed time--the latter perhaps sounding dull to anyone of lesser years!
My contributions to the meal weren't laborious--two pies, a coleslaw created from a garden-fresh late cabbage,  smoked turkey.
Yesterday J.'s cousin and her family were able to make another visit from their temporary quarters just over the Tennessee line.
[They have stayed with their older son since the memorial service held for their younger son several weeks ago at his military base in Florida.]
I've learned not to stress over meal prep for guests, especially when I don't know the exact time of arrival.
I dashed up to the market for slicing tomatoes and a pound of deli roast beef, some good provolone cheese. This, with smoked turkey became a 'make your-own-sandwich' buffett.  The herb bread was still warm from my oven.
I made soup: onions and garlic sauteed in olive oil, 2 cans of chicken broth, 3 qts of home-canned tomatoes, 2 of which I buzzed in the blender. I added a bay leaf, sea salt, coarsely ground pepper, home-grown parsley and basil which had been dried from our garden. I also threw in a scant handful of tiny star pasta to give the soup more body.
I happily report that the meal
 was relished by all--coffee or tea for those who wanted, a berry pie to finish.
Rain drizzled down for part of the day, turning to wet flakes of snow for about 10 minutes.
It was after dark when we sent these dear folks on their way with many a hug.

Bobby McGee tucks up on a quilt after his rambles outside in the damp.

We have puttered today.
There is no need to cook with good food still on hand.
The house is reasonably clean.
Laundry has been done.
In spite of the chilly dank temperatures the cats have thought they should go in and out as usual.
Not liking the draught from the sliding door set ajar, we have slavishly been letting cats in and out.

Teasel has plainly wanted my rocking chair by the fire.  After her forays into the yard she has come back to wheedle with all her charms: chipper 'meows', the appeal of her big blue eyes. She has condescended to spend some time in my lap, purring, a warm and beloved presence around whom I have juggled my book and my mug of green tea.
When I abandoned the chair to attend a few things in the kitchen, my place was immediately appropropriated.
I've just told her that I intend to reclaim my spot.
You can see that she is unimpressed!
The book calls me; I shall brew another mug of tea.
J. has brought in several armloads of wood.
We are cozy and content as the grey day moves toward a chilly night.


  1. like that name 'Teasel'

    1. Hello, Mr. Paul;
      Teasel came to us as a waif of a kitten when we lived in Wyoming. Her coloring [and her prickly demeanor at the time] reminded me of the teasels growing along the roadside.

  2. Sounds like a very devine day to me. I fixed ham and have ham for sandwiches, and tonight scalloped potatoes and ham, yum.
    We had a very soft, dusting of very fluffy snow this morning until noon, its so fluffy it blows off so easily. But tonight, when cars roll over it, it will make for a very slick, greasy ride home.
    Enjoy your upcoming weekend.

    1. Vicki; We saw scenes of the storms in various places on the news tonight. I was always rather a wimp about driving on ice or snow, but living in VT and WY I got caught in it more times than I like to recall.
      J. driving coast to coast in a semi had to deal with some rotten blizzards over the years--the worst always being in the mid-west.
      Scalloped potatoes: I love them, but J. doesn't so it seems I only have them at a church potluck.

  3. Sounds lovely Sharon, relaxed and unrushed, and good food with people who matter to you. Cant really improve on that!

    Leanne x

  4. Sounds as though you had the perfect Christmas and your buffet on boxing day is my kind of meal....we do a cold meat and cheese one too but I am fascinated by the smoked turkey and I have never come across that cheese even though we had 25 varieties (its my fun xmas thing).I did my cold boiled gammom ...the way my Nana did, when I was a child and stood watching.
    As for the hedgehog ...they are called Pygmy Hedgehogs ...they have to be in a warm environment which is the only thing we need to work on over here. She has a living pod and a carry pod and a run that you can put anywhere... even though I was not sure about this sort of animal, Holly is cute ...and good tempered ...and is adored by several of the cats.
    Forgot to say that those donuts blow, looked so inviting. Happy New Year xx

  5. Your food always sounds so good and there's nothing like pie to round out any meal.

  6. I fully understand your just sitting by the fire until bedtime. More and more we find ourselves content to just sit in the quiet with a nice fire doing our jigsaws or reading. Later there is a good programme on the radio that goes on until 1a.m. if needed and contentment is ours.
    And yes, we have a cat flap but Polly and Rowan will wait outside for us to open the door having been attacked too many times by Princess who waits out of sight ready to pounce on them as they come in. ( Why do I love that cat, she really is mean) lol

  7. I too am enjoying a quieter day, with cats in a warm house and no need to cook or clean after all the efforts before Christmas. Your cats look very contented inside, by the fire or bedded down on one of your lovely quilts.

  8. Can't beat homemade soup. It puts the best kind of stamp on a winter meal. Your day sounds fine. I had a couple of days off but am now back at work straight through until the 7th when I get a weeks holiday. We have friends visiting that week and are looking forward to our first visitors of the new year.

    I hope your festive season continues in the same relaxed vane you describe above.

    Take care.