We had a very nice Christmas.
We had 9 people staying over, which was a bit more than usual, but we got through it without any fights or problems. We ended up doing our usual surf and turf Christmas dinner, and I didn’t overcook or undercook the prime rib, which was a miracle.
I had to pay my bread roll tax, however. Thanks to the spectacular bread machine, I have become very proficient with various artisan breads. I use the machine to make the dough, and then I bake everything in the oven. French bread, ciabatta, wheat bread, if it’s rustic, I’ve got it covered.
The bread rolls are my kryptonite. No matter how hard I try, they do no turn out. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the holiday tax I must pay to the universe, so I faithfully make them and then serve the Hawaiian rolls I bought as a back up.
Special mentions must be made to Kid 1’s delicious mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and her sweet potato casserole, which were smashing hits.
Also, the whole smoked turkey from Sams went over really well. It was delicious and not dry at all.
Everyone socialized and played games. There was a lot of talking and warmth. And of course, there were gifts.
I had requested a smaller Christmas this year. My wishes were soundly ignored. I’m now a proud owner of creams, masks, and perfume from my children. They bought me yarn and an incense burner, which almost made me cry. When I was in my twenties, I used to really love the cheap dragon-shaped, cheesy looking incense burners, and they would always end up destroyed somehow until I finally gave up on them. Kid 2 remembered, and she and her guy bought me one just like it.
Gordon got me something special, too. I really love it, but I’m going to keep it to myself. Heh.
This year people sent us gifts baskets. Some were from friends and family – Jeaniene Frost sent me a massive amount of nuts, and I’m low key wondering if she’s trying to tell me something – but some we didn’t recognize. Here is a picture of some of the loot.
Thank you so much. We really appreciate it. In the future though, unless you are friends, family, or a publishing professional, please don’t send us goodies. We can’t reciprocate and it makes us feel guilty. Thank you for respecting out wishes.
Well, this concludes our Christmas post. The house is almost back to normal. Guests are mostly departed, and we will be back to work shortly. We have a week until New Year to sort out the bag calamity, get the Kate series Bible to GA, and plan the work schedule for the next few months.
I did a surf and turf Christmas dinner too! Prime rib and Dungeness crab. I don’t like crab, but it was a hit with the family.
I have an old recipe for Butterhorns, if you’d like that? Kinda like a homemade crescent roll and my grandma says that they taste just like her mother made. The only time I had an issue with them was when I was hurrying and didn’t check my yeast. It was expired and they didn’t rise. At all. They became a fry bread. ????♀️
Glad to hear your Christmas went well and that you’re getting back to normal! I’m off to go vacuum up some of the Christmas detritus. ????
Moderator R says
Oooh, please share!
Here you go Mod R and Surfergirl! It’s been updated to modern measurements, but they are in American recipe format.
1 1/2 Cups warm water
2 Tablespoons dry yeast (not rapid)
5 Tablespoons sugar (OR 1/4 C + 1 T)
1/2 Cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
5 Cups flour
Mix warm water, yeast, and sugar. Add eggs, butter, salt, and flour. Mix well, kneading the flour into the dough. Let rise once, knead down and let rise again. Divide dough into thirds. Roll out each third in a circle and spread with butter. Cut each circle into 12 triangles and roll up, starting with the large end. Place on lightly-greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350°. Brush with butter after removing from the oven.
Hope you enjoy them as much as we do! ????????
Moderator R says
Thank you so much, will definitely attempt!
I hope you like them! But really, I think anyone who likes butter would like them. ????
Oh, please share the recipe ????
Yum! Fry bread! ????
Sorry for the delay in sharing the recipe! I’ll try to get it typed up tonight after work. ????
Donna A says
Hope all the horde had a wonderful Christmas. Can’t help but wonder what Gordon got that you’re keeping to yourself ???? but am glad everyone had a great time. My premature niece was released from hospital for Christmas so it was extra lovely here. Here’s to 2023 being a good year!
Congrats about your niece!
Congratulations about your niece! What wonderful timing!
Donna A says
Thank you, we’d been hoping she might be discharged for it but no promises were made as is only right. An extra special merry Christmas to anyone who did celebrate in hospital this year, it’s hard to feel festive on a ward so much love to you whether a patient or a professional. And god bless the NHS for saving my niece’s life these past 6 weeks.
My youngest was premature. Give her parents (and her of course) some extra hugs.
Chris K says
Merry Christmas! My gift from my husband was a copy of every. Single. Book/novella/anthology you have ever written so I could have a complete collection of all your books ! He even ordered the latest innkeeper. We are having my dream bookcases installed and a lot of my books got ruined/lost when we moved house. One of the best and most thoughtful gifts I have ever gotten!
Moderator R says
That’s an awesome surprise! Like Beast giving Belle the castle library!
That’s a keeper there! ????
What bread machine is this? Making bread is going to be one of my retirement hobbies.
Moderator R says
It’s a Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker, 2 lb. loaf of bread, Stainless Steel/Black , you can read more about it here 🙂 https://ilona-andrews.com/2022/surprise-bread/ 🙂
Karen the griffmom says
I have that Zo, and my best looking breads come from letting the machine do everything up to the second rise. I put the dough in the pan, do the rise, and then bake.
Sounds like a lovely holiday! Glad to hear you enjoyed it.
For the first time in a long while I stayed home on Christmas and had family and friends come over all throughout the day. It was one big huge present for me and I loved every second.
Bonus: The house is the cleanest it’s been in a while, so I get to enjoy, with coffee out of my Vicky Baby mug.
Thanks again for all that you do.
Moderator R says
Yay for the Vicky Baby mug! 😀 And the clean house! I’m kind of afraid to live in mine now, it’s so clean it’s…echoey 😀
My cleaning people come tomorrow, which I’m VERY happy about! Of course kid 2’s flight home got cancelled, so now he’s here until Jan 1. Thankfully he’s working part time and going to college part time, and his job is very “unstructured” so not being home for 5 days won’t affect him, but it was definitely an unpleasant surprise! (Thanks Southwest!)
At least he and kid 1 can go up skiing again this week!
Sounds like a lovely holiday. I developed Covid last Wednesday, so Christmas with my grown girls is delayed. Happy holidays to all!
Feeling your pain. I caught Covid from my father, who apparently brought it back from his last hospital stay…
All the best to you and your family.
Biggest lie my family told this year: I feel fine. There’s a covid outbreak at my house right now. Im negative but doubt it will stay that way. Loved seeing them so there’s that.
As Louise Penny says,
“Ruth had called her latest slim volume of poetry I’m FINE. Only people who read it realized that FINE stood for Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Egotistical.”
Susan Spencer says
Oh my, I’m going to have to look that one up! Apparently I have a habit of saying “I’m Fine!”. I break myself fairly frequently. I’m a martial artist, stuntwomen in film, and ride horses, so the odds are rarely in my favor, lol. For Christmas, our son gave my husband a couple packs of trauma bandages and a couple packs of blood clotting agents. Apparently no one has any confidence in my ability to remain intact. A few years ago, my husband gave me a t-shirt with a huge blood stain on it (printed, not real, I usually have the grace to not bleed on my own clothes, that is what set dressers and wardrobe are for), that said “I’m Fine!”. I wore that to my second breast cancer biopsy. It was a huge hit with the nurses and radiologist. I did wear a sweatshirt to keep it covered in the waiting room. He also got me a shirt more recently (since cancer diagnosis) that has a cat with all the hair sticking out that says “It’s fine, I’m fine, everything’s fine!!”, SO funny! It was a hit at the surgical oncologist’s office. Anyway, that book sounds like it could be fun. I will check it out, thanks!
Quiet Christmas here thanks to covid too. My youngest came up positive on Thursday, canceled all plans but already grocery shopped so we have cheese and crackers galore. Oh well, it was still nice, we just wore masks. I still got to drink hot chocolate out of my ferret heist mug! I’m still negative, so back to work tomorrow! Who’d have thought I would miss the “old” days (of a year ago) when if close family were positive you quarantined just in case. I work in a hospital, I think the new policy is because we get so short staffed when there’s another active outbreak. Hope you all had a fabulous holiday.
I thought it was just me with the covid. Mine was mild. Hope all of yours were too.
Susan Spencer says
I feel the “pain”! Last year Christmas with the grandchildren became a Zoom event because they both caught Covid. They are fine, it was very mild for them. But they are always all over me (insert fanatically devoted grandmother happy face here), and I can’t risk getting it… again. Best wishes to you. My son is an emergency physician, and they have been hammered repeatedly. When I was at the hospital for my last bone scan the announcers informed us that the hospital was nearing “divert” state, then a couple hours later it went to divert. Thank you for what you do. All our health care workers should be appreciated and showered with gifts.
Christmas was lovely for us and a first with our now 2 months old baby.
Driving home from the family dinner I got to listen to Burn for Me which was the perfect end to the night.
Oh and my Cutting Edge sweatshirt arrived before the holiday. My gift to myself and it’s fantastic!
Colleen C. says
Your holiday sounds very nice. I made a 10 lb prime rib this year and was very worried about both the over and under cooking but my family prefers it still mooing and I got it just right. Whew.
Congrats on a new baby! ????
Laura Register says
Congratulations on surviving Christmas! My hubby and I were on our own yesterday, so there were multiple naps and a pot roast that was decently cooked.
Moderator R says
Same here! Christmas naps it’s where it’s at!
LOL, same here. It was awesome.
Conversation earlier in the week:
Friend: I got roped into hosting this year. What are you doing for Christmas?
Friend (very quietly): Can I come over to *your* house?
Oh, yeah, naps!
We had 6 kids & grandkids + 3 add-ons for Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange; a chaotic but lovely time. It was a last-minute decision, and we’re in a condo with seating for 3 at the kitchen island, so we went with lots of finger foods from Trader Joes plus a few home-cooked items: duck breast with 2 sauces, steamed veggies (picky g-kids), gingerbread cake, and cookies. Much simpler than our traditional holiday cook-a-thons for 15+!
Christmas Day my husband and I spent in our PJs, ate leftovers, watched two new movies, and took (I think) two naps each. Ahhh…
Linda Cambier says
It sounds like it was a lovely Christmas!
A quick tip to ease the stress about the prime rib in future years: get a sous vide circulator. You cook the prime rib in a sous vide bath to the perfect doneness throughout and then stick it in a 500 degree oven for 15-20 minutes to get a nice crust. Perfect every time, and the timing with the sous vide is very flexible.
Hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing New Year!
I only had surf (prawn cocktails and steam green lip mussels in onions and wine) I am a pescatarian so no turf. Usually I have a salad sandwich as by myself but this year my uncle and aunty were in Christchurch and invited me to lunch.
If I really wanted to I could take time off and go to Auckland and spend Xmas with my ex’s family (they always invite me and he isn’t there)or really go all out and go to Australia and spend with family over there, but happy to spend it myself.
Janet Scurlock says
My youngest daughter made some of the most heavenly smelling butter rolls from scratch for a Christmas dinner with her friends. I forgot to tell her that she had to leave a deposit of a few rolls as payment. She had never made rolls before, and has absorbed all the baking talent my Mom has that I never received. I am going to have her make a double batch this week and gorge myself on rolls for the rest of the week!!
Ours was a lovely but low-key holiday. My niece and her husband hosted, successfully claiming the position by pointing out that they wouldn’t have to haul their son’s stuff back north (they live 30-45 minutes north, depending on which highways are or aren’t closed for construction). Their 2-year-old son is the only grandchild of my brother and his wife and the first and only great-grandchild as well, so he gets MUCH presents. =)
They made prime rib, but no seafood, which I’m okay with. Lovely gifts were both given and received. My crowning achievement was surprising my brother with the NFL Kansas City Chiefs Salute to Service Derrick Thomas jersey. Derrick Thomas was a linebacker and brilliant, but tragically died in a car accident before he could become (my brother insists) the greatest linebacker of all time. =) At Veteran’s Day this year, the Chiefs honored Derrick’s father, who died in the Linebacker missions during the Vietnam War. Our father, who was an Air Force artist, was one of a group of artists who painted three large commemorative murals celebrating Linebacker’s success. He contacted the Chiefs and told them about the murals, but it was a one-day display, so they couldn’t arrange to display them. BUT, they sent him one of the patches they’d had made, which really touched my brother. When he showed us, I asked him what he would put it on, and he said he would like that jersey. Well, it was sold out in all the larger sizes and my brother is a big guy. The Tuesday before Christmas, I randomly checked and they must have had a return, because one was in stock! I grabbed it in about 2 seconds flat and in spite of our storms, it arrived Friday and was under the tree Sunday. He didn’t scold, or scream in happiness, he just got kind of quietly emotional and hugged me. Those are the moments that makes everything worth all the fuss and work and bank accounts that end up lower than you’d like. =)
Sorry for the wall of text, this was just a good day. =)
That sounds so wonderful!!
l have an extremely easy and good crescent roll recipe, lots of butter….
That all sounds completely lovely. We did a holiday before the holidays, so Christmas Day was consumed with my DH roasting his first chicken. It was scrumptious! We made these amazing rolls to go with it and it has yet to let me down. I think the evaporated milk is the key to success! https://www.deepsouthdish.com/2018/11/old-school-cafeteria-style-yeast-rolls.html?m=1
Cheers to you and yours from me and mine!
I’m so glad you had a lovely Christmas.
My daughter brought home COVID for Christmas. Lucky for us, she agreed to test 20 minutes before we were about to get in the car for the 700-mile drive to Grandma’s house. We stayed home. My daughter was upset that she “ruined” Christmas.
Two hours later, my sister was in the hospital with broken bones, after a roll-over accident with a horse. My brother went there to pick up the pieces. Nobody was left at Grandma’s to celebrate Christmas. Now my daughter doesn’t feel so bad.
We have a roof over our heads and nobody died. For that we are thankful. Merry Christmas.
Get better soon. Seeing this and the previous post, it looks like we can form our own subdivision of the Horde, the pestilence ridden readers…
I think I am a bit feverish. I only hope my dad survives this; he is 96.
Moderator R says
It’s probably the time to say that I’m pretty sure I have it too. I developed symptoms over the weekend…
Smooth sailing for all of us!
Hope you are all well soon, take care.
Add me to the list. I got Covid just before Christmas. My friend and I met for high tea as per our Christmas tradition and she had it. I got it. My throat was the worst of it – felt like I swallowed jagged glass. I lost my sense of taste and smell so all the yummy food I have in the house will have to wait to get eaten. It’s day 6 and I still can’t taste anything.????
Cynthia R says
My dad is 92, lives in assisted living in AZ and caught covid right after Thanksgiving. I live in NY and I caught covid at the same time. My dad is high risk and he sailed right through it. He had a mild fever, a slightly runny nose and I think he coughed twice in the 2 weeks I was on the phone every day checking on him.
I, on the other hand, had a cough that has finally settled down but I would go on coughing jags that lasted for hours it seemed like.
The staff at the assisted living told me everyone there had covid or the flu and the residents with flu were sicker than the residents with covid.
I tell you this in the hope that you and your dad will sail right through it and I hope you are both feeling better soon.
For Christmas eve dinner I made us a 2 rib standing roast, roasted potatoes, and a green salad. Unfortunately the roast, though tasty, was dry. I cooked it in the air fryer since the oven was taken up with the eggnog cheesecake. First time trying it that way and I overcooked it by about 10-15 minutes. Then Christmas was driving down to Newbury Park to have brunch and dinner with his sister and niece. I brought the nummy cheesecake, curried deviled eggs, and a roasted pineapple/habenero cream cheese dip. Bobbi did the ham, scalloped potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Emily made sauteed green beans with garlic and bacon and the rolls. We try to do a moveable feast/potluck so no one person has to do everything. Afterwards we exchanged gifts and watched Elf and the the Xmas episode of All Creatures Great and Small. It was a nice, quiet family Christmas. Today is making soup from the leftover roast.
Roasted pineapple habanero cream cheese dip?!?! It sounds divine! Could you post the recipe, please?
Try this roll recipe. I used to suck at tolls while being able to make most other breads. This one is a game changer! https://www.food.com/recipe/gwens-butter-rich-dinner-rolls-104703?ftab=reviews
Happy New Year to all! Our Christmas continues with more guests cohappiness! and more cooking to comence. Pie and ham today.
Thank you too house Andrew’s for all the fun and happyness!
I received my BDH mug on Christmas Eve. it was great to have my annual hot cocoa with Bailey’s in my new mug. I love the shield. IA forever!
Molly Jones says
Sounds like a wonderful holiday! I am getting my Christmas gift tomorrow, a new kidney! Since I will be down and out a while, I have decided to do a re-read of Kate in preparation for the new novella. Looking forward to it!
Moderator R says
Best wishes for you, hope it all ges great and recovery is easy!
Good luck and enjoy the reading time!
Congrats on the kidney!!
Congrats on the kidney and I hope everything is going well for you! ????
Congratulations on the kidney! I cannot think of a better gift. I thought my husband’s gift to me of a high quality live steel gladius was super cool, but a new kidney… just wow! That had to be number 1 on your list. You must be so very happy! I hope all went well and continues to do so.
May I just say, sometimes I get so much joy out of giving gifts to people I appreciate. I never feel like it should be reciprocal. The amount of goodness you do for the BDH is astounding and some may feel the need to give you something tangible besides the purchasing of books. Just feel the love, you deserve it.
Happy New Year.
I’m in total agreement with Laj!!!
R Coots says
Oooh, sounds fun! Here, husband person had to stick a space heater under the grill cover before it would start, upon which time he stuffed the 15lb brisket in and proceeded to randomly run to the window to check the temp on the remote thingy and cackle delighedly over the enormous pile of meat he was making. For two peaple ????. We’re going to be eating brisket for the next week and a half
Karen the griffmom says
I will pay for you to send me good brisket! My go-to Cajun brisket place burned down last yesr.
Courtney Mincy says
We’re surviving the holidays. Zero degrees in West Tennessee is very unusual for us. Thankfully the power stayed on. Only had one rolling blackout on Christmas Eve morning. Managed to keep the pipes from freezing but our entire water system area has failed. It went dry Christmas night and there’s no word on when they might have it fixed. We got an automated call advising us of the issue and asking for people to please look for leaks or broken lines. I’m just thankful that I don’t work for the water department and have to be out working in this. ????
And to add to it, it’s been snowing all day today. ❄️ ????
Yikes! Here’s hoping the system gets fixed as efficiently as possible with no frostbite or other injury to the service techs.
It’s cold as some supernatural anatomical part here but fortunately no snow and minimal ice, unless you count the solidly frozen mud. It could have been so much worse.
Merry Christmas to the BDH and House Andrews and Mod ar and all of your friends and family.
how you have an amazing new Yr and thank you for all of the comments laughs, conspiracies and discussions over the last yr.
Hears to a 2023 filled with more ????????????❣️
I recommend America’s Test Kitchen Dream Biscuits. You can see them being made on-line. I have made them with their recipe and also with self -rising flour. Theirs’ came out better. The secret is they heat 2 cups of cream to 95-100 degrees F. in the microwave in a pyrex cup. This melts the fat. Dry ingredients are given in the video. I used heavy whipping cream. For Christmas, I took my Sister -in-Law the last fruitcake and we had ham and turkey and all the fixuns. A good time was had by all! Happy New Year!
Glad to hear you had a wonderful Christmas ????
We did Surf ‘n Turf also! My Dad and husband managed to create a grease fire in our grill with flames shooting 4 feet in the air ????
They rescued $200 of expensive steak, did not injure themselves, and did not set the porch on fire ???? Bonus: we now have a spectacular story for years to come????????
When you said loot I went haha loot table XD I’m glad your christmas day was good and hope your week until new years will follow suit
Christmas was quiet here – I made my family Christmas tradition – Shrimp & Grits! It’s been a family tradition for at least 70 years that I know about (I can account for 50 of them – it MAY pre-date my grandfather but I don’t believe the rest of the family does the same although my grandfather’s house is where everyone typically gathered – so it could be much older).
I also have finally found the PERFECT soft, enriched milk bread recipe for making rolls – which I do in the older version of your bread maker. I’ve used real milk and Almond Milk – both make delish rolls. It’s my pandemic triumph LOL – well, discovery as it’s not my own recipe – but I was going through recipe after recipe to find what I was looking for.
Recipe is here: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/soft-dinner-rolls/
Since the Zojirushi pre-heats, I don’t bother with room temp. I add the butter, milk & egg first – poke the yolk, then add the flour, on top put the sugar down one side and salt down the other and put the yeast in a well in the center. Run the full dough cycle (1:50 in mine). Generously butter a 9×13 pan and then I use a pastry cutter to cut the dough into quarters, then each quarter into 5-6 pieces I kind of roll\tuck into a “round” and drop into the pan. No need to be perfect – mine aren’t 🙂 I then lightly spray a parchment sheet (so it won’t stick) pop that on top and cover with a clean towel and pre-heat the oven. Give it 30 – 40 min then pop the rolls in the top half of the oven (I found they overcook the bottoms if I put them in the bottom of the oven – it could be that I’m using a glass dish).
Brushing with the honey butter is almost guilding the lily. I’ve ALSO brushed with garlic butter and not at all. They are all devoured every time.
Karen the griffmom says
Our Christmas was so very quiet. My husband and I were snow drifted in from last Thursday until the plows went through this morning. Farmers around us were breaking out the big tractors to pull people out of drifts and ditches. Our kids didn’t get plowed out until last night.
*looks for bread recipes, does not see them* okay, are we continuing the tradition of you talking about food and the BDH asking for recipes? Please send bread recipes. Thank you
Gail Lefkowitz says
I understand that you feel you can’t reciprocate. That is exactly why you get those gifts. The BDH feels so grateful for the many, many gifts we receive, from stories rhat speak to our hearts and in some cases are life-saving, to sharing your lives (and the animals), to writing snippets about someone’s gif or someone else’s garbage cans. We feel so loved and we want to give back.
Please consider that those gifts are the givers reciprocating to you for all they feel you have already done. It messes with your modesty, but thats how so many of us feel.
(Wasn’t me, btw. But I would love to.)
+1! ???? Very well said!
Robyn A says
Glad you had a great Christmas!
Luckily the ice coated streets melted on Christmas Eve and our son was able to get home for the holidays!
My son and I made augratin potatoes together (a regular version and a non-dairy version), and the three of us shared the jobs to make a great dinner with rib eye steaks, coleslaw, mushrooms and onions, and asparagus! and the augratin potatoes!
So grateful for your writing and Mod R!
Many a time your books have given me the respite I needed and also a laugh at your character’s actions! From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing your imagination and life’s little and big moments with us!
I too understand the struggle of bread fighting you. For what it’s worth, I use this dough recipe Allllllll the time. The recipe itself is part of a series where you can do the same dough three ways. I have done it all three. I also turn it into pizza dough, and stuffed rolls, and garlic knots. I bake a lot, including different breads, and this is one of my favorite doughs I’ve found, not too complicated, ready fairly fast for a yeast bread. Def recommend. Enjoy!
Reading the comments, I’m really thinking a BDH Christmas cookbook is in order. Maybe for next years Christmas Merch store??? Hehehe
I would buy a BDH Cookbook!!
I’m 100% on board – I love cookbooks. I’ve tried to do a family one – but almost every time I ask for a recipe I’m told “it’s in Charleston Receipts” – so that’s kind of the family cookbook. I’ve gathered a FEW that are unique to my family though and have done my best to keep them somewhere for future generations.
That sounds lovely! Maybe throw in some knitting patterns between?
I love the idea of a BDH cookbook!
I was putting a family one together on Shutterfly with pics of my kids (because they like baking with me) for the grandparents. Then I got clobbered with a head cold, so now it’s a non-denominational project.
Personal recipes build memories!
oooh, what a great idea!!!
Judy Schultheis says
I did the muscovy duck for Christmas again. This has been happening for more than 30 years now. There have been a few years where I was the only one eating it, but that is only because the offspring weren’t there. Both my daughters, and both my grandchildren like duck, if not quite as much as I do.
I use what remains to make soup on New Year Day. I can eat for a week with that.
Mmm. Duck. I did duck for T-day.
Everyone in my house loves ducks. Of course, the others are cats.
Oh, I haven‘t had a Muscovy duck since my grandma passed away. We always called it a turkey duck, probably because it was what we had for Thanksgiving at their house. I always looked forward to that. Thanks for the memory!, ????
My daughter and son-in-law were planning to visit starting Christmas Eve. Alas, their flight was delayed, then cancelled. (No cabin crew – plane, check, pilots, check, but no cabin crew, so no flight.) The next available seats were on Wednesday and the return flight was Friday, so no visit. The problem now is to retrieve the luggage…
My son had skipped Christmas in PA with his in-laws to see his sister, but his wife had headed north. So, the two of us did our traditional Christmas dinner at Benihana for steak and shrimp cooked Japanese style on a teppan.
The cats had real tuna for breakfast and the dog sampled *all* her different treat flavors. A good time was had by all.
Glad to hear Christmas was a resounding success! And it sounds like a remarkably busy week in front of you. Hang in and try to have some fun for just the two of you as well.
Happy New Year to HA and the BDH!!
Gerard Fleming says
Hi Ilona, you and your family certainly had a great Christmas Day. Hope you weren’t hampered by the nasty weather that has been hampering everyone in the US LATELY!!! Cheers and have a great New Year for 2023!!!.
In case some of you aren’t following Innkeeper on Tapas, it’s included as part of the year-end promotion. 30% off each episode.
Happy holidays! It sounds like it was great. It was only my two kids and me for our Christmas dinner this year. My parents and brother were sick, so I ended up making a 9 pound ham for three people! We made it fun even though it was just us. ????
Patricia Schlorke says
I made a 3 rib rib roast for Christmas Eve with mashed potatoes and carrots. I like my rib roast rare, which is crazy since I like my ribeye steak medium rare. I make this every Christmas, with different sides depending on how much I want to cook.
For those who want an easy recipe to cook rib roast, I season the roast with salt and pepper the evening before I cook it, wrap the roast in plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator to let the salt get into the meat. The day of cooking, take out the roast and let it sit out at room temperature without the plastic for about 30 minutes. I place the cold roast on the roasting rack that’s in the roasting pan for cooking. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F). For 3 ribs I cook the roast for 80 minutes. Add more time if needed to the doneness you like. Take roast out of oven and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Nice, juicy rib roast with no fuss.
Some years I make homemade rolls. This year I didn’t want to make them. I don’t use a bread machine or a stand mixer to make the roll recipe I use. I like to get a feel for the dough.
Glad Christmas was good for you, Ilona. Those of the BDH who are sick, get well soon.
Love the two t-shirts I got from the merch store. I got the proud member of the BDH, and the Cutting Edge. ????
Ellen Solensky says
I love, love love your opening remark about getting through the holiday visit without fights or problems. So truly honest and so you to put that out there. Bringing people together who haven’t interacted for a while can be stressful. Your friends and family must be very mature and kind. Happy New Year.
Your dinner sounded wonderful. Just an idea, I wanted to suggest the dinner rolls we use. They’re frozen yeast rolls. You put a little butter on top before baking. Ten minutes (or so) in the oven. We normally use the broiler for a couple of minutes. Excellent rolls, especially with almost zero prep. They have that yeast tang. The brand is Sister Schubert.
Arrggh. I attached a photo of the bag. The internet ate it. ????
Here is a copy of my mom’s dinner roll recipe that is delicious and my husband can make it. He’s not a baker, so maybe it will work for you?
“We can’t reciprocate and it makes us feel guilty. Thank you for respecting our wishes.”
I disagree with the “we can’t reciprocate” comment.
You, House Andrews Team, are our gift. You give us characters to laugh and cry with, cheer for and scream at (Hugh!), and quote endlessly.
Mod R makes us giggle, your kids make us proud, and your spectacular pretzel performances leave us bouncing off the walls in glee. (Wanna Zoom? HA can do that. Wanna Merch Store? HA does that (seasonally), too. Wanna novel/short story/novella/blog post? HA has you covered. Over and over again.)
In short, we, the BDH, are part of a constant gratitude circle for HA that you return to us joyfully. You reciprocate every time you reach out to us.
Quite simply, thank you.
Kat in NJ says
Well said….+1000! ????
Exactly right! Thank you for writing that so well. And I want to add: I LOVE the merch I received this week. Great Christmas/New Year presents.
Evelyn Ryan says
Awww, sounds like a good holiday was had by all.
I have a friend who always says no presents, but he come bearing really awesome cookies. I always have a gift for him.
You gift us amazing stories. I think that evens things out. Christmas can be year round.
Steve L says
Glad you have your loved ones to be with this time of the year. Family always comes 1st, 2nd and 3rd as far as my loyalties and priorities go.
You all deserve to be showered with and surrounded by LOVE and those you cherish most.
Merry Christmas I send my love as well. Hope your next year is a happy one that has less stress.
Family Christmas: Boxing Day, this year actually on 12/26. Cousins, kids, and grandkids. Food for an army. Presents. A dozen conversations all going at once. And a most fabulous 6 month old baby who enjoyed being passed around to all his adoring fans!!
I don’t really celebrate Christmas since my Mom died. But I did make a pot of vegetable soup and paired it with bratwurst of all things. So satisfying!
My brother had to work all last and this week, as do I this week, so we will have a “holiday” dinner Friday night, let someone else do the cooking and cleaning up!
I hope House Andrews, Mod R, and all the BDH have a fantastic New Years celebration and a very happy 2023!
I worked. Hospitals never close. Then home to watch movies with my dogs.
Yay, Christmas Loot! Merry Xmas to House Andrews & a Happy New Year 🙂
Sounds like a lot of very nice holidays. We also had a very nice day, two out of three kids were home. Our oldest is in MI and lives with my sister so they had a nice snowy Christmas. My husband monitored the prime rib on his smoker and it turned out perfect. We had my brother and his family for dinner as usual and good time by all.
I was supposed to fly out on Christmas day*. My flight was cancelled. From everything I heard about the chaos at the airport, staying in my sunny cottage with my cats a couple of extra days was a blessing. So I took a long hot bath while listening to audiobooks, and used the orange cocoa butter sugar scrub. And listened to audiobooks. Then I ordered scallion pancakes, spicy string potatoes, and dumplings, and stuffed myself. After that, a nap with my cats, and then an evening of spinning.
I’ve spent a few days getting things done (but, uh, not revising my syllabus yet) and will fly out tomorrow. I’m looking forward to cooking for my sister and her partner – shredded chicken, for certain, probably crepes one of the mornings (and maybe eggs benedict another?) and the rest of it will probably depend on what meat my sister has on hand. Lamb, most likely…
And the itty bitty espinner that I ordered off kickstarter came! So I go it working, and now I can spin on the plane, and spin at my sister’s. The bobbins are only 2 ounces, but then apparently the 8 oz skeins of lace weight I’ve been spinning her are kind of hard to manage, so spinning and plying little skeins might be a help.
I was listening to Iron and Magic again, and remembered how much I enjoy Hugh’s character.
* I’m more of a solstice girl. Fares are cheap and airports quiet on Christmas, usually… and if I leave late, I can often connect with people who were out of town before I need to go back.
I am glad you had a plentiful Christmas. I must warn you to beware of the nuts. I love nuts! But they are hard on my toilet.
Regarding the gifts from the readers, they are trying to recipicate the gift of your writing. You bring us so much joy, we want to give you something in return. You have touched us all and brought us new worlds of wonder. And carried some of us through hard times.
Tiger Lily says
I received my dream of dragons sweatshirt and I love it!! When I read the quote the first time it reminded me of my younger self’s belief and love of dragons. It says everything about their magic.
Pollyanna Hopson says
Glad You had a good Christmas! But don’t feel guilty about accepting gifts. The gift of your writing blesses everyone evry day of the year.
That being said : I didn’t send you a Christtmas gift. And I don’t feel guilty because I read and re-read your books often throught the year ( accepting your gifts to me)
Kate series Bible? Where? Will this be accessible to the BDH someday?
Sorry, brain went on a little vacation at the very thought. I am glad you had a fun Christmas. We hosted, too, but not nearly so many people so it was fairly quiet aside from noise created by the grandbaby enjoying the toybox we keep here for her.
Lydia Chen says
Just wanted you to know that I discovered a Japanese milk bread recipe that makes phenomenal rolls. I double the recipe and make each roll 125 gm and it makes 12 ginormous rolls
Kelly J Jacobs says
s dnem rozhdeniya zavtra!
Susan Spencer says
I am so loving these comments!! And hearing about Christmas experiences!
My most amazing and wonderful husband got me a gladius. A true live steel gladius! I’ve been wanting one for a while, but didn’t want to spend the money now, especially when it is something I’m not likely to actually need for real life. It is funny, I feel like Catalina channels my younger self. I don’t have the magic, of course, but her affinity for weapons is remarkably similar. And my husband and I have already discussed a weapons wall in our next home. Ummm, perhaps I should mention (before you think I am totally nuts) that I have trained for many years in martial arts, especially with edged weapons. The important thing is he knew it was important to me, even though impractical, and he loves me so much. This seemed like an appropriate post, not something I would put up elsewhere. Life is good.
My husband got me a t-shirt proclaiming me a member of the Book Devouring Hoard! He saw me mooning over the store! So he also helped crash the site. 🙂
I was hoping to buy that same decorative cookie chest shown in your picture. However, the shop was out of them. Chocolate covered gingerbread cookies are a tradition for us at Christmas.
There is a web site for the Nuremberger Lebkuchen: https://www.lebkuchen-schmidt.com/en/nuremberg-gingerbread/
I’m American living in Stuttgart Germany (my American house is in San Antonio, TX … gotta love HEB). I bought four different cookie chests for my family and shipped them back to the U.S. Also, I bought the contents of one of the chests for myself. I have access to US Postal services on an Army base, so shipping was reasonable.