So here is breakfast. Our traditional Christmas morning breakfast is an overnight breakfast casserole. You cut up bread and put it in a baking dish. Then you cover it with cheese, meat, and vegetables in various possible combinations, more bread, and then a custard of 6 eggs beaten with 1.5 cups of milk or cream and some seasoning. This year we used croissants, ham, and tomatoes. In the morning, you can just pop it into the oven when you get up, and it is ready after the gifts have been admired.
There were a lot of gifts for the kids. They don’t get up very early any more, but my sleeping time was 1:30 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., so I was very tired. This is because I come home from late service at the church, wait till everyone else is in bed, and then play Santa Claus. The kids started appearing at 6:30. My husband complained far more of being tired than I did, though he didn’t get up until 9:00. As a general rule, if you are a sort of Christmas abstainer and are complaining about your fatigue to the Santa in the household, you should not expect a whole lot of sympathy.
Anyway, I made this cake and #2 daughter made the mice to put on it. She and I made the painted holly leaf cookies together a few days back. You can see that we were going for understated elegance this year. We always make dessert to take to my parents’ house on Christmas day. This is a favorite — a flourless chocolate cake composed mostly of pecans and eggs. Well, the ingredients also include ground chocolate, and dark chocolate, and sugar, and butter. And a layer of apricot jam between the cake and the chocolate glaze. Or you can use raspberry. #1 daughter made hers with walnuts, and it turned out very well, too. She eschewed the mice, though.
Once the gifts and breakfast had been fully enjoyed and the cake had been made and my husband had been winkled out of bed, we went over the river and through the woods to my parent’s house. This is their driveway. We were thrilled to find that they had paved the road since we drove out here last year.
At my parents’ house we had yet more food and presents and conversation. One of the coolest gifts was Grandpa’s roll-up keyboard. It is made of rubber, and can literally be rolled up and put in a bag, but you can also play it like an ordinary keyboard. There were a lot of electronic presents this Christmas, but this one was the most astonishing. Although #2 daughter’s Creative Zen Nano was pretty amazing to me, in a sort of “who would ever have thought such a thing would be possible?” sort of way. It inspired a discussion of the MIT electronic shirt, which apparently is a shirt into which you plug all sorts of electronic devices. I cannot find it via google, but we were debating whether the wearer would be thought cool, or if it might be the ultimate pocket-protector look.
Another marvelous gift — to me and my husband from my parents — was my great-grandmother’s collection of rainbow glass. Here is a snap of the pitcher and a globlet. It looks like clear glass, but light reflects off it in elusive rainbows. I would like to know more about it. I googled it, but “rainbow glass” must not be the proper name for it, or perhaps not the modern name for it. Or else I have gotten worse at internet research, because I couldn’t find anything about this stuff, either. I did find a reference to a type of glass made with mercury that appears to change colors, but it seems to be used for jewelry rather than tableware. What with the poisonous nature of mercury and all, it might not be suitable for drinking glasses. If anyone out there knows about this type of glass, I would love to have some information.
Following our Christmas dinner, we came home and lolled around. My husband and #1 son went out to parties, and #2 daughter and I made fudge while watching “White Christmas.” #2 son was in and out of the room, sliding on his new carpet skates and scaring the dog with a cap gun he and #1 son bought at the flea market while doing their Christmas shopping. There was also knitting, but no pictures yet of that.
There were phone calls and emails and IMs from far-flung friends and family. Today, #2 daughter has to go to work, but the rest of us have another full day of lolling around planned.
It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.