Tuesday, December 26, 2006


The holiday is over, and now we can get back to reality for a few days (only a few, though, because we are having some friends over for Bloody Marys and Hoppin' John and whatnot on New Year's Day).

We drove to northwestern Georgia on Christmas Eve to visit the in-laws (or outlaws, as the case may be, since the s.o. and I are not actually technically married). We had a wonderful time, got to hang out with everyone for a while, and of course got to see our beloved ex-cat Taxi, who now lives with the s.o.'s dad and brother. She is fat and happy. I had my knitting gear with me, so I made her a pompon toy with a tail of curly sparkly gift ribbon.

Dad-outlaw has been watching Paula Deen on the Food Network, and I must say I approve heartily. He made these little bundles of fresh steamed green beans that were wrapped in streaky bacon, drizzled in olive oil, seasoned, and baked. The s.o. has been requesting them twice daily ever since we got home.

I missed being able to see my family at Christmas, especially since my uncle is really sick and I would have liked to be able to visit him. It's looking now as though he'll get better, but he had a bad spell of a Mystery Illness that will definitely mean lots of physical therapy and continued care, and may leave him permanently blind in one eye.

Mom and I have each sent each other multiple packages, and in each case there has been one that has utterly failed to arrive. *taps wristwatch impatiently* C'mon, Post Office!

The s.o. and I spent Christmas Day at home; in fact, we never left the property, and only grudgingly went outside. It was like a monsoon. When I bundled up and went to collect eggs in the afternoon, I found the chickens out in the lowest, wettest corner of their yard, pecking around ankle-deep in water. I hope it doesn't hurt them! They must be getting peer pressure from the ducks.

I spent most of the day doing laundry and vacuuming, with occasional breaks for book-reading* and TV-watching. I had originally meant to roast a duck for Christmas dinner, but Friday, Saturday, and Sunday came and went without us having any time to kill a duck, so we had to raid the freezer instead. We "settled" for Citrus-Braised Lamb Shanks with mashed potatoes, green beans, and white wine. And (urp) most of the rest of the Christmas cookies. Ooooh, the lamb was good. Quite a feast.

Today, since the weather created sloppy havoc out in Poultry World, I spent the bulk of my morning mucking out the chicken and duck houses. Glamorous! But them's the breaks.

* We have lots of good books to consume. The s.o. received a veritable library of home-brewing manuals, and I got a novel I've been wanting to read, a posthumous collection that has already made me laugh and cry about 10 times each, and two very different and utterly delicious-looking cookbooks.