This is my last post of 2013. I pray you have a Merry Christmas and Joyous New Year!
We are having our single friend, Dean, for Christmas dinner, and also for after-dinner entertainment, which will be a Christmas Nativity Play put on by the eager, budding actors and actresses here. They have been busy making shepherd staffs and a feeding trough to hold baby Jesus, and they're trying on sheets to try and simulate middle-Eastern clothes. They opened presents last weekend, and with that out of the way and the house cleaned up, we can concentrate on dinner and the Nativity.
I did some hunting for Christmas potato recipes, and found two posted on Paula Deen's site (sweet potato casserole and garlic mashed potatoes). In case you don't have your final menu planned, I thought you might want to take a look at these. Her recipes aren't healthy, but for a holiday meal, who's counting calories?
Sweet picture. My favorite of the sisters this year.
Sweet Potato Casserole
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream, half & half, or whole milk
1 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs butter, melted
1/3 cup flour
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Mix topping together with fork, and sprinkle over top of casserole before baking.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix every thing except for cream. Beat with mixer until smooth. Add cream; mix well. Pour into greased casserole dish (11/2 quarts). Add topping. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serves about 8.
One of my favorite things about Christmas is the church Children's Christmas Choir. Here are my boys saying their Christmas verses, and here is one of Beth, too, singing Away in the Manger with other preschool church friends.
I am so grateful that one of the church moms has been gracious enough to work with the kids for three years now, putting a short program on for a thankful, smitten congregation. The more often children are involved in worship the better; they help melt our preoccupied, adults hearts, so we can approach the Lord with a more childlike faith.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes posted here
I doubled this recipe:
6 medium potatoes coarsely chopped
2 tsp. salt to put in water
8 Tbs. butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
2 tsp. finely minced garlic
2 Tbs. milk (or to desired consistency)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. Add butter and garlic and sour cream. Mash with potato masher or back of fork until desired consistency. Add milk, 1 Tbs. at a time, until desired consistency.
Also on the menu is ham, whole cranberries, steamed green beans, corn (hubby has to have his corn), ambrosia salad, wheat rolls, and apple cider, and for dessert: pumpkin pie, apple crisp, and a chocolate pie.
Bless you, friends. Your friendship has been such a balm to my soul. I dearly love you.
~ My son Paul, who is such a kind, gentle soul, abounding in love and forgiveness.
~ A Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, who wants my heart for Christmas. Praise God!
~ Children singing about Jesus.
~ Dear friends who blessed us.
~ The way cheap candy canes light up my children's faces.
~ Hot cocoa on chilly nights.
~ Extra hours with hubby this week, as he gets a little rare time off. Unpaid time from the one job, but we still consider it a blessing.
~ Our heater and air conditioning guy's loving way with our children, especially with little Beth.
~ Apple cider
~ Shepherds and wise men and stunning angels to make Christmas so exciting.
~ God news of great joy which shall be for all the people.
~ That every Christmas is a special opportunity for our unsaved relatives to become acquainted with the Christ Child, and His Good News.
Please Lord, save our relatives? May they be with us in Paradise, we beg of you.