From Our Department of Too Much Free Time

People – I have taken a 4 day rest from work over this Thanksgiving weekend. Repeat: time off from work. What a concept! This is what I did to fill the time:

  • Drove over the river and through the woods. And back. Also, toured an empty downtown Scranton (What? The Electric City).
  • Shunned anything but the traditional T-day foods. Only had turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. But I had 2 helpings.
  • There were a lot of people at the dinner and healthcare professionals were overly represented. And yet, not a single word about Obamacare was uttered.
  • Suffered greatly from the heavy hands of holiday cooks and their overuse of salt. Gawd, what a hangover.
  • Cleaned and cooked. Boooor-ing but a rarity for me.
  • Commenced decorating for Christmas. Looks like we’re going for non-traditional displays this year. It’s just turning out that way.
  • Baked. Twice. Disclaimer: I had nothing to do with the baklava except to sneak off some crisp top layers, a clearly defined family no-no, whenever I thought that I could get away with it.

Tale of Two Santas Terror has come to the Alpine Christmas Village in the form of a marauding Indoor/Outdoor  Animated Tinsel Dinosaur.  Although poor Woodstock has already met his end death by stomping, there’s still a chance to pull Reindeer Snoopy out of the maw of the beast. The Bullshit Santa is the first to give up. Compare that coward with the heroic vintage Motionette Santa who, although greatly out-sized, stands firm and brandishes his firey lantern to fend off Indoor/Outdoor  Animated Tinsel Dinosaur and drive him back into the Alpine forest.


I said I had too much free time.

We made the Clementine Cake and it was fabulous. Very simple and unusual. We prepared the whole thing in a food processor – the hardest part was waiting 2 hours for the whole clementines to be done cooking. Rich and heavy but fabulous. It rose about 3″ high in a 9″ springform pan and we could have fed 20 people and they all would have been sated.

Kitchen Cookie Tree We don’t put this up every year but the time seems right for it now. There’s a variety of utensils on there now but it all started with some of the old aluminum cutters from my childhood.The star on top is the first cookie cutter my mother had as a new bride in 1950. I’d never be featured on Antiques Roadshow for owning a surprisingly valuable heirloom but my heirlooms are worth more than money.


Here is an unidentified Egyptian-American male showcasing this delightful holiday display. Because he is a traditionalist and a non-visualizer, it took him 15 years to get on board with this but he sure is on board now.

The next day we made a simple cranberry cake. Even more easy. You can probably substitute apple slices or even peach slices but the real delight here is biting into one of those straight from the bog cranberries surrounded by sweet buttery cake. I don’t make every recipe that Stacey Snacks puts up, but the ones I have made become instant and permanent additions to my go-to-first recipe files.

This morning there are empty boxes from decorations all over the place and last night I told Sami that because I am a morning person, I would handle it in the morning but now I’m am not feeling it. Maybe I’ll read some blogs, have more coffee and dream about what stores I would go shopping in if they weren’t filled with mobs willing to kill for bargain electronics.


4 thoughts on “From Our Department of Too Much Free Time

  1. Back from Maryland where I *almost* scored some vintage Stangl, but my mom decided to hang on to it a little longer. Whenever I’m there I have to go for lunch at Chic-Fil-A just to cheese off my liberal friends back at home.

    Ah, well.

    We did the Christmas decorating Mk. I and then Mk. 2 after wife decided that the new LED strings of lights did not match the older strings of piss-ant tiny filament lights. A test of a solid marriage is putting up the outdoor lights without tears or shouting. I’m sure Mk. 3 is pending.

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