Wednesday, December 21, 2011

'Twas the Hodgpodge before Christmas

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. I hope this week finds you enjoying time with friends and family as we celebrate the gift of God's only Son. Be sure to add your link to the bottom of my post and then go spread Christmas cheer to some of the other Hodgepodgers playing along today. Merry Christmas!

1. Are you cooking Christmas dinner? How many will be round your table this year? What are we having?

I'm cooking Christmas dinner but will have lots of help from my girls. My sisters, niece, and my mom will pitch in too and we all like the kitchen. There will be 13 for dinner and we're having baked ham, cranberry salad, pineapple stuffing, scalloped potatoes, brussel sprouts with pancetta and garlic, marinated green beans, and an assortment of Christmas cookies for dessert. We usually have a big breakfast on Christmas morning, punch and hors d'oeuvres in the afternoon, and dinner around 6. I'm also cooking the Christmas Eve meal for eight and the day after Christmas meal too, since that happens to be my sister's birthday. She collects pigs and I've put daughter2 in charge of making some super cute pig cupcakes we saw on Pinterest.

2. What is one must-have Christmas cookie in your house?

In my house everyone has their one must-have which means we do a lot of baking. If I can only choose one I'm going to say buttercreams which are really more of a candy than a cookie.

They are deliciously rich and sweet...little balls of butter and sugar, each one carefully dipped in melted chocolate. My entire family would revolt if there were no buttercreams at Christmas.

3. Santa likes a glass of milk with his cookies-do you? What kind of milk is on tap at your house-skim, almond, soy, full fat (Gasp!)

In our house Santa drinks skim milk. So does Mrs. Claus.

4. Time magazine recently named its Person of the Year for 2011. This is the person the editors believe has had the greatest impact, for better or worse, in the past year. This year they chose 'The Protester'. Your thoughts? Who would you name person of the year for 2011?

This was tough. My personal opinion is this-I think this distinction should only be given to the person/persons who have impacted the world for good. Let's not give any more media attention and recognition to those who have done the opposite. Don't they get enough publicity? I glanced at Time's list of candidates and all I can say is thank goodness they didn't select Kim Kardashian or Charlie Sheen.

How about our Navy Seals? Or Gabriel Giffords...a person who triumphed over tragedy, whose husband stood beside her and declared his love and support from outer space. Let's acknowledge people doing what is good and right in the face of overwhelming odds, not people making disasters of their lives or countries.

5. December 21st is National Flashlight Day...when was the last time you needed a flashlight? Did you know right where to find one?

Hubs needed a flashlight just the other evening...when it rains hard the fuse on our outdoor light blows and he has to climb behind some shrubs to reset it. We have a spot in one of our kitchen cabinets reserved for flashlights so I knew right where to find one. The bigger question around here is always-'Does it work?'

6. candy canes...yum or yuck?

I like candy canes crushed in a hot cocoa mix or used as a stirrer for a cup of cocoa but I'm not a fan of just eating one right out of the package.

7. What Christmas carol lyric means the most to you?

As a stand alone lyric, a line from O Holy Night-

'He appeared and the soul felt its worth.'

Think about it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

We spent this past weekend in Chicago. A high school friend of daughter2's tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony on Sunday evening.

Since my girls both attended high school overseas they don't often have a chance to connect in person with friends from those special years. Several of Daughter2's high school pals were at the wedding.

They came from five different states and had not seen one another in a long, long while, yet there was not a single moment of awkwardness when they laid eyes on each other again. The bond kids form with one another in a shared ex pat experience is strong and life long and hard to explain.

When I see these 'kids' I picture them standing in the kitchen of my UK house, lounging on my sofa during a Thursday night Young Life club, or walking down the high street of a quaint English village.

Daughter2 and the bride played Adelaide and Sarah in their grade 8 production of Guys and Dolls. They sang a duet called 'Marry the Man Today'...

...and she did.


  1. Oh, that bride's dress is stunning! I just LOVE the back as much as the front. And the groom's tux is so classically handsome (the groom ain't bad either). You must get refueled from cooking. Just reading your schedule of meals is making me tired. Have a great time!!!

  2. Enjoyed your post as always...I would love the recipe for those butter-creams. Your daughter and her friends are beautiful. So glad they all got some time together.

    I wanted to let you know that the linky is not letting me link up. It happened last week too where it is saying I am already am?? Let me know if I am doing something wrong...thanks

  3. Well not only did I misspell HODGEPODGE in my link above, I wanted to add that I LOVE the color of the 'hot pink' dress!!! It's beautiful. And it goes so well with that gorgeous blond hair.

  4. Those cookies look good! The wedding dress is beautiful and you had a blast.

  5. Would you care to share your Butterball recipe?!?!?!? Merry Christmas Joyce & Family!!!

  6. We have the same on Christmas-big breakfast, light hors d'oeuvres, the dinner. Youngest daughter's birthday the day after Christmas and #1 daughter always bakes her favorite dessert.
    Your daughter is stunning in her hot pink.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  7. Such a mouth watering post today...between your dinner....butter creams.....and that wedding cake!! Beautiful bride and your D2 look gorgeous! I love weddings don't you!
    Have a wonderful rest of your week...I'm baking today again!!

  8. Those butterballs look and sound delicious. I agree with your #4 too. Love the wedding pictures..that cake is so pretty.

    Have a Merry Christmas Joyce!

  9. What a delicious meal! You are one more energetic woman for sure.

    Love the wedding pictures and what pretty girls. Always fun to reconnect with friends and I think we ladies can always just pick up where we left off with friends. It's so neat!

    Wishing you the happiest of Christmases!

  10. Not sure why your post didn't show up in my Reader?

    I agree with your reasoning on #4 ... you put it so well.

  11. Buttercreams remind me of the past. At Christmas, I always made those with my mother-in-law at her house.

    It looks like most people feel the same way about Time's choice of "Person of the Year"...sigh

  12. What is pineapple stuffing?

    And that was a beautiful wedding dress and cake.

  13. What a beautiful wedding cake and dress! Wow!! And I agree 100 million percent with #4. and I love that we had the same lyric for the Christmas carol... (I always do my answers first before I read yours, so I'm not unfairly biased in my own answers!) Have a blessed day!

  14. Enjoyed your answers Joyce. If I had any help in the kitchen I would not mind making a big dinner. It's been only me for 22 years in CA and I'm burnt out. How awesome to go to Chicago for a wedding. Merry Christmas. Hope it's one of your best!

  15. Mmm, your buttercreams look so yummy! I make chocolate covered cherries. Is your recipe similar to this, except no cherries?
    Here's my link Home-made Chocolate Covered Cherries for you to compare yours with. Whenever time permits, let me know. Don't break your neck doing it, though.=D Have a very Merry Christmas!

  16. Oh my goodness, that wedding dress is gorgeous! Classy and lovely and unique.

    I wish you lived next door Joyce. We could exchange cookies and eat them with our skim milk hot cocoa gently stirred with a candy cane. :)

  17. Thanks, Joyce....
    I couldn't have said it better (#4).
    Two of the guys must be brothers...they sure resemble one another.
    Mama Bear

  18. Those buttercreams look delish! I can see why everyone looks for them :)
    Gabrielle Giffords and her husband are a great answer to that question. What didn't I think of that ;)

  19. I love the idea of a Christmas wedding but don't tell my daughter that. Yikes!
    Love Daughter 2's dress!

  20. Those butterballs look good! Can you mail some to me? jk ;) In addition to the yummy sugar cookies, I love to make fudge but no one else seems to eat it ;/ MERRY CHRISTMAS! I enjoy reading your blog and doing the Wednesday Hodgepodge questions.

  21. I love pigs too. I use to not eat pork because of my love but I just started it again when my son was born.. Now I know who to send all my pigs stuff to when I am ready.. I loved that dress she wore.. Do you know where she got her dress. My friend is looking for something like that.. Wow so pretty.. The flash light comment is so true does it always work?? Thanks for hosting and have an amazing Christmas. Do not cook too hard..

  22. What a beautiful wedding cake. The candy looks yummy, too. :) Thinking of the answer for the Times Person/People of the year made my heart cry. I put my response on my blog.

    It sounds like your Christmas Eve, Christmas and day after are going to be super-yummy. Merry Christmas and a very happy birthday to your sister. :)

  23. Bummed I didn't get to participate this week, what with the fried laptop. Things are up and running...just don't have my pictures on yet. So cool that the "kids" were able to be at the wedding together! That cake is absolutely beautiful!