Away In A Manger

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One of the thing that I remember most about Christmas time is the Crèche. It, for some reason, has a prominent place in my mind when I picture Christmas as a kid. Whether at Grandmom’s or our house, I see the lit nativity … And hear dad as he tried to get the wires right every year. We’ve had he manger for a while … Housing the troll and cow bride and groom from the wedding cake, but now it holds the full scene. Thank you Val for letting me have it.

We were a little concerned about the space, but with the exception of the palm trees that no longer exist, the star that I could not get to stay and the icicles that I could not get hung, everything fit. Bob did surgery on one wise man and one shepherd. I think it looks pretty good.

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Maybe next year I will ask Bob to tackle the lighting and figure out the icicles. This year, I just wanted it up.

There was not much food news this week. I was fighting a cold (the cold won Thursday) so it was take out and soup this week. Today I felt well enough for simple dishes so for breakfast I made banana pecan waffles.

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I know, they don’t look like much, but the pecans are the ones Mom (Bob’s Mom to be clear) sent us from the grove in Georgia. We know fresh ingredients make a huge difference, and honestly, nuts are no different. Yes, they last forever if kept in the freezer, but really, if you ever get a chance, go for fresh. It becomes very hard to buy them in the grocery store out of season. The bananas came from my veggie basket last week so they were super ripe and super sweet. Perfect for waffles.

Dinner was a Japanese comfort food dish … Chicken cutlets crusted in panko with an onion sauce. The original recipe calls for pork, but I had chicken, so we used that and I replaced the rice in is with barley. Used what I had on hand. The sauce is on onion, sliced thin, one cup chicken or veggie broth/stock, one quarter cup soy sauce, one quarter cup miran, a few slices on ginger and a pinch of sugar. Let it boil then simmer until it reduces (about a half hour total) just a little and the onions are soft. The chicken is dredged in seasoned flour (just salt and pepper) then in egg, then in panko bread crumbs. Pan fry in a little oil and it’s a dish. Not the best/healthiest dish out there, but darn good.

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And I got a chance to use my fancy new thermometer.

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I have Mom and Dad’s mailbox luck with kitchen thermometers. No matter what, I kill them. They die quickly and sometimes dramatically. Given that, I was hesitant to spend the money on a really good one, but I heard so much about these, and well … I made the mistake of asking Bob if I should get one. I should have know the answer … this is the man who bought his own laser. Thermoworks makes these (by hand according to the website) in England and every review I read gushed about them. So I got one. And I have to say, I love it. Three seconds (tops) to get an accurate reading. It actually gave me two reading in about one second. Clear temp display and easy to keep clean. And it just looks cool. It is a good thing they are expensive or I would be tempted to get multiple colors.

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The cats were in super cute form. Leia kept moving from the tree when I tried to get her picture, but the other two did let me get theirs.

Happy one more week to Christmas!

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