Monday, December 24, 2007

An Attempt at Christmas Cooking...

To help my Mother with the Christmas Eve dinner, I volunteered to make the bean salad. First, I must admit that this particular dish isn't a favorite of mine. It must be made the night before, so the beans have time to soak up the vinegar marinade. My first dilemma occurred not long after I started. I had my Mom's recipe out, and was reading the directions, and adding all the ingredients like a pro. (Or so I thought). Then my Dad walked in, stopped for a minute while examining my bowl of beans, and said..."Umm, Kristen I think the lima beans have to be cooked." Of course the lima beans were the first thing on the recipe, and I had added the green beans, wax beans, and kidney beans on top of the lima beans. Set back number 1-After about 30 minutes of picking through the other three, I isolated all the lima beans so I could cook them. I thought I had avoided catastrophe. So, while the lima beans were cooking, I thought I would whip up the marinade. Easy, right? No. Set back number 2-We didn't have the right type of vinegar. After a few minutes of pleading, hugging, and begging my brother Josh to run to my Grandparents for the correct vinegar I succeeded in making him feel sorry for me. While I waited for the vinegar, I decided to cut the onions. Set back number 3-I had no prior experience with onions, but knew that they could make your eyes water. I thought I was safe with my glasses on. Wrong again. Half way through attempting to cut the onion in rings, I decided that the family would have to settle for half moon pieces instead of circles. At this point, I realized that not only were my cutting stills poor, but I was crying like a little child. The tears were pouring, and my glasses were fogged from the steam from the lima beans. Eventually, I did manage to get all the ingredients together. After stirring it incessantly, and placing it in the refrigerator, I took a look at the kitchen. It all began on clean counter tops, and with an empty sink. Two cutting boards, 5 bowls, countless spoons, two pans, and a knife lay around the kitchen haphazardly. As I did the dishes I thought, "So, this is real-life cooking." And I have come to a conclusion...the only reason that Martha Stewart makes things look easy, is because she can have as many out-takes as she needs. And she has a staff to clean everything up after her show. Everything on TV is fake. If you want to see real cooking, come on over. There might be more of what I'm cooking on the ceiling and wall than in the dish, but I guarantee a great experience. No out takes required.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I have elfed myself...

Well, I've given into the growing 'Elf Yourself' trend. I must say, that it's a pretty good dance. Probably one I would do myself in person. Hope everyone is having a great holiday season!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A bit of Christmas nostalgia

Here it is again, one of my favorite times of the year. CHRISTMAS! I can't help but love everything about the season. The weather has turned cold, and hopefully there is snow on the ground. (Sadly, we don't get much snow in KY. I'd prefer a blizzard.) Everywhere you look there are lights and decorations. And oh how I love the Christmas music. All of it. But, I do have to admit that Santa Baby is my favorite to sing when I feel like dancing around. I love to talk to people about their holiday traditions. Each family is unique, and all those traditions uniquely special. I know my family has a ton of Christmas traditions. Like for example, my fathers endless cookie making. It drives my Mom and I crazy, only because of a weakness to walk into the kitchen and grab a few. And our yearly trip to the tree farm to buy the 'perfect' tree. We all pile into the Durango (our eight horse powered open along with Madison our maltese, and listen to Christmas music. My favorite tree trip was when I was in middle school. My family recalls this story as the 'Christmas Tree from you know where.' We arrived at the tree farm and it was like a movie. There standing in the middle of the field was the PERFECT tree. My Dad swears there was a light beaming down from heaven, saying Porter Family Tree. We knew it was definitely ours. So, we bought it, and tied it to the car, and headed home. But in true Griswold style, Dad started to put the tree in the stand, and it just wouldn't stand up. After a few tries, he looked at the trunk, only to realize that it was insanely crooked. After a quick call to the tree farm, Dad packed up the tree, and we loaded up for round 2 of Christmas tree fun. Half way to the tree farm the tree fell from the top of the car, and was run over by a semi, and a couple cars. Dad did manage to get the tree tied back to the car, and by the the time we made it back to the farm the tree was needle less, all that was left was the crooked trunk. Everyone laughed, and did find another tree, this time with a straight trunk. But, this bit of Christmas nostalgia is relived each year on our trip to the tree farm.

But, most importantly Christmas is a celebration of Christ's entrance into the world. How amazing to have a Heavenly Father that came into the world to die for our sins! It gives me chills when I think about that kind of love. Amazing! I'm truly grateful to have a close, personal relationship with Him. It's a life changing experience that I hope everyone I come in contact with will have with Him. And during this season of shopping, and trying to find the perfect gift. I hope we all remember that the perfect gift was given to EVERYONE in Christ Jesus all those Christmas's ago!