December 18, 2007
Ordinarily, we would have put up the Christmas tree last night, one week before Christmas Eve, but with Davis still in Houston, procurement of said tree has not yet happened. You will just have to wait until the morrow or perhaps Thursday to learn why the Buengers wait until the last week to put up their tree.
Instead of dusting off the ornaments today, my mom and I went into full-scale production on Chex party mix (or what most uncivilized folks like us call trash). We substitute copious amounts of butter for the usual bacon grease, but on the whole this is not a heart-healthy, or waist-line slimming snacking option. Since every batch has a life of its own, I can't tell you exactly what we do. It involves a turkey roaster, six flat pans of various sizes, a lot of ingredients left off the Atkins diet, a barely warm oven (like 250 degrees), and a ton of patience. Mainly, we mix our favorite naughty snacks in a big turkey baster, cover them with buttery, salty stuff, and then bake them at really low temps for about twenty minutes at a time. Then we take them out of the oven, skroodle them up (which means try to flip the ingredients over without dumping them on the floor), paint them with more buttery, salty stuff and bake them some more. We repeat this over and over and over until we have depleted at least a couple of turkey roaster and filled a comparable volume of Christmas containers and used coffee cans. It helps if you have loud Christmas music playing in the background.
Another holiday tradition that's cued up, but hasn't played yet is cookie day. Walter and Erin make applesauce cookies (the recipe makes so many cookies that Christmas is the only time of year I can let them do this recipe, and only then because we have a good chance of giving many of them away). Erin and I will also have another go at Grandmother Thompson's Icebox cookies (do you think Erin even knows what an icebox is?). We made these at Thanksgiving with the idea that we would use some of the rolls for Thanksgiving and save the rest for Christmas. Well, that plan went wrong, mainly because these cookies are so incredibly popular. Since we were down to one remaining roll and were going to have to make up a new batch anyway, we decided to bake up the last 40 or so and take them to the caroling party at the church on Sunday. People kept sneaking back for seconds and thirds, and Jimmie Homburg said we needed to run the recipe in the Chimes. We may or may not do that, but I can do you one better. Erin's great-grandmother's recipe is now published in the brand new Lunch for Life Cookbook, which you can order online by following the links. The Lunch for Life Cookbook is a collaboration of families of children with neuroblastoma. Over 100 families and celebrities contributed their absolute best recipes to the production of this cookbook. Not only will purchasing this cookbook go along way in aiding our quest for a cure but we believe you will also be receiving some of the best recipes on the planet. All proceeds will go to benefit the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation, a public charity dedicated to finding the cure for neuroblastoma. If you do order today, they will deliver by Christmas, but if there's no rush, wait until tomorrow.