Memories of litterbox
Travelling casserole


No, not in the classical sense, but that huge casserole of mashed potatoes I mentioned in a previous post. I'm off to Christmas dinner tonight, so cooked up the potatoes yesterday, it all fit just fine in my Christmas pot from my daughter. I ended up doubling the recipe, as 12 medium Yukon Gold potatoes doesn't look like much for a 10 person dinner. I'll added some cooking notes to the post.

Christmas has gone well - my mom arrived safe and sound from Toronto, I unfolded her walker for her, and then jogged alongside her to the parking lot. Well, almost - she's pretty quick with it. We did the obligatory drive to see the lights at Taffy Lane here in S'Norleans. It was very busy on Friday night, solid with cars creeping along. The SUV behind me was so close I was ready to get out and tell the driver if he wanted to get any closer to my back end I was going to have to insist he at least buy me dinner first.  Saturday we put up a scattering of decorations and just visited with each other and enjoyed the view of the sunny and green backyard. I've three of those Christmas Village houses - Norman Rockwell inspired. A school house, doctor's office, and toy shop. And in front of them, a little Nativity Scene that my mom brought from Mexico years ago. Pretty simple design, just flat stamped metal, hand painted and with a little bent wire rammed up the back to support them. Somehow Mary isn't in the set any more, my assumption is that the paparazzi have chased her away with all the speculation over the father. She's left the kid and headed off to the pub. Joseph is eying one of the wise men - I think it's Chet - since it's obvious with all this virgin birth stuff he wasn't getting any.  And one of the wise men is eying the toy store side door -he forgot to bring a gift so is thinking of a little B&E. Maybe my son can help with his latest hobby.

As I mentioned, not a bit of snow. I'd worry about the signs of global warming, but I saw Rhona Ambrose in a news clip with Stevie Harper and she assured us all not to worry, it would all be under control by 2050. Assuming we leave them in charge by then of course (cold shiver up the spine). At least I think she said that, her mouth was moving but it did sound more like Harper's voice.   

Christmas Eve was traditional - kids and me and stockings hung by the chimney with care. Well, sort of, we had it at my daughter's apartment downtown on Cumberland, and the fireplace is lovely, but a fake, with NO nails banged in. My son and his girlfriend were there, and of course mother - we did hors d'oeuvres first, things like little baguettes and Stilton cheese with mango and ginger in it, pate, chutney - and wine of course. Then dinner - tourtiere was great (secret family recipe), purple mashed potatoes, green beans and almonds, and a salad with radicchio. Desert was very chocolate - sort of like truffle in a cup. Then we opened presents - everyone loved what they got. My mom has been playing her jazz CD's, tapping her feet and tooting harmony with Louis Armstrong, sort of like Glen Gould on his recordings, but in a nice way.

Hopefully Santa was good to all my readers - in his magical way. The Urban Legends site has an interesting Spock-like analysis of why Santa just can't do what he does, along with several cute rebuttals. CBC's Quirk's and Quarks had an interesting show this week that included the Science of Santa - how he uses relativity, quantum physics, and nanotechnology to solve the problem. The podcast is here, or listen to the original lecture. The CBC show also talks about this year's virgin birth - not as mysterious or as pretty a mother as in the traditional story, this is parthenogenesis in a Komodo Dragon.

BTW - anyone have New Year's Eve plans/suggestions here in Ottawa? Some single friends and I are looking for somewhere to go and dance - as singles - with a good DJ (not the waltz/foxtrot style), mostly an over 30's crowd, not too fancy, minimal cover. I suspect the last point will be hard to find. My daughter suggested Heaven on Dalhousie - she says it's ex-ravers fron the days of the old Atomic club.


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