Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Watching for Santa Over Tea and Cookies

Christmas Eve

The grandkids excitedly anticipated the wonders of Christmas and informed us they could watch Santa's progress by satellite. Simply check into the Norad site and follow on the map as Santa made his way across the world to the United States.

So while I enjoyed a cup of tea with cookies, we watched Santa's progress. This also is a fascinating way for youngsters to learn geography and facts about different countries.

They finally gave up and went to bed as Santa headed toward South America. He has a few hours yet to reach our country.

Have you ever watched Santa via satellite? What will they think of next!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Cookies, Tea and Conversation

After Bible Study tonight at church, we had cookies and conversation...a time to exchange Christmas greetings and enjoy friendship. Several of the ladies contributed homemade cookies of various types:

Cranberry Nut Jumbles
Coconut Drops
Krispy Rice Bars
Sugar Cookies with a dab of jam in the center
Frosted Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Tarts with Whipped Cream
Chocolate Drop Cookies with cherry in the center

(I know there were more, but I can't recall them all right now.)

What types of cookies do you bake for holiday gatherings?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Visit Quilting and Patchwork for a Giveaway


If you're a quilter or simply like giveaways, why not stop over at Quilting and Patchwork and participate in the Giveaway of a Mini Quilt Book.? It's in progress over there.

Perhaps you're not a quilter yourself, but know of someone who would enjoy this book by Patricia Mainardi if you won it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Record Your Christmas Traditions & Recipes

Christmas Traditions

Most families have holiday traditions handed down through the generations. Many of these come to us from our parents and grandparents. Then we often combine them for our children, plus add customs of our own.

These are treasured memories to record for yourself and for future generations. Often you’re the only one who remembers the stories told to you by relatives.

*Begin a Christmas Journal in which you record the various memories.

*Look for pictures of Christmas past and photos of relatives who attended these festivities.

*Place these photos on CDs and make copies for family members. These make nice gifts.

*Start a scrapbook of holiday stories and photos.

Consider Your Parents’ Traditions

When considering my parents’ traditions, I remember they grew up celebrating Christmas differently. So we had a medley of customs, resulting in an expanded holiday for us children.

Mother’s family opened their gifts on Christmas Eve, then had their big dinner Christmas Day with relatives often visiting. Father’s family had their gifts on Christmas morning.

So they compromised. Mother let us open one gift the night before Christmas, and we enjoyed the remainder the next morning…after Father and the hired man milked the cows and ate breakfast. (That was such a long wait.)

We always let our daughter open one gift on Christmas Eve, and she’s carried out that tradition with her children. What traditions have you carried on or combined?

Christmas Foods

We generally had roast chicken for Christmas dinner because we raised chickens on our dairy farm and sold eggs commercially. Turkey was a special treat.

Nowadays we often have roast beef for our Christmas dinners. To accompany this, our daughter makes YORKSHIRE PUDDING, a dish her children enjoy, which she learned about when in England as an exchange student.

Actually she has adapted a POPOVER recipe and makes individual servings, baking them in a muffin tin instead of with the meat drippings.

Beat 2 eggs slightly. Then add remaining ingredients (1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup milk, ½ teaspoon salt) and beat until just smooth, making sure you don’t overbeat.

Fill a well-greased six-cup popover pan, six small custard cups, or stoneware muffin pan about ½ full. Bake in preheated 450 degree F. oven for 20 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. and bake about 20 minutes more until they’re a golden brown. Remove from cups immediately and serve.

(Beth doubles the recipe, making 12 popovers. You also can spoon gravy or meat drippings over them individually, if you like them this way.)

©2008 Mary Emma Allen

(Mary Emma enjoys researching family food customs and holiday traditions. Visit her at: and )

Friday, December 12, 2008

Enjoy These Offerings from The Food Bloggers

Food Bloggers

Here are some offerings and ideas from The Food Bloggers. Enjoy!

BlogTalkRadio's In the Kitchen BlogTalkRadio's "In the Kitchen" features the Women's Day food editors offering their tips and ideas for making the best dishes possible. This week they discussed budget friendly holiday cooking tips.

Busy Family Meals Jenna Pepper shares her expertise on how to get kids to try new foods!

Collecting Tea Pots and Tea Cups Mary Emma, at Tea Time Notes, chats about collecting tea cups and those she obtained from boxes of soap detergent many years ago.

Cooking Gadgets Giftybox is the unique way to give cooking classes or winery tours to those on your gift at a special discount for our readers!

Power Food Follow-Up Following up on last week's Power Foods blog, Jean decided to share a few tasty recipes that “fit the (power) bill”.

Spiced Carmelized Pecans A perfect treat for your holiday parties.

Win Sauce...and a Microwave from Bertolli This week an week steaks. Cookerati has a giveaway a week in December.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tea Cups & Tea Pots

I’ve seen a festive tea pot with holiday design at the local thrift shop where my daughter and I often stop for unique as well as useful items. If it’s there the next time we visit, I think it was meant for me to acquire.

I also look for interesting tea cups for serving tea on various occasions or simply to use myself. Today I found (at our local recycling facility…formerly called “the dump”…a Golden Wheat tea cup and saucer.

This brought back memories because that was the first set of dishes Jim and I owned. Where did they come from? Boxes of soap detergent. There was a promotion for Golden Wheat in the detergent my mother-in-law purchased (to wash laundry for a family of 10) She collected this dishware for us and accumulated a set of 4. The only other item I have left after 48 years is a soup bowl.

Do you have any special tea cups in your collection?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tea Parties - How About One With JK Rowling?

Tea Party

To celebrate the release of her latest book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, famed author JK Rowling invited approximately 200 school children to enjoy tea with her. What an exciting experience!

Read more about this at my One Book Two Book blog. This book is a spin-off of sorts from the latest Harry Potter book, Deathly Hallows.

I wonder what they had for tea and refreshments. Possibly something with a Scottish influence since this was to take place in Edinburgh.

I can imagine the excitement of the children who have been selected to attend the tea. (I think they had to submit an essay or something similar.) I think back on my afternoon of tea with children's author, Tasha Tudor. Even though I was a young adult, I was thrilled to have this opportunity to visit her and chat beside her country fireplace about books and writing.

Do You Like Giveaways? Try These for the Tots in Your Life

One Book Two Book Giveaways

If you like giveaways, you'll find a series of them at a blog I co-write with Marcie Pickelsimer, One Book Two Book, running from Dec. 2-7.

Check out the rules and leave comments at the following links. You can enter any or all of the giveaways. These will make great Christmas gifts for youngsters, too.

Book Swim Giveaway
Readeez DVD Giveaway
Baby Can Read Giveaway
Wii Pop Star Guitar Giveaway
Fly Me To The Moon Giveaway
Giveaway - Celebrity Arthur Book from Speakaboos
Giveaway - Countdown to Bedtime Soundbooks
Giiveaway - ECO Baby Organic Playdough
Baby Potential Teacher Onesie Giveaway
Natural Pod Giveaway
RideMakerz Giveaway
Happy Green Bee Giveaway
Mead Writing Fundamentals Giveaway