I know, I know, it’s been a while.
(I’m sure you’ve been busy, too– what a whirlwind this time of year can be).
And just so we’re all caught up, I’ll give you a glimpse as to what we’ve been up to lately.
I’ve had bagels with pals.
There’ve been impromptu cocoa parties.
And we’ve been having friends over for a late breakfast.
As I do every year, I’ve enjoyed pulling out some of my favorite decorations.
I love that stocking, and pulling out all those other items I haven’t seen in a year.
I’ve missed you, little friends.
And every year Charlotte and I decorate a new gingerbread house.
And with all these goings on, packages and treats kept arriving.
Like a care package from my Dad featuring Harry and David pears.
It seemed like every few hours something new arrived on my porch or was dropped off in person.
Then my dear Mom and Stepdad Fritz arrived and the fete-ing kept going.
We’ve been eating out big lunches, like at Little Big Burger.
It’s funny; we took a look at the three orders of Truffle Fries and I thought, “Oh, we’ll never…” until that perfect combination of salt, grease and crunch registered with the primal parts of our brains and we just pounced on them until nary a single fry was left (I swear LBB has some of the best fries in town).
I mean, C’mon.
When they visit, we always find the time to eat at Elephant’s Deli on 23rd. The atmosphere in the back room is perfect during cold weather when the fire is roaring and the room is bedecked with greenery and hanging lamps.
Wood-fired pizzas, burgers, fish and chips and a great Reuben.
Everyone’s happy at Elephant’s.
We had so much fun together.
We enjoyed giant breakfasts and leisurely coffee breaks.
I’m now addicted to this bacon from Costco — it’s sensational and so meaty.
No matter how much I fry up, it’s always gone in minutes.
This past week we’ve also had Salmon Club Sandwiches and watched a lot of football games.
We’ve been making cookies — including these Chewy Ginger Cookies, one of my Mom’s and kids’ favorites.
Cooked until crispy on the edges but tender and gooey on the inside, they’re always a hit.
Seriously, I cannot stop eating these whippersnappers.
And then it was Christmas Eve and we hosted a big brunch.
We served so much food: Cheddar Biscuits, Mini Eggwiches with Smoked Ham, Red Velvet Cupcakes, Cinnamon Rolls, cookies, fruit kabobs, and Pomegranate Mimosas.
And what’s a party without sprinkles?
My husband was sure that there’d be lots of leftover food, but 90% was devoured (and that which remained was packed up and my friend brought it to a homeless camp).
Last month I found a number of vintage-inspired little houses at the Goodwill Outlet (“The Bins“) and Charlotte and I spent a crafty afternoon adorning them with glitter, trees and bits and pieces of 1950’s Christmas cards (inspired as we are by Laurie Romanaggi, the brilliant crafter behind Magpie Ethel).
By the time the party rolled around, the houses were ready to give away as party favors.
Every family who came to the party was told to pick out a favorite to bring home, and I got such a kick watching the kids walk up and down our porch bench to figure out which one they’d like to bring home.
Charlotte’s idea was to also have something for all our friend’s dogs, so she packed up twelve packages of dog bones in some of our favorite bags — and by the party’s end there was only one dog bone bag left.
And after the big party, all that was left to do was to wrap up some last presents and fill the stockings.
It took me 50 plus years to have this revelation: I could fill my stocking with treats beyond chocolate and other sweets.
Look at the contents of my stocking this year.
Fig crackers, Chop salumi, Humboldt Fog goat cheese, incredibly delicious espresso, cocktail fixings and cooking magazine? SOLD.
My Mom and Fritz left yesterday, and all that remains are so many happy memories.
There were a lof of meals prepared together and enjoyed with abandon.
Like her signature lasagna.
Every year we find a time for her and my kids to make it together; they’ve done it so many times they could do it in their sleep (and we always jockey for the leftovers the following day).
And then there was the night we made my roast chicken.
(I always cook an extra bird because leftovers make for a great sandwich the next day).
I loved driving around checking out the lights and decorations in the neighborhood
and watching Bailey getting snuggled in the back seat all the while.
We playing endless card games.
And watched a few of our favorite holiday movies like Elf and It’s a Wonderful Life.
So thanks so much you two for coming up and spending your holidays with us.
And as the weather turns colder again and more cozy fireplace time awaits, we miss you even more.
Okay you two– come back soon.