I've had that old song from the musical Hair in my head all day, ever since I went out back to top up the birdbath and realized that there was actual blue sky overhead and the sun gilding the clouds on the horizon. We had blue sky all day and the temperature even crept up near 32 degrees. DIL1 emailed me after reading yesterday's post to advise me on the temperature needed to keep food safe in the van/freezer when the temp outside gets out of the single digits. Her excellent suggestion (which I never thought of) was to put a fridge thermometer out there which I did and we're staying in the safe zone because, as she so rightly said, 5 sick adults in a house with only one bathroom is no picnic. I am so grateful for her advice on food things. She's a graduate of the CIA (no, not that CIA, the Culinary Institute of America) and has taken at least one course on food safety so she knows her stuff. You can't have her; I'm keeping her, well, DS is, which is sort of the same thing.
This morning I opened a new box of Cheerios and there was a prize in it. A prize! I haven't gotten a prize in a cereal box for mph-mumble years. It's a troll with pink hair. A kid would know her name but I had fun making her walk around while eating my breakfast. Do-do-do.
Once the cleaning lady arrived, I got to work making Bacon & Onion-glazed Carrots for Christmas dinner. I peeled and sliced the 2 lb. bag I bought for the purpose but it didn't look like enough so I added the 1+ lb. bag we had on hand. This might be enough. And if it isn't, to quote my Grandma Angermeier, "people can just fill up on jelly bread." (man, that hasn't popped into my head in decades)
After lunch I baked a couple trays of cookies, then I went off to the Social Security office to ask a question about the letter I got telling me how much I'd be getting in 2017. I didn't have a long wait and the people that work in the office here are so nice and so helpful I never mind going there. I baked up the rest of the cookies when I got back.
While I was out Durwood cubed up a couple chuck roasts for me to sear when I got home so we can make crockpot beef stew for supper on Christmas Eve. I had the iron skillet so hot that even with the range hood and ceiling fan on "jet engine" speed the smoke alarm went off--twice. We opened the patio door and I propped open the front door to air the house out. The third time it went off I dragged a chair into the hall, took it off the mount and pulled out the battery. Once the house was relatively smoke free and Durwood was shivering violently from all the cold air roaring through the place, I closed things up and reinstalled the smoke alarm. But it smells nice in here, mm, beefy. The beef was THE LAST precooking item on the list. Tonight we wrap gifts.
December 20--Mother and Child. Marilyn felt branded by the heat of Gabriel's small body on her chest. His dark curls stuck to his forehead and her breath made them flutter on her chin. Every day since he was born she had wondered how she had been so lucky to have such a child, Gabriel's smile lit up whatever place he was in. Even cranky old ladies in the grocery smiled at him.
And now it's time to go into the kitchen and scare up some supper. We decided to forgo our weekly Papa Murphy's pizza splurge and eat better since we've been cooking up so much non-WW food for the weekend. Last night I made chicken cutlets with balsamic-brown sugar sauce out of a Weight Watchers cookbook and it was wonderful. Durwood's getting the rice cooking and we've got green beans and broccoli leftover so I plan to combine them and divvy it up. They're both green so they should go together just fine, don't you think?