First up, Odd Fellow (from Unusual Toys for You to Knit and Enjoy by Jess Hutchison, OOP, sometimes you can find it on Ebay) -- the original little "bean" that I made for Ali's friend with whom I share a birthday -- this is the one that started the recent bean bonanza. Ben was visiting last night and he finally collected his little guy, but not before I performed a face lift -- on Bean, not Ben -- and isn't he so much cuter now (left/before, right/after)? The placement of nose and mouth makes a huge difference in the "personality" of these little guys.
The weather outside was truly frightful yesterday. I was awakened by windows rattling to the wind -- 40 mph gusts -- and snow, which lasted all day. The official line says about 5.5 inches of snow in these parts; there was a lot of drifting because of the wind. I shoveled six inches from the back walk to the garage door yesterday -- twice.
I spent a lot of time in -- specifically, in the kitchen -- though I did have to venture out to the store once. I made Sandy's Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, though some of them were minus the kiss as requested by Madeleine. My sister usually makes these and they're a big favorite. I never realized how few ingredients were involved and how easy they were!
I prepped the Heavenly Hash fruit salad that is a staple of our family gatherings for years. My mother usually makes it, but I volunteered this year. The recipe is from a lady named Jean Olson -- I'm not sure if she was a friend in Toledo or Toronto or Denver or St. Louis -- but she must have been a wonderful and generous cook, it's her sugar cookie recipe we've always used, too.
I received a most wonderful prize package in the mail from Twirl Girl Carla on Friday because I won her birthday contest (Scorpios RULE!). The Mrs. Field's peppermint truffles were the perfect accompaniment to opening parcels. The yarn is SO wonderful! It is handpainted wool sock yarn from The Fiber Denn in a color called "beach." Now, whenever I see yarn in colors having to do with the ocean or the beach, DH comes immediately to mind; I always think it would be so wonderful to knit him something in such a colorway, being that he loves the ocean so much. I never, ever commit, though, because I realize how much I love those colorways, too, and maybe I'd like something for myself and, well, I like to keep my options open. That's terrible, isn't it? I'm such a generous knitter in my mind -- I really want to be -- but so selfish in reality.
Maybe I could knit something we could share.
What I did not expect in that package from Carla was the solution to my Eve of Christmas Eve dinner dilemma! Because of the aforementioned frightful weather, I did not have overnight guests arriving at dinner time last night, but I did not know that on Friday night, so I was delighted to find a bottle of Spiedie Sauce inside. I cut up some chicken and poured on the sauce over it and left it in the 'fridge overnight. It was about as far from "open flame" or "grilling" weather as could be last night, so I used my Foreman-ish grill to cook it (I didn't even use skewers -- just spooned the cubed chicken on and scooped it off. We ate it just as Carla suggested, on a soft kaiser roll with mayo and a pickle. Oh my heavens, it was delicious! There was a lot left over, because I'd been expecting a crowd, so it's in the fridge and it's SO good that I've been "snitching" cold spiedie chicken cubes!
Everyone scheduled to arrive yesterday will now be arriving today, along with those originally scheduled to arrive today, and what that means is a house full of people this afternoon -- at Mom's. We are having a very low-key, no fuss, no muss Christmas Eve dinner this year. This is a bit unusual for us. We usually do things like platters full of Cornish hens, standing rib roasts, Beef Wellington, yorkshire pudding, big hams with cloves and glaze. This year, we're having ham sandwiches (and now, spiedies!), potato and fruit salads, corn pudding (another nod to tradition -- and a perfect accompaniment to this meal) -- on the Spode Christmas china, no doubt, and maybe even with the sterling. ; )
The Log Cabin suede-sole slipper socks are finished, but not very easy to photograph. I look like Bozo with 'em on my feet, so I'm just going to have to try and get a good picture of Michael trying them on tonight. I gave up on Mack's Shark Mitts -- kind of futzy and putzy and I'm not in the mood. I'll still knit the kids some mittens, they just won't be for Christmas.
I started knitting something new for myself last night, and I think I'm going to start yet another something new today! For myself? For DH? For someone else?