Weekend Wrap Up - Presents Day 2009

And it's over...Presents Day was fun, more so this year than any in the last 6 years. It was so wonderful to have the house to decorate, to spread out in, to celebrate in, to have friends over....it makes a huge difference in my happiness quotient.

We saved all of our present opening until Presents Day, aka Xmas.

Andrew got me a great gift of a digital photo frame and a storage card for it, which is awesome as I think about getting one often, thinking I might be the very last person ever to not have one. I spent two hours selecting the right photos for the memory card, but have not yet decided the most perfect spot in the house for it.

We spent Xmas Eve watching a couple movies while making a gazillion cookies.

Xmas day brought guests and lots of food:

My friend Dean made deep-fried turkey breasts, which were a huge hit. And we had ham, corn casserole, stuffing, ginger carrot things, a squash souffle and homemade biscuits. We also had a homemade apple crisp, which was neglected but that was fine for us because we ended up with leftovers!

Later in the evening we made pavlova:

Decorated in a holiday spirit of green (kiwi) and red (raspberries), it turned out quite well considering I didn't really follow any specific recipe. I googled "pavlova recipe" and then I somewhat guessed at measurements and whatnot. I had a great recipe about 5 years ago, but can't find it anymore. I don't know how this years pavlova turned out so yummy, given the "meh, does this look like a teaspoon amount?" way of doing things (which I never do because I'm just not that talented in the kitchen). Pavlova is a meringue - and I do not like lemon meringue pie, not just the lemon part, but the entire thing isn't good to me.
I think the best part of this pavlova dessert is the crispy outer shell, the soft squishy middle and the crispy sweet crust on the bottom. We made the "frosting" from scratch too - just ultra fine sugar and a splash of vanilla...and something else (sorry I have no recipe for you to copy). Just delicious!! We all loved it, and had just two squares left on the pan after everyone had 1-3 servings and we all said, "whew, we're DONE" - then we stood around the pan talking....and it just slowly disappeared. It's best fresh anyway!

We had 7 guests for Xmas Day. It was pointed out that I have been quite the socialite since moving here...and this is absolutely true. I lived the last 5 years in a tiny apartment that was not really conducive to having friends gathering together for any length of time....and now I have a large living room area: the game room we call it, that is perfect for all of us to just hang out and lounge and (as always) play games. It's just wonderful. And my old kitchen fit 1.5 persons at any given time. This one comfortably fits 6.8. It's just wonderful!
Amy and her beautiful daughter Holly

I think the 3 kids (not counting young Andrew) had about 12 cookies each before dinner, which means they were good. Then they bounced off the walls for a little bit.

We ate, we talked, we laughed, we ate, we played games, we cleaned....someone (me) dropped a container of expired sour cream on the floor. Directly behind someone who was kindly doing some dishes. It made a wonderful cartoon-sounding SPLAT noise and attacked poor Dean....Amy very kindly jumped right in and helped do damage control. I, of course, jumped for the camera.

Overall - a great weekend. I did no work at all, which is a good weekend anytime, I ate a million calories-in preparation for my upcoming 2010 work-out plan, I celebrated with family and friends, and we have enough leftovers that I don't have to worry about any meal for the next 3 days.

Next steps: must put away holiday decorations and get the house cleaned up for the small New Years Eve party later this week. Oh, and work will be a nightmare, end of year stuff and all.

Did you all have a great holiday? Get anything amazing from your loved ones? Anything scandalous and drama-filled happen that you must share with all of us? Please do!


  1. Aunt Juicebox said...:

    How awesome! I'm just so glad that you are loving your house so much! And that pavlova sounds delicious.

  1. kilax said...:

    That sounds like a wonderful celebration! The photo frame is such a great gift! I rarely change the photos on mine. Ha! I need to work on that.

    Our holiday was very relaxing! I got a new pair of running shoes, which was really the only thing I wanted!

  1. How terrific that your house now lets you have people over to celebrate with you, that is just wonderful.
    Everyone looks so happy at your house, and that is because you are such a special person.
    How sweet of your son to get you that frame, but you are NOT the last person on earth to have one, I don't have one yet! :-) I just use my laptops screen saver as a frame.
    My hubby got me a Kindle for Christmas(WooHoo) and a beautiful necklace that I have loved for two years. I have to wait until I get my neckbrace off before I can wear it, but then it will be like getting another present all over again!
    Thanks for sharing your special moments.

  1. Pam said...:

    That sounds like a wonderful celebration! I think I had a gazillion calories over the holidays too.

  1. Unknown Mami said...:

    Looks like you had a blast. Hope New Years is just as successful.

  1. krista said...:

    look how cute you two look!
    bryan and i made finn's presents and we only did stockings for each other.
    i asked for a pony.
    he actually got me one. granted, it's plastic and finn thinks its hers...but whatever.
    i found mustache band-aids and i'm pretty sure those were the hit of the day.
    the rest of the day consisted of belgian waffles, the park and a nap. not too shabby.

  1. Brian Miller said...:

    sounds like you had a great holiday...er, the sour sour cream...lovely smell. smiles. yeah, dreading hte end of the year paperwork as well.

  1. Portland Rose said...:

    Your ingredients in your frosting were probably Powdered Sugar, Milk and Vanilla.

    I rolled my ankle playing my new Wii!! That was fun! And my family got in a loud debate about healthcare because someone brought up that they were "scared" of the new plan and of the president in general. Fun family times!

  1. Kaylen said...:

    @Pdx Rose: Nope, most def not powdered sugar...I use that same frosting recipe for my sugar cookies. Australians do not though. :)

  1. Heather said...:

    Having a bigger place makes all the difference in be social. I got to host Thanksgiving for the first time, because of our bigger place.

    Glad you all had a great time and have all them leftovers.

  1. kanishk said...:

    ! I got a new pair of running shoes, which was really the only thing I wanted!

    Work from home India


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