Merry Christmas! We've had a wonderful Christmas so far, and its just 24 minutes into Christmas day. :)
Dad and I finally, successfully made Mississippi Mud today - we've been trying for about 15 years. Grandma Jean sent me her recipe, and we've been trying to adjust it for the elevation difference, and we've never been able to do it until today. WOOHOO! now it feels more like Christmas. :) Its funny how there are some things that just mean Christmas, and this year Mississippi Mud is one of those things.
Of course we've also been making all of our usual treats as well. We made pumpkin pie for mom, and super chex mix, cinnamon steamers, candy pretzel treats, and 2 very large pans of cinnamon rolls. Plus all the stuff we'll make tomorrow too, and the stuff we've been making for the last week or two. I haven't really eaten much of it, a bite here or there, but mostly I've just been having so much fun making stuff and cooking. Its a great creative outlet.
We opened our presents tonight after our usual Christmas Eve breakfast dinner of sausage (both link and patty), hashbrowns and eggs, and cinnamon roll. We used to always make a cinnamon roll wreath or candy cane shape, but it leaked all the good stuff out. It looked fabulous, but dried out quickly. So, a few years ago I made an adjustment and just started making cinnamon rolls instead of a fancy log. They don't look as pretty, but they're tasty. Especially this year. I finally managed to make the Disneyland cinnamon roll recipe to perfection. :) They're so good. This is a recipe I've been trying to get good at for years. There used to be these really really (I mean really) good cinnamon rolls at the Wallowa County State Fair, if you worked in the food booth, or were there in the morning. I've been trying to teach myself to make them ever since then (another 20 year project), and finally a friend passed me a link to the Disneyland cinnamon roll recipe, and its just like what we used to get at the fair. Very exciting, and very tasty. And its not something I would have ever thought of to try, so I would never have perfected it. There is vanilla pudding in the dough. Total genius. Oh, and today for the first time I also managed to get a mixer to knead bread the way I would. It was the coolest thing. Perfect Mississippi Mud, perfect cinnamon rolls, and lots of fun to boot.
After dinner we passed out the presents, well the ones that were small enough to pass, the big ones we just kind of laid out or stood up. Justin built some AMAZING stuff this year, and I'm so so excited. He built a pantry cupboard for mom and dad that holds our big buckets, cans, jars, etc. Its huge and so cool! then he also built a copper pot rack for dad, and he built the spice shelf that I designed for them too. He was a Christmas rockstar this year, and I'm so grateful. I've been having some depression issues, and having a hard time, and he has done SO much to step in and do much more than I could have even thought of in a good year, let alone this year. I'm so grateful!
Anyway, he built that stuff for mom and dad, and then he built me the coolest sewing table for my new machine (I wonder how long I will have it before its not my "new machine" anymore?). Its fabulous! He got a local cabinet maker to make a custom piece of corian counter, and then he build these adjustable legs, and a special drawer, and its as sturdy as can be, and beautiful! PLUS mom and dad bought me this extender table for my machine, so that I can sew much much easier. Bernina machines used to come with a custom extender table, but they don't anymore, and I've been having a really hard time sewing and quilting without it. But now I have a super duper table, and a super super extender for my machine. Plus I bought myself a new iron during black friday after Thanksgiving, so I'm a happy to sew girl now! I've got the full meal deal.
Everyone also got some other cool things. Dad of course gets to go to Africa, that was his big present. Dad bought mom a laptop, also super cool. Then they each got a couple little things. I bought Justin a really nice table saw (which he got early, and used to make all the beautiful projects he did), and I got him Despicable Me, and Shrek the Final Chapter (or whatever its called). Anyway, it was lovely, and fun, and OH, mom bought the dogs each a cookie monster doll, and we got the cat some catnip. They were all SO SO funny, and we all laughed and laughed. The 2 dogs and 1 cat were all so excited with their presents, it was really cute and funny. We also took lots of pictures which will be fun to scrapbook soon, and I'll post a bunch too.
Well, I just wanted to write this and share it while it was still fresh in my mind, and to share the joy of our day and the season. Love to everyone! Merry Christmas! :)