Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Day 9-a smorgasbord of Christmas activity
It is a soaking wet day here in Memphis! Last night the local weather man reported a 100% chance of rain, and now I can see the reason for his confidence. But even though it's terribly wet, we're trying not to let it dampen the fun. At the moment the power is out and the girls are sleeping, giving me the perfect time to give you a quick taste of what we've got cooking over here.
I braved the rain this morning for a trip to Target, and a quick stop at the dollar spot did not disappoint. Several days ago I mentioned an organization called Make a Child Smile that focused on having people send cards to sick children, and I found something perfect for just such an activity!
This little pack came with two cards, a sheet of Christmas stickers, several stick on decorations and some ribbon. It is exactly what I was looking for to write another card to a little girl that one of the readers let me know about. I don't know if all dollar spots carry similar items, but if you're looking for something like this, you can't beat it for price and Christmas cuteness.
While I was out, a friend and I began preparations for a party that we're planning to have for the Tennessee Baptist Children's home on Monday. It's something that I'm super excited about. This particular organization is just a few minutes from my house, but I have not known anything about it until we called to see if there was anything we could do to help out this Christmas. They suggested we throw a party for one of the cottages, so we checked to see if there was any interest among our friends and church groups with helping out, and we were thrilled with the overwhelming feedback we got back. This Sunday I told my class at church the needs for the party, and I was blown over by the generosity of people who wrote a check, offered to bake, or volunteered to come to the party and help out. It has been so wonderful to see how so many people have come together for this to help make it something really special. I am praying it will be! Anyway, more to come as the party gets closer, but suffice it to say, Target is a one-stop shop for party planning needs, so we took care of quite a bit of business today!
And finally, let me dedicate a little space to Christmas baking. I am no Emeril, but I do love to make some homemade Christmas candy. Yesterday my mom, mother-in-law, sister, Marianna, and I went at with full force. It didn't dawn on me until we were almost done that we were a little top heavy on the peanut butter items, but for peanut butter fans, I guess there's no such thing as too much. Here is a run down of what we made; Chocolate covered peanut butter balls, peanut butter blossoms, reindeer pretzel candies (mom thought they looked more Darth Vaderish than reindeer-esque), chocolate bark candy, peanut butter fudge, and chocolate crackles.
Yes, it is very possible we bit off more than we could (should have) chewed, but five hours later, I headed home loaded with goodies. Of everything we made, I've got to give one very high recommendation for the chocolate bark. In fact, I dare you to give me a recipe easier than this. You take one bag of chocolate morsels (milk, white, dark, semi-sweet, you name it!), and melt it in the microwave with two teaspoons of oil. Let it cool for five minutes and then add your favorite additive. For us, we added pretzels to the milk chocolate and mini m&ms to the white chocolate. Pour onto wax paper and cool in the fridge. Break up into "bark" chips and you're done! Those are the kind of Christmas candy recipes I'm talking about, and if you have any similar, please share. Also, I'm looking for something with coconut, so pass along ideas if you have them!
And this brings me back to the very wet day. I have mounds and mounds of candy sitting in my house, and today we were hoping to go and see some neighbors and give it away. I'm pretty much the pits when it comes to neighborly hospitality, so I thought this was finally going to give me a chance to get out there and visit with the wonderful people we live next to. But, Marianna and I did live on the wild side for a few seconds to dash out and bring a plate of goodies and a few verse books to the poor trash guys who have been out in this mess all day. I guess they probably needed it more than anyone, so it all worked out for the best.