Saturday, November 20, 2010

Over the river and through the woods

My nieces were over to bake today. It was our pre-Thanksgiving baking session! To be followed by our pre-Christmas baking session, perhaps two of them, if we get fancy.

Today we made pumpkin shortbread bars. Should you wish to make them, they are delicious. The only thing, we found the shortbread did not quite reach to cover the 9-by-12 pan. Either that or the pan we used was too big. In any event we wound up doubling the recipe and making it in an oblong pan and a pie tin. We, ahem, have already eaten the cookies that were in the pie tin.

After that we got to organizing my records. My nieces, Rosie and Millie, are fascinated by records. Millie wants a record player. We put all the records in piles such as piano, orchestra, chorus, classical singers, jazz singers, Christmas, and lounge music such as the Melachrino Strings.

Millie learned how to work my 1950s record player and we listened to her favorite musical, "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

By the end of the session the girls knew that Pavarotti was a famous tenor and to be cool and they were saying Nat Cole instead of Nat "King" Cole. They had also developed an appreciation for the vintage lounge album covers I love. Such as the Capitol Christmas album pictured above. And this one, Nat Cole's "Where did Everyone Go?"

Also they had learned to put Leonard Pennario in a category all his own. Rosie even pronounced his name right! I could not get over that.

I find I am already in that holiday frame of mind. I knew when this morning before I went to Zumba, I was at the stove making chili for when the girls got here. You know it is the holidays when you are cooking at weird hours. The chili beans cooked overnight and now I was cooking the onions and peppers, etc.

You also know it is the holidays when you are drinking a glass of wine at  noon or 1 p.m. because, well, whatever. I did not do that today, truth to tell, but I will, before the week is out.

Also it is the holidays when the four basic food groups are sweets, alcohol, nuts and cheeses.

When you find yourself going to Mass all the time.

When you have to worry about when the supermarkets will be crowded.

And whether the gym is holding your class.

There are suddenly all kinds of concerts. Well, there are always all kinds of concerts.

Anyway it is the holidays now.

We are getting into the thick of it!

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