Happy Holidays! December 24, 2016 8:49 PM   Subscribe

Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, and for the rest of us I'm sure we'll enjoy Festivus. Share your plans/best present/whatever AND your single best Dec/Jan holiday recipe but YOU MUST PICK ONLY ONE. (It's like Highlander, but for recipes.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 8:49 PM (106 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

We have schlepped the McGee clan up to my parents' house for Christmas with my parents and siblings and their spouses and offspring which this year is ... thirteen. Which is not so big as some years we've had with more extended family (80ish people was our high), but steadily growing now that my generation is having children. We also hopped over to see my BFF for Hannukah, which was very conveniently timed for my travel plans both last year and this year! Tonight I am sitting up with Nano McGee who is TOTALLY DETERMINED to stay awake until Santa and/or her teeth arrive.

Mini McGee is getting a Lite Bright and Micro McGee is getting a telescope. Nano McGee is getting doted on by a dozen people, so she's good. I already got a Cubs World Series pennant, so I'm good. Mr. McGee is getting MeFi's own Will It Waffle? because he makes waffles weekly.

My mother got Alexa and made the error of showing my children how to use it so they've spent the whole evening shouting, "ALEXA HOW BIG IS JUPITER?" "ALEXA WHAT'S THE FASTEST TRAIN?" "ALEXA WHAT HAPPENS IN MINECRAFT STORY MODE?" (she doesn't know that one. It doesn't deter them.)

I have no great holiday recipes to share because I still come to my mom's to eat her cooking. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:00 PM on December 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Christmas Eve just finished up at our place, with my youngest deciding that a big plate of goodies and the last half glass of my homemade eggnog should be left for Santa. Santa doesn't need the goodies, but he likes the eggnog. Or so I hear.

Tomorrow morning is presents here with the inlaws and then dinner at my brother in laws. Boxing Day is dinner with my family.

Looking forward to all the to and fro being over and just being able to relax.
posted by nubs at 9:41 PM on December 24, 2016


Baby insectosaurus cut her first tooth today! She had zero teeth when she woke up this morning, and one tooth when I looked in her mouth mid-afternoon. Her two bottom center teeth have been visible through her gums since she was about five months old (she is now nine months old), but have been taking their sweet time coming in. I am expecting the other bottom tooth to show up some time between tomorrow and next July.

This is not terribly holiday-relevant, but it's Big News! in the insectosaurus household so I thought I'd share.
posted by insectosaurus at 9:42 PM on December 24, 2016 [18 favorites]


It's the time of the year when I am most thankful for all of you here- I still have my sanity because of you folks. Have a very happy and healthy holiday season, all of you!
posted by pjern at 9:47 PM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Oh, I somehow forgot the most amusing bit. About a week ago, the youngest nubspawn lost his two front teeth on the same night. We've been singing "all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" endlessly.
posted by nubs at 9:52 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Worked the eve. Not looking forward to working again tomorrow. But then off on Monday and Tuesday. So it's all about getting to 5 p.m. tomorrow. I have a nice family dinner to come home to and lots of good foods and yummy drinks. Happy Holidays friends. Love to you all.
posted by Fizz at 10:01 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


GREETINGS from where it's already Christmas (and where I'm already on my second frozen mango-raspberry daiquiri).

Best present: I bought myself a massage bar from Lush and gave it to myself in front of my husband while exclaiming, "You got me a massage bar for Christmas! And you included a promise to give me a massage with it later? You're so sweet!" (I did get other gifts as well, but you said we could only pick one, and I was proud of myself for that subterfuge. That he totally fell for, too.)

Best recipe: we made this salted caramel pear pie for dessert this year. Here is a picture of our version. To be fair, I haven't cut into it yet so I can't promise it's perfect, but I scrupulously tasted each element as I put it together (the caramel is incredible).
posted by lollusc at 10:16 PM on December 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


Also, I'm pretty sure we are allowed to add world's worst present (and that's more fun anyway): some bastard gave one of our neighbours a set of bagpipes.

BAGPIPES.

(I was woken this morning by the first practice session, followed closely by a text from a neighbour half a street away asking if I was the one who had turned Scottish and could I please stop.)
posted by lollusc at 10:20 PM on December 24, 2016 [30 favorites]


Kitties and I just woke from a nap. Soon I'll need to assemble their new cat tree (though they think the box it is in is already pretty exciting. Ooh, and I haven't dressed them up in their Christmas outfits yet, mwahahahaha.

Christmas, it's all about the children kitties.

(no exciting food sorry).
posted by kitten magic at 10:35 PM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


My husband doesn't know it yet, but he's getting a pure silk hand made tie from unionized US workers in his favorite colors. My gift to myself are DSA dues (and a new blue suit that should arrive from the tailors by Jan)

As for recipie, I usually make duck , but I'll share here Hassleback Potatoes And clementine-fennel salad as excellent side choices.

(You said one but they all go together , I consider them a unit, the duck and potato and salad)
posted by The Whelk at 11:01 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


It was kind of an off year present wise, neither of us could really think of anything we wanted (aside from the Nintendo classic, which is unfindable). I tried to introduce stocking gifts to Mrs. Ghidorah, but... well, let's just say I got a beautifully wrapped packet of saltines in my stocking.

Party/entertaining recipe: pork rillettes, which I like to call pork butter. Take about a kilo of fatty pork shoulder. Cut into chunks about half as big as a fist. Put in cold water, bring to a boil, dump the water, and rinse the pork to get rid of impurities. Stud a whole onion with five cloves, slice up a leek, and add to about 2 liters of stock (chicken works, pork would too) add a handful of peppercorns, three bay leaves, a sprig of two of thyme. Add the pork, cover, and simmer on low for four to six hours. Remove pork, reserve stock. Mash the pork with a fork (you can use a food processor) and add stock bit by bit until you have a smooth, wonderful paste. Let cool, then stuff into ramekins. Heat lard until it becomes liquid, then poor over the rillettes to seal them in. They keep for yonks. Serve with crusty bread and a knife for spreading. It's happy town, and looks super difficult, but really isn't that hard.

Happy holidays everyone.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:12 PM on December 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


My best thing is both: I made myself bath bombs. 1c baking soda, 1/2c citric acid, 1/2c epsom salts, a couple tablespoons of coconut oil, plus scent and color from Bramble Berry according to, well, wild guesswork that seems to have turned out pretty well. I think getting their finer-ground epsom salts instead of just using the stuff from the grocery would have gone a little better, but I presently smell amazing and my skin is super-soft and I'm hoping that's distracting enough to keep me from noticing that I'm spending tomorrow completely by myself and I forgot to go to the grocery store before they closed today. (I do have food, but I don't have anything fun.)
posted by Sequence at 11:16 PM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


"I tried to introduce stocking gifts to Mrs. Ghidorah, but... well, let's just say I got a beautifully wrapped packet of saltines in my stocking."

My mom's been getting my kids surprise balls for their stockings the last couple of years but couldn't find them this year, and my kids LOVE them, so I set out to get a couple and found some nice-looking ones on Etsy. They're supposed to go in the toe of the stocking and they're about the size of a baseball. The Etsy ad CLEARLY stated the ones I was buying were the size of a softball, and I'm not sure if I mentally substituted baseball or if I was thinking of the tiny little softball that elementary school kids play with so they can actually throw it? Either way, I was very surprised when they arrived and turned out to be the size of a TWELVE INCH SOFTBALL, i.e., about the size of a baby's head, i.e., way too big for the stocking toe.

I'm sure this won't matter to the kids, they'll be a hit. But I keep looking at them and being bemused by how ridiculously large they are.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 11:20 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


help we've been playing overwatch since 5pm

i can't feel my left arm

everyone is creaky from screaming
posted by poffin boffin at 12:20 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I made risotto al crema di scampi for Christmas Eve and today is ravioli in meat sauce (family recipe of the non-precise measurements type).

As for gifts, that will be later when my dad, his wife and my brothers come over. I'm actually coveting Peanut the First's Wonder Woman action shield that Santa brought this morning.

But the best gift so far is gonna be the copious amounts of wine imma drink later today. Peanut the First is getting over her fever of two days, my brother in law is now banned from my house for yesterday's asshole antics, and Hubs is in the ER right now with a suspected hiatal hernia. So an apt Christmas for 2016 😛 </bahhumbug>
posted by romakimmy at 12:24 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Back in England for Christmas, making roast duck from a Jamie Oliver recipe. Happy Christmas mefi 😘
posted by ellieBOA at 12:34 AM on December 25, 2016


This is baby kitty's first Christmas and he has gifted us with a stomach bug he picked up somewhere. So we all have terrible, uncontrollable diarrhea. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! Mr. Kitty doesn't know it yet, but he got a VR head set, which I expressly refused to buy before and then secretly ordered it on my sister's amazon account and had it shipped to her house. I'm pretty excited about that one.

We will rally and head to my sister's for Christmas with her husband and kids and my parents for Christmas dinner. Baby Kitty has a lot of food sensitivities, so I made vegan, gluten free, soy free chocolate chip cookies that are absurdly delicious and hard to distinguish from regular cookies. I brought a batch to our family event today and they were a hit. It's this Recipe but with oat flour, earth balance soy free margarine, egg replacement, and these Chocolate chips. I inevitably end up adding a quarter cup more sugar and flour to get the right cookie dough texture - but seriously - these a good vegan, gluten free, soy free cookies.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 1:49 AM on December 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Happy Christmas to all!

Toddler was most impressed at coming down this morning to his stocking, even more so when he pulled out a chocolate orange, which he promptly ran out of the room with, laughing wildly.

Me and the Mr have just got token presents for each other this year so it's all about the enormous Rib of Beef for us. It's going to be terrific!
posted by threetwentytwo at 2:15 AM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


ALEXA HOW BIG IS JUPITER?" "ALEXA WHAT'S THE FASTEST TRAIN?" "ALEXA WHAT HAPPENS IN MINECRAFT STORY MODE?"

The McGee children continue to be hilariously on brand.

Our Christmas is going pretty well. Church was great (we got a sermon actually on the Incarnation which was a welcome change) and dinner was delicious (my MIL bought some nice cheese and jamon and made short ribs). The conversation about NC politics was only moderately heated, which was nice. I'm up with the baby who is banging her creepy glowing face man on the floor. Presents aren't out yet, so I, a man off 33, will be evicted from this room so as not to see Santa in action in a bit. We've got a bigger than usual breakfast crowd on account of the group being marriageable and fecund this year

We go to my in-laws so no cooking for me, but we've got scrambled eggs, and bacon, and pasteis de bacalhau coming up for breakfast and I recommend you eat all those things. Oh wait, I have to pick one. Go with the pasteis.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 3:07 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


A couple of days ago my husband and I had a very brief conversation which consisted of me telling him that I'd totally failed to get him any presents and him laughing at me and telling me that he'd totally failed to get me anything. This is a great symmetry.

Recipes involved in the great Christmas-Hannukah matrix: what my family calls Swedish apple pie - I made it for Thanksgiving at my in-laws and my mother-in-law is now making it for Christmas. My alterations to the recipe include totally skipping adding any sugar to the fruit, adding the cinnamon to the fruit not the batter and swapping out part of the flower for blendered almond powder or oatmeal. Also adding other kinds of fruit to the apples, like cranberries or blueberries or peaches or yeah, is nice.

I'd also like to note that the kid (10.5 months, figured out how to walk yesterday) only woke up once last night and if I hadn't automatically woken up at 5, I could still be sleeping at this late late hour of 6:14am!

Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas and Happy Three Day Weekend to those not celebrating the other two. And if you don't have a three day weekend, I'm not entirely sure what to wish you, but hope that things are generally good.

(irony: I'm headed off to work today, I wasn't supposed to work yesterday but ended up having to come in, and I'll be in briefly tomorrow as well)
posted by sciencegeek at 3:14 AM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Best present hands down = my dad donating an unnamed "generous amount" to the Human Rights Campaign for Hanukkah. I wept with joy when I got his card. My dad is pretty awesome.
posted by obfuscation at 4:16 AM on December 25, 2016 [14 favorites]


My cat decided to yowl half the night because there is something outside she needed to murder and now the children are jumping on my face. There will be much movie watching today.
posted by selfnoise at 4:24 AM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm just having a bit of coffee before I head over to my parents' for Christmas breakfast. In the past week, Little Niece has managed to give some sort of vomiting illness to both her parents, and her great aunt (my mother). She's just a little over one, but her biological warfare skills are very advanced, and she's already criminal masterminding at a the level of a three-year-old. We're all really proud.

None of us need much of anything, so we're not really doing big presents this year, but I gave myself No Man's Sky, which is quite entertaining, and I now have a week off in which to play it.

My favorite Christmas recipe is anything without norovirus.

My other favorite Christmas recipe is 4 oz. of dry gin, shaken with ice, with a jalapeno-stuffed olive, and just a breath of vermouth.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and remember- it's not really Yule until a longhouse gets set on fire and somebody gets stabbed.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:34 AM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh also, if you were curious what the best present for a four year old girl is, the answer is Alien with Pop Out Tongue. Nothing else is necessary.
posted by selfnoise at 4:49 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]




Finally got to tell my wife about the Hamilton tickets I bought two months ago that MeFite crush-onastick so kindly sent me.
posted by noneuclidean at 6:14 AM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm at my parents' place a couple of hours north of Toronto. Tons of rapidly-melting snow. We opened stockings + one gift this morning, but are saving the rest of the presents for tomorrow when my sister's family (3 kids) arrives. I'm very happy with the new coffee maker I opened today, since my old one gave up the ghost about a month ago. Recipe-wise, I made this cranberry curd and we enjoyed it with breakfast this morning, spread on our traditional cranberry-orange loaf for a double hit of cranberry goodness.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:16 AM on December 25, 2016


Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah! I just got off the phone with my Ivorian colleagues for whom I purchased a pig. The pig has been butchered, they ate pepper soup with the offal, and now the friend I spoke to is drunk off of illegal sachets of alcohol brought in from Liberia while his mother is making sauce graine with their portion of the pork (except, rather than using tinned palm oil as suggested in the recipe, she's spent the morning smashing palm nuts with a giant mortar and pestle).

Meanwhile, my dad made fish chowder and my mom is making pancakes, and for Christmas/Chanukah/my birthday, my parents are sending me to Chicago for a weekend in February to see Angelique Kidjo perform! Happy wintry holidays!
posted by ChuraChura at 6:32 AM on December 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


(My heart still skips a beat when I see my thing mentioned on MetaFilter. Happy waffling to the entire McGee clan.)

I'm having an extremely quiet Christmas. The apartment is silent. I'm on a crazy tight deadline and trying — and mostly succeeding! — to be productive. My partner is back from visiting family tomorrow and we'll do our Christmas thing then. Half a working lifetime of being employed at newspapers means that I've worked more Christmases than not over the last decade or so. So working on Christmas isn't new to me. But, honestly, working at my kitchen table with an espresso machine close at hand is kind of unbeatable.
posted by veggieboy at 6:32 AM on December 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Happy Holidays everyone! Adult-family Christmas means I am just having coffee and waiting for my husband to get up, even as I peruse the photos from friends who have already been up for five or six hours with their young children. We have just moved back to the state I grew up in to be near family, and I'm enjoy the relaxation of being just a few minutes away instead of having to make a long road trip. It's a bright sunny day and I'm hoping for a walk on the beach. I hope you & yours all enjoy some celebration at the close of this difficult year with people you love. Joy!
posted by Miko at 6:46 AM on December 25, 2016


I am having a solo breakfast before heading to the suburbs to see my parents: scrambled eggs, crinkle-cut french fries, and kale salad with tahini dressing (a recipe ripped shamelessly out of a Canadian Living magazine left lying around the break room at one of my temp jobs):

1/4c each lemon juice and tahini
1 tbsp oil (olive, or regular cooking oil)
2 tbsp water
Lots of crushed garlic (or garlic powder)
Salt to taste

Mix everything together. It might look a bit watery at first but it should come together with a bit of stirring. Keeps in the fridge for a week.
posted by janepanic at 6:57 AM on December 25, 2016


I made vegan curry sausage rolls and they turned out pretty amazing. (Turns out they are as equally delicious cold on Xmas morning as they are on Xmas eve.)

Right now we are chilling in our animal onesies, listening to Christmas music, drinking tea, petting the cat (who got special wet food), and going to Kingston's grimiest pub later--also the only one open for a handful of hours on Xmas day--for a pint. Then it's home, making Indian food, WILTY and Doctor Who until sleepy times.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you are loved, safe, and happy.
posted by Kitteh at 7:02 AM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Happy Holidays!

My best present is another pair of Legend of Zelda Crest of Hyrule underwear (not my butt). I made Chelsea buns for breakfast, one of the few traditions I brought with me from England.

And my new favorite Christmas joke: what do naughty Argentinean say at Christmas? COOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL! (h/t to Glen Weldon).
posted by minsies at 7:04 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Solstice Tandoori, a finndian tradition born this week

The night before the day you intend to cook:

Yoghurt, gobs of it - I used two 500g buckets but could have done with another
Turmeric, as good quality as you are able to find, ideally with aroma
salt
chilli flakes
1 bottle ginger paste
1 bottle garlic paste

Mix together in large bowl. Use hand if necessary to break down any lumps and the spices

Chicken, natural and skinned - I made 12 thigh/leg pieces and 900gms of boneless, skinless breast

- Dip chicken pieces in to coat and layout on a tray or pan. After all have been done pat remaining yoghurt mixture all over. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Day of cooking

Lay out the chicken pieces on baking pans lined with foil. The inbone pieces came out far juicier than the boneless so you might want to forgo those, but I tried to layer them on top of each other (they'd run out of legs at the market)

Put into oven for 40mins at 200 - we have an industrial oven at work where this photo is taken and so were able to put two trays of chicken in together.

Serve with salad and potatoes.
posted by infini at 7:14 AM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


And, my favourite gift (pronounced jift) this Solstice was a big bear hug.
posted by infini at 7:19 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


my favourite gift (pronounced jift)

You are the worst, Burr.
posted by Etrigan at 7:39 AM on December 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


For the under-represented, a belated happy solstice, Yule, Human Light, Dōngzhì, and Pancha Ganapati.

My best present was a coffee mug that was hand-painted by my five-year-old (with the assistance of mom). The painting is of fountain pens. (I also got a fountain pen, which is nice, but I really appreciate the mug.)
posted by audi alteram partem at 7:57 AM on December 25, 2016


Chilling at home with MyGuy. Beef roast for lunch. Watch more episodes of creepy dystopian series 3%.

Stunningly Simple Cranberry Relish
1 bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs cornstarch dissolved in water (if you like thick)

Place 1st four in saucepan. Cook at medium until cranberries pop (~10 minutes). If you like thick, stir in cornstarch slurry, stir until mixture turns translucent again (~90 seconds).

I eat this as dessert, it's great with yogurt, one can even put it on turkey.
posted by Jesse the K at 8:19 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


My best present of all was ten hours of sleep -- a Christmas Miracle. I had to get up at 7 to let the dog go out & pee, but then I went back to sleep until almost 10 am. Since I count 6 as acceptable & 7 hours as unusually good, I'm chalking it up squarely in the supernatural column, glory be.

Also, in a bit when I finish my coffee, I'm going to go out in the yard & set up my new Marmot 3-man tent. Having been tentless for 14 months, suffice it to say I'm rather excited at the prospect of getting back outdoors again.

Season's Gretings to all you subversive wonderful people. Rock on into the new year with all the blessings it may bring.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:30 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Christmas with the family/in-laws has already been achieved earlier in the month, so it is just me and Mr. Freedom enjoying our Christmas in front of the fire. Mr. Freedom and I just did stocking stuffers, so I have a plastic moose and colorable owl stickers, and he has kinetic sand and stamps with punny cats on them.

We already had the traditional Christmas morning cinnamon rolls. Later today, Mr. Freedom will be cooking a duck. I have never had duck, so this will be quite the experience for me! Also an experience for Mr. Freedom, who loves duck but has never cooked it, but with Alton Brown as a guide, things can't go too wrong. Then we will eat the duck, with mashed potatoes and green beans, and eat store-bought chocolate pie while watching Muppet Christmas Carol. There will be a Christmas scotch or cigar on the part of Mr. Freedom, while I will have a fancy frou-frou tea my sister got me.

The cats are unimpressed with this change of routine, but then again, they are unimpressed with virtually everything life has to offer, so.
posted by chainsofreedom at 8:33 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Change of plans! I did wind up cooking (eggs), after my mother-in-law threw out her back. She raved about my eggs, but she was hopped up on goofballs so who knows.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:41 AM on December 25, 2016


I'm traveling today, and my plane is delayed, so I'm stuck in the airport. It's strangely festive. I think that, barring actual religious services, this may be the most non-Christians with whom I have shared a room since moving to Iowa. Anyway, I am grateful for airports with free wi-fi.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:41 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Happy HanuRamaKwaanzaFestiMas!

Recipe: Hippo Pot de Mousse Via Sandra Boynton
Wonderful, quick and easy!
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:42 AM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yesterday we had buttermilk banana walnut chocolate chip pancakes with tangerine-chocolate chip whipped cream on top. Which someone then asked for, so I'll just copy-paste the email I wrote up last night. I am eating one of the leftovers right now (we made a double batch of the pancake part)

>>>
these are definitely my recipes, but I leaned on the big book of breakfast by maryana vollstedt for the pancakes and how to cook everything vegetarian by mark bittman for the whipped cream instructions.

single batch buttermilk banana walnut chocolate chip pancakes (makes about 12 pancakes)

- 3/4 cup all purpose flour (or any flour really)
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (or any flour really; i usually just use two different flours because I have them)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 2 ripe bananas, best for this recipe if they're black!!!
- handful chopped walnuts
(maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup)
- handful chocolate chips
(maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup)
- these are sweet pancakes already but if you like super sweet flavor you can add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir well. Then add the egg, buttermilk, oil, bananas, walnuts, chocolate chips, and optional vanilla. Stir again. Put oil in a pan and heat it up. Medium heat should do. Use a 1/4 or 1/3 or 1/2 cup measuring cup to pour enough batter for a small, medium, or large pancake into the pan. Flip 'em when you start to see bubbles and they seem like they'll hold their shape. Serve 'em up!

tangerine-chocolate chip whipped cream (makes about 2 pints):

- handful of chocolate chips, maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup?
- pint whipped cream
- no more than a 1/4 cup sugar, to taste
- tangerine essential oil, to taste. I used about 15 drops. or you can use mint essential oil for mint chocolate chip (careful, mint flavoring is strong) or vanilla extract for vanilla chip. Etc. To taste.
- optional: pinch of turmeric will turn the tangerine flavor a yellow/orange color.

Blend or the chocolate chips until they're smaller. Maybe 15 seconds in the blender? Put the whipping cream in a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer. You can use the fast setting on the mixer until the cream starts to take shape. When the cream just starts to take shape, you can add the sugar, essential oil, and optional coloring. Continue beating with the electric mixer on low until you get what looks like whipped cream. Be careful not to overwhip or it will start to separate and turn into butter! Fold in the chocolate chips.

Variation: add cocoa powder to taste instead of the chocolate chips and BOOM ya got a mousse.

By the way, buttermilk has cultures in it, so you can ignore the expiration date as long as it smells and tastes like it's supposed to (unless you have a compromised immune system). same thing with any cultured dairy!!!
posted by aniola at 9:07 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Woke up to no power this morning, due to high winds. My husband was at work, but when he found out about the power outage, he came home to make sure I was all right.

Power came back on in just under 3 hours, thankfully no food was spoiled, and it didn't get cold in here, and now my husband is home with me on the holiday.

Making baked ziti, with a side salad, and boozy trifle for dessert.

Hope everyone has a nice holiday!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:10 AM on December 25, 2016


The last few weeks before Christmas has involved a fair few local walks, and a day with the local chapter(?) of Druids I increasingly hang out with. A big circle for this occasion; It's the time of the wheel of the year for their ritual of the winter solstice, and enjoyable and thought provoking it was too. Also, there were a few professional photographers hanging around so we unexpectedly made the Huff Post albeit in silhouette.

Other recent Christmas-tinged events included the carol service (with bands and choirs) at the local church, which was well attended - possibly because of the minced pies and mulled wine - a Christmas tree festival in the same church, similar in a village church some three miles south, and a service in my second-favorite English cathedral, with some Christmas shopping in the city of same.

Late morning, on a whim, with the weather windy but sunny and surprisingly warm, a 4 mile walk to the Anchor Inn. My favorite pub/bar this side of the Mississippi and a place where more often than not the strange bearded bloke who appears to hike everywhere gets drawn into conversations with friendly locals with no effort.

Today the pub was open for three hours over lunchtime and it was rammed with locals; the men typically in terrible Christmas sweaters, the ladies sparkly for the day. And the pub dog, also dressed up but - and this is a first - not eating anything I offered. Come 2pm half the pub left pronto, I assume for Christmas lunch obligations. By 3pm there were five hardy souls and the nice people who run the Inn left; good folk.

I took a different route back on a whim, which due to a glass of fiery port (I'm not on alcohol at the moment) ended up being 6 miles and 2 ditches in length. Now back at base, tired, happy and with a splendid cup of tea. Wishing everyone who, for some inexplicable reason reads my ramblings and looks at my pictures, a splendid Christmas and a happy, healthy and productive 2017.
posted by Wordshore at 9:50 AM on December 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


Due to political differences with our families, my husband and I are by ourselves this year. Last night we played skee ball and pinball for a long time at our favorite bar; today we're going snowshoeing in the peaceful woods. It's . . . been kind of great, actually.

In the spirit of being naughty children our day has been Krampus based, by which I mean we hung up some pictures and did 5 minutes of research to come up with some recipes that loosely touch around german/alpen paganism. There's a lot of fried dough involved, yum yum! But our number one go-to recipe is black-spiced rum eggnog.

My best friend, who has heard me yearn to see the bookfair at AWP for years, gave me the gift of going to the next one. It's also encouragement to go to some craft talks to gain some knowledge to write a non-fiction book I've been talking about doing for a few years now. I'm rambling about it because I'm super super excited! The gift of inspiration is a beautiful one.

I just want to say that the people on this site are a gift, every single day. I don't know what I would do without you; if I lost you all I don't know how I'd endure it. Happy holidays to everyone, particularly those struggling right now for whatever reason. There's a lot of love out there for you!
posted by barchan at 9:51 AM on December 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


I survived the retail season without undo damage to my mental health. Called the family, they're doing good. We got steaks and shrimp and other goodies in the fridge, plus lots of beer (including this gem).

Merry Hanukwanzamas, All.
posted by jonmc at 10:08 AM on December 25, 2016


Last year we felt stressed out after Christmas and it felt like we were spending too much money on not really anything. So we decided then that it might be a cool idea to save up over the year and go away on a trip somewhere this year as a family thing, instead of presents. Well, not much "saving up" happened, and while it's probably not very financially responsible, we're going away next week and we're all totally excited. The kids are all teenagers now so it feels like it might be the last time we can get everyone together to go on a real trip as a family.
We just hung around this morning and laughed with each other and opened a few small gifts that were more just nice small thought-out gestures, hand-made stuff, etc., just so we'd have something under the tree. Seemed like there was less pressure to give or get the "perfect thing." My son said, "this was a really good Christmas." I mean, yeah, of course it's easy to feel that way if you know you're going to a sunny place in a week but still. I feel like we're really lucky to be together and to be able to do this.

As far as recipes go, while it's not really a "Christmas" dish per se, I make a chocolate babka every year and give one to our neighbours, one to my mother-in-law, and keep one for us. Everyone seems to love it and ask for it every year, and with 2 pounds of chocolate what's not to love. I use this recipe.

Hope everyone has a really great holiday and a fantastic new year.
posted by chococat at 10:10 AM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


This fudge recipe is awesome. Came from an Internet friend that lives in HI.
posted by COD at 10:13 AM on December 25, 2016


Woke up in the middle of the night to Christmas snow!

Well, it wasn't really snow so much as plops of slush falling from the sky onto the roof and then sliding from the high eaves, SPLAT-SPLAT-SPLATTING as majestically as something can SPLAT.

SPLAT.
posted by mochapickle at 10:25 AM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Just got back from mom's. A little different this year as a) only 2nd year she's not had one of her kids in her house at Christmas time b) My brother's FIL died last year and his MIL isn't doing well so holiday meals with him are off until she...passes I guess... though he did invite my mom to his BIL's place c) I'm still figuring out how to eat GF for holidays being Celiac d) my gramma passed away this year at 103. My mom decided to cook a turkey dinner for just the left overs and go to other family's place for dinner. I thought of Metafilter when she whispered to me that she actually was enjoying not having to *do Christmas* as it is the first time since 1961 where she hasn't had to do the entire meal for 8 people herself.

Oddly for Canadians Trump came up but only for us to start ranting and then saying we were spoiling our Christmas and we just don't understand. My mom and I actually even joked a bit about how nervous it made us when my sister found religion and how odd it was that we received very very very Christian cards from her. It surprised me to hear her later joke when opening up a friend's gift and reading the package and seeing it said something about god's tears (turned out to be soap) "Oh great another religious nut" as well as then go on to explain how this friend sends her horrific anti-islamic email forwards. It was just a new side of my mom coming out. We get along so much better since I was able to get away from her and her usual abusive self. Now we are polite Canadians to each other.

To be all commercial gifts gifts gifts! the best gift I got was from my 12 year old niece. A batman mug with a smurf in it. Odd gifts for a 41 year old but made me laugh cause she knows I'm a batman fan and growing up was really into smurfs. It felt like OH she knows me!! which is a surprise because I cast myself in my head as the fat mentally ill poor aunt that they must just hate visiting. My nephew even got me epsom salts because knows about my chronic pain. My brother's children did great and I wrote a note to my brother about how much I really admire his parenting and the polite funny smart respectful teenagers he's raised. He got me a sweater that when I saw it went "Oh...my brother thinks I'm a girl". My mom said she even tried to hint that I don't wear women's clothing so that made me feel a little bit better that she at least acknowledges my butchiness so maybe she won't freak out when I tell her about the Trans stuff.

Best homemade gift was my aunty kath's rum balls. GF!! She went out of her way to include me in her yearly traditional gift that we all covet and hoard to ourselves because they are so good!

Now I'm drinking candy cane tea and sending online good wishes to friends and later my friend is coming over and we are having prime rib, bunch of veggies and GF cheesecake. Oddly at 41 it is the first christmas meal I've spent with friends and not with family. Neither of us have ever really cooked christmas dinner but as I was noting this morning being able to seperate myself from abusive family and maintain boundaries makes this the first christmas that I haven't burst into tears in the bathroom! So 2016 had one tiny decent thing in it at the end. Sorry if it used up all the good that was left!
posted by kanata at 10:32 AM on December 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


Oh apparently nothing tops my gift giving this year than the tiny little money pouch that said WEED MONEY on it with stupid stoner graphics for all my overindulging marijuana friends. They certainly couldn't stop laughing about it.
posted by kanata at 10:34 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Still at the airport! The dude in line behind me was having a tantrum, so I struck up a conversation with the woman next to me so he wouldn't tantrum at me. She came here last week because her brother lives here and was in a terrible car wreck. He lost his arm, but he's going to make it. She was booked to fly home yesterday so she could be back with her family for Christmas, but there was a mechanical failure and now weather, and the earliest she can be home is late tonight. And she's taking it in stride, because her brother is alive, and it could have been so much worse. Kinda makes the tantruming dude seem like an asshole.

I have no idea if we'll actually get out today. I've got my knitting and free wi-if, and the lady with the brother kind of put everything in perspective.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:42 AM on December 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


Wordshore: I love that cathedral in Lincoln! I love that whole city. I was there a number of years ago, and had a marvelous tour of the wall and ruins of the Roman fort. And the cathedral is wonderful (and not chaotic like York or Durham or Westminster).
posted by persona au gratin at 11:30 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Since I moved to the other side of the world many years ago, I am always enjoying being alone for holidays, and all the peace and quiet.

I continue to amaze burly men in Christmas tree lots across the country by carrying my own tree (bro, yes I even lift), and now I have a lovely Fraser fir in my living room, which this year was upgraded from cheap, grad student/post-doc times ornaments to grown-up handmade glass; and the living room itself was upgraded from the cheapest Ikea to... uhm... slightly more expensive Ikea.

There are presents under the tree from me to me: a pair of beautiful snow boots which was a great idea but the lace rivet broke immediately when trying them on, so they're going back (hopefully the Boston winter will wait a bit longer for me to find a replacement); a bag of Lush stuff which is perfect but that never fails; and a bottle of mid-range cognac to continue with the "upgrading to grown-up" theme.

I made it to the Polish store just in time before the throngs of other expats descended on it this weekend, and brought bags of goodies home - the traditional cheesecake is great, and so is the plum strudel, and an assortment of cheese, ham, and kiełbasa. Made-in-store bigos and vegetable salad were a sad disappointment, though. My grandma would have nodded her head sagely and said "Well of course store-bought is never as good as home-made"... but you all knew that already, right?

Holiday entertainment traditions in this one-person household contain the following diverse works: A Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppets - Letters to Santa, A Muppet Family Christmas, A Very Muppet Christmas Movie.... (um, please send more suggestions for more works of film art of similar stature - I already watched these and there's still tonight and tomorrow!)

Now going out for a walk around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir while the sun is still shining! Will be back in a couple hours to start on the cognac.
posted by Ender's Friend at 11:43 AM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Gave my girlfriend a USB cable for Hanukah, which she actually liked! Video'd with some family. Ate a fish stew. Filed my grades. Re-installing creative cloud again! Very merry really.
posted by Mngo at 11:44 AM on December 25, 2016


I got a Lego Yellow Submarine with the four Beatles in all their psychedelic glory.
posted by bondcliff at 11:50 AM on December 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


*deeply envious of bondcliff*
posted by infini at 11:59 AM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Had a chill Christmas morning with the guy and our pets. Made Death Star waffles on his new waffle maker, and I got all the best old lady gifts - socks, PJs, and adult coloring supplies. Going out to eat Chinese food and finally see Rogue One with friends tonight, and tomorrow is the official Friendsmas at our place with a bunch of Polish Christmas foods.

It's hard to choose one recipe to share - should it be the fish chowder (in my family, traditionally served for wigilia, the Polish meatless Christmas Eve meal), or the pierogi (two flavors - farmers cheese or sauerkraut&mushroom), or the piernicki (anise flavored cookies)? I'll go with the cookies. The recipe makes enough food for an army (like all proper Polish grandma recipes - ~150 cookies) so scale as appropriate.

"Piernicki"

1 lb. butter
1 lb. Crisco
10 cups flour
5 eggs
1.5 cup sugar
6 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
oil of anise

Frosting:
1/4 lb butter
3 cups confectioner's sugar
3-4 tbsp milk
anise oil to taste

Cream butter, sugar, and Crisco until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, keep on beating. Sift baking powder and flour together. Alternate adding flour and milk and anise oil to butter mixture. Don’t work too much, like a pie crust. Roll out .25” and cut into shapes. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes until just barely brown.

Frosting: Cream .24 lb. butter. Add 3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar, about 3-4 tbs. milk and anise oil to taste. Cream thoroughly. Add a little more milk if necessary to make it thin, almost a glaze.

My family claims that the only true way to make this is with anise oil, not extract, though I've never tried with the latter so who knows. (You can find the oil on Amazon if your local stores don't have it.) "To taste" is subjective but with the oil a little goes a long way. Sometimes by request I'll make part of the batch without the oil for people who don't like the flavor - then they're just a tasty, delicate butter cookie. But they're not piernicki.

Happy holidays to all who are celebrating this season, and peace and love to everyone.
posted by misskaz at 12:21 PM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm back in Chicago with family. I've been in LA 15 years now, and that is now home and Chicago unfamiliar (despite having grown up here). I'm sitting in the same house I've spent Christmas in for my 45 years. We had the traditional French Canadian meat pie for Christmas Eve. My visit to church last night cemented that I am an Episcopalian rather than a Lutheran (and I don't think it was just that the minister looked and sounded like Rick Snyder).
posted by persona au gratin at 1:13 PM on December 25, 2016


I've been enjoying the heck out of biffa's post on this year's King William's College Quiz and chasing down leads as I wait for things to rise and bake. This round of bagels is particularly good, so it was bagels and home-raised bacon for breakfast this morning! (Still a few quiz items unanswered on the spreadsheet; come on by and help, if you're moved to do so.)
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:19 PM on December 25, 2016


Tomato Cheese Torte
Ingredients:
1/2 cup dried tomatoes in oil, drained, chopped in quarters
1 and 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
8 oz cream cheese softened
4 oz goat cheese crumbled
1/4 cup butter softened
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
1 TBSP fresh basil minced
1/2 tsp pepper

Line bottom of 8" round cake pan with waxed paper.
Press tomato on bottom of wased paper
Beat 1 cup parm cheese, cream cheese, goat cheese, butter, and garlic
Save 1 cup of mixture, spread remaining on tomatoes
Beat reserve mixture with remaining 1/2 cup parm cheese, parsley, basil, and pepper
Spread in pan mold.
Cover and chill for 8 hours/overnight.

Very yummy and it's red and green for Christmas colors.
posted by BigVACub at 1:31 PM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


The McGee children got hella science gifts from doting relatives -- density cubes, space books, MuddWatt, Snap Circuits, all kinds of stuff. My mom, who came and cooked for me when the baby was born, got me a new set of pots which, uh, was definitely needed. My BIL got me the Hamilton Mixtape and Santa found me both a Hamilton Chicago T shirt and a Cubs championship T shirt.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 1:43 PM on December 25, 2016


Dude, I not only bought Will It Waffle?, I bought a 220V waffle iron to go with it and shipped it all to West Africa!
posted by whitewall at 2:02 PM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


We're still rebuilding, so we are sort of crammed in to half the rooms, and when I packed the pods months ago, I never thought we'd still be building at Christmas, so everything that wasn't destroyed was packed, ornaments and whatnot, and I was pretty bummed, but came home to find that Man and Boy had lit up all the live oaks, and decorated a teeny tree that fits in a coffee table, and Christmas was saved, and I love my guys so much.

Fave recipe this year, double cocoa coffee with tuaca. It's quick, it's easy,it's festive, what's not to love?

Merry Christmas you guys, you're my favorite part of the internet.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:16 PM on December 25, 2016


Still at the airport! It's now a different airport, this time without free wi-if. Sense of perspective is wearing a little thin.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:52 PM on December 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


This askme inspired me to make a cherry pie/cake thing this year.

Make a ginger snap crust (like a graham cracker crust but made with ginger snap cookies) in 2 13x9 pans. Top with 2 cans cherry pie filling, one per pan. Then split a yellow cake mix (made per directions on box) between the 2 pans spreading to cover the cherries. Bake 25 minutes at 350. Chill over night. Serve with whipped cream.
posted by zinon at 2:57 PM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Best of luck to you, ArbitraryAndCapricious. It probably doesn't help much, but some people, spread around the globe, care about your trials and tribulations.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:59 PM on December 25, 2016


Arbitrary
I've been following your saga- hang in there! Here is some Yule tide humour: Why are Christmas trees so bad at knitting?
They always drop their needles!
posted by SyraCarol at 3:02 PM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sorry for whining! This is actually semi-normal flying drama for this time of year. Flying in and out of a regional airport is a pain in the ass.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:10 PM on December 25, 2016


Merry Christmas and happy second night of Hanukkah to all! I've been spending a cozy holiday with my parents and brothers and my parents' little cat. We are about to eat All The Pies.

Eyebrows McGee: "My mother got Alexa and made the error of showing my children how to use it so they've spent the whole evening shouting, "ALEXA HOW BIG IS JUPITER?" "ALEXA WHAT'S THE FASTEST TRAIN?" "ALEXA WHAT HAPPENS IN MINECRAFT STORY MODE?" (she doesn't know that one. It doesn't deter them.)"

My mother also got Alexa. My name is Alexa. She doesn't want to change the name because it's funnier this way. FML.
posted by capricorn at 3:10 PM on December 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


I thought I was receiving no other presents, but my parents got me a Bats: Nature's Nocturnal Superheroes! calendar, and my brother got me a stuffed Blue Meanie!
posted by ChuraChura at 3:22 PM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Evening update: either I was really stupid and I messed up if Bailey's is GF or my aunt's rumballs were tainted! Which frankly is my karma for saying they were a bright spot in 2016. So my friend will be coming over and getting all the groceries and cooking it at her house alone and I'll be sipping tea and being frequently indisposed. So basically yeah I continue my streak of crying on Christmas but at least it isn't cause of my dysfunctional family.
posted by kanata at 3:24 PM on December 25, 2016



Happy Holidays all.

Just got home. Had an midday dinner at one of my aunts since my cousin had to get home this evening. My family is great and we all enjoy seeing each other. Every year I'm so grateful for this. Also decided to be festive and wore my long curly, bright purple mermaid wig and that was just fun.

It's 6:45pm and I am now back in my PJs and back in my bed and it's glorious. I asked for one thing this year, a drawing tablet, since I've been learning 3d modelling and Santa obliged. The funniest presents were in my stocking from Santa Dad. I learned that during the week before Christmas if you really want a peanut butter sandwich or chicken noodle soup and you've run out and then make a funny pouting production about the pain of a craving unfullfilled you will end up with a stocking full of cans of chicken soup and a carefully wrapped jar of peanut butter.
posted by Jalliah at 3:54 PM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


My kids and I are building all the legos. ALL of them.

Such a good Christmas.
posted by nickmark at 4:25 PM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Had a great christmas with lots of terrific food; the kids had a ball, and I love my Viet in-laws and their fun appraoch to Christmas as a holiday not really celebrated for them until I came onto the scene.

My wife got me some awesome uniqlo star wars t-shirts, which is like combining two of my favourite things.

I made over 13 dishes, but if we're locking down one, doing baby octopus in the pressure cooker was quite the revelation - ten minutes in the pot with some white wine, bay leaves, fresh oregano, lemon and garlic, produces mind blowingly tender octopi.

Unfortunately I overdid it it somewhat and ended up quite sickly with gastritis in the evening. Taking it very, very easy today.
posted by smoke at 4:51 PM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Happy Holidays, fellow Mefites! I made a lasagne using homemade cream of mushroom soup as the base instead of tomato sauce, brought it to my family and it was yummy. Family time wasn't terrific, but I'm home now, feeling relaxed and I'm going to have a glass of wine soon. Peace, everyone.
posted by gt2 at 5:16 PM on December 25, 2016


I went to see a movie today and I don't know why it is that the current crop of movies all seem to be profoundly depressing. I didn't really feel like singing cartoons. I should have stuck with the singing cartoons.
posted by Sequence at 6:01 PM on December 25, 2016


I made cake. It took a couple weeks - made the meringue kisses and tucked them in the freezer. Made the gingerbread trees and they went in the freezer too. Same with the cake (and a gluten free version of the same!) then today was frosting making and cake assembly.

Here is my version at my Mom's kitchen. It was so fun (and really quite yummy too!)
posted by hilaryjade at 6:43 PM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


I made pumpkin panna cotta tart for my sweetie who is allergic to eggs and soy among other things and thus has lived most his life without pumpkin pie. We had a nice day hanging out together doing nothing and taking a long ass nap. (O. Bender has worked the last 18 out of 21 days delivering all your cards and parcels so he really needed it.)
posted by vespabelle at 6:54 PM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I resurrected my sourdough starter a few weeks ago, brought it with me on the plane, and have been inflicting sourdough bagels on my family. I used this recipe, almost completely followed it (pretty rare for me). People with excess sourdough starter and egg rings should also google "vegan sourdough crumpets", because they are excellent.
posted by kjs4 at 7:22 PM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yesterday I made vegetarian chicken pot pie, cranberry cake, brownies with cream cheese filling and a breakfast casserole to put in the oven this morning. Like the whole holiday, everything was a little weird - but really good anyway. Today I was going to make lasagne, our traditional Christmas dinner, but I went to a party instead and that was super nice. pictures

Recipe! I am thoroughly obsessed with this cranberry cake - I've made it twice in the last 6 weeks. it's not perfected yet but OMG it is so good and so easy and pretty. So fiddle with it to your hearts content,
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar you may want a little more
2 c. cranberries - or, like, a bag full
Some honey perhaps a couple tablespoonfuls?
1/2 c. melted butter
1 tsp almond extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a pie dish. Run the cranberries through a food processor quickly, or chop them coarsely, whatever. I added some honey to the food processor and a++, would honey again. Combine all the other ingredients until they're well blended. Now, the tricky part that I have not mastered: marbleizing the cranberries into the batter. I think adding them to the batter in the bowl with a few strokes of a rubber spatula works best but you may well have a better technique. It looks nice if they maintain some integrity. But it is delicious even if they just all meld together and produce a pink cake! Bake for about 40 minutes or until a (straw, skewer, toothpick) inserted in the center comes out clean. Better the second day.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:09 PM on December 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


Oh and it is a good question as to whether it is a pie or a cake. It is like pie because you just leave it in the pie dish to serve. But it has no crust and a batter like cake. Neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring! It's pake, I guess.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:14 PM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Update: no longer in airport. In nice warm bed. Hooray!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:18 PM on December 25, 2016 [21 favorites]


Dad is 89, and in hospice. This week he began failing rapidly, and has been diagnosed with pneumonia, so we were unable to bring him to my sister's house to celebrate with us. So we visited him twice, told him we loved him, and still managed to have a nice dinner with turkey and the fixings, two nice bottles of wine, and a rather excellent apple pie made by Yours Truly. (James McNair makes the best pies!) We shall see what tomorrow brings.

It's been a hell of a year.

Thank god for Yuletide, anyway...
posted by suelac at 10:39 PM on December 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


My Christmas has been lovely in virtually every respect. The kids slept in until 7:45 (ages ten and six so that is something indeed), everyone loved their presents, my brother dropped by and announced that he and his lovely wife are having a baby in July (yesssss), my mother in law came for dinner and we had roastie beef and mashie taters and Brussels sprouts. The one respect in which things are not lovely is that my left ovary decided to throw a tantrum while ovulating and I have been on-again off-again crippled by blinding abdominal pain all day. This same thing happened to me last May and I went to the urgent care fearing an ovarian torsion or worse, but after being poked and mashed and scanned and analyzed for six hours nothing was wrong with me except a $650 urgent care bill, and I presume this is the same situation.

The best present was the one I got my husband. It was a dark chocolate Death Star about the size of a small canteloupe which, when broken open, was revealed to contain a chocolate Millennium Falcon, a chocolate x-wing fighter, a chocolate Tusken Raider, a chocolate Darth Vader, several white chocolate Storm Troopers, and a chocolate Han Solo encased in chocolate carbonite.
posted by KathrynT at 11:39 PM on December 25, 2016 [15 favorites]


My husband surprised me with a new printer. We had been planning to buy one already but I'm so glad he got it. I was about half a second away from pulling an Office Space on that fucking thing. It just.... didn't work good or print colors properly. It was infuriating trying to finish holiday card inserts with it.

So Happy Holidays to all. My recipe is that if you need a new printer, just do it already.
posted by Crystalinne at 3:01 AM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who helped me pick out my presents for my fiancée! (thread) I think a couple people asked for a follow up -- after much anxiety on my part, she's really happy with everything I got her, especially the science kit. We're going to make some crystals together today. And we have plans to see some geology around California, thanks to the books you all suggested!

I reactivated my account just to ask that question, because I knew you folks would have great suggestions. And you did! So thank you, sincerely.

Happy holidays to you all, and take care!
posted by teponaztli at 4:00 AM on December 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Update: for food, my holiday treat to myself is a big tin of ginger thins from Ikea; nom. Also, have just been interviewed on local radio (so hardly anyone will hear it). Not about that cheese thing though that is still, bizarrely, doing the rounds, but about a photograph of librarians knitting in the audience at a conference way back in 2008. There's a section of the population who remain amazed/disbelieving that people in an audience can knit; some explanation for this is given in comments to the photo.
posted by Wordshore at 7:49 AM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


I had a very quiet day at my mom's yesterday (other than she fell while trying to push a chair back under the table.) She's 86 and starting to decline. We didn't do presents this year because I knew she wasn't up to it. However santa brought her and me gifts to unwrap. Amazingly santa figured out exactly what I wanted for a change.

I am anticipating good leftovers tomorrow at her house and then I'm on a pilgrimage to visit my ftiends in Raleigh.

I made brownies this year that are phenomenal thanks to essexjan (with variation) :

2 boxes Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie mix done according to package directions except use brewed coffee in place of h2o and add some more choc chips.

Put in parchment lined pan (s)

Mix large pkg (14 oz?) Of coconut with 1 can sweetened condensed milk and glop onto brownie concoction then swirl/stir into brownie mix. Top with toasted coconut if you like prettying.

Bake according to package directions.

Bag some up for special friends. Eat the remainder for every meal and in betwen snacks.

I've consumed a leftover half bottle of red wine in the last two days and just finished my last glass. I don't drink much but I treat myself to inebriation during difficult times like this time of year. Yay preserved grape juice!
posted by mightshould at 2:59 PM on December 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Keep it under your hat but despite having left my family in a purchasing pickle by not really requesting anything present-wise yet still receiving from them any number of clever, considerate and useful gifts both large and small, my favourite present is something a bit more (small-m) meta.

I work with the public and have done for several years now in my current position. This year has seen a small dam breaking, in that I have got numerous cards, gifts and kind words from people I (in the nicest way) hardly know. In abstract The General Public/Unwashed Masses do get a uniformly bad rep, not least from me. These little instances of sincere feedback, verbal and otherwise, are really touching and taken as a whole probably the main thing I'll remember receiving his year. Well, that and me Chewbacca head nightlight, obvs.
posted by comealongpole at 7:55 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Large squash. Cut in half. Slathered in olive oil. Face down on cookie sheet. Baked until buttery soft. Pretty good.


My brother sent me a video of his puppy opening the present I sent, then carrying it away to hide it and chew on it at leisure. He'd pre-opened it and installed the treat on the chew toy where it was supposed to be. That was pretty cute.
posted by amtho at 7:56 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


The best present that I got this year was the continuance of the (adult-supervised) romantic comedy starring Baby Machine and Mr. Machine's dad's dog, a very sober middle-aged creature who looks a lot like this except rather rounder due to a combination of meds, being very food-motivated, and being owned by an elderly man with chronic health conditions. It's basically gone like this:

Summer: Dog meets boy and gives him a polite lick. Boy is pleased, but confused by existence of something that is not a parent or milk. Was he licked just now by a parent? Or milk? Or both?

Fall: Boy suddenly realizes existence of dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as boy now recognizes existence of things besides parents and milk. Boy falls rapturously in love, shrieks, and bursts into tears when dog leaves room. Is confused when loud screeching and hand-waving does not re-summon dog, who generally dislikes loud noises, possibly due to a sad history as a rescue dog.

Winter: Inter-species comity beneath the Christmas tree, in which the boy plays with an assortment of toys, and the dog wanders up, and gives him a lick that causes laughter and joy. The dog must thereafter be gently dissuaded from his #2 method of expressing affection and regard for humans, which is to plonk his big ol' butterball butt on top of the feet of the object of his regard and then sit there, leaning against your shins with his tongue hanging out and his eyes closed with pleasure, until your legs are totally goddamn numb from the knee downwards.

Dog subsequently spends portion of the evening rotating his butt onto the feet of whoever is holding the baby at the moment.

We also made a pretty fucking great prime rib with au jus. Our oxtail wasn't quite tender after 20 minutes of simmering, so we strained the pieces out and whacked them into the Instant Pot along with the bones from the prime rib and just an eeeensy bit of water under high pressure for 20 minutes, then sautee'd with the lid on for another 30, to produce melt-off-the-bone tenderness, much to the delight of the Chinese attendees. I do not know how to do emoji in Firefox, but I assure you, they are [A-OK] [100] [100] [100].
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:53 AM on December 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


I will contribute a drink recipe: 1 part ginger liqueur to two parts Italian blood orange soda (here available in the organic section of Kroger) over ice - can induce sweet-belly if you have more than one - but that one is DELICIOUS!
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 4:30 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


It was my first solo Christmas holiday and the best gift I got was a delightful Christmas Eve spent in the company of missmary6 and her sweetheart, notpeter, along with two other guests as a result of the Friendsmas thread. The food was excellent and the company even better. Thanks, IndigoRain, and my lovely hosts for this wonderful gift. And thanks, MetaFilter, for the gift that keeps on giving. Now, more than ever, I am finding great comfort in this community during an especially dark and ominous winter.
posted by Bella Donna at 4:31 PM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't have a recipe to share, but wouldn't mind getting the recipe (cough cough) for the butternut squash soup I was fed on Christmas Eve and methinks others might enjoy it as well. Just saying.
posted by Bella Donna at 4:33 PM on December 27, 2016


After a really nice Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws (who live nearby), we all agreed that we should treat Christmas like Thanksgiving this year: great food, good conversation, loving family. We did some very minimal gift-giving (just stocking stuffers really) and just enjoyed one another's company. It was everything we needed.

I did use the Mefi Mall to buy a stocking stuffer for my wife: a tiny 3-D printed topographic model of "phone call hill," the little hill near her house in Malawi she used to climb to get cell phone reception when she was volunteering with the Peace Corps. (Malawi is where we met, but we lived a day's travel apart, so we kept our courtship going with weekly phone dates--phone airtime was expensive.)

Also, my parents, who live on the other side of the country, did a really lovely thing for their kids this year: they sent each of their kids and kids-in-law a check, asking that we each donate that money to the charitable organization(s) of our choice. I was able to give good, medium-sized donations to the Abortion Care Network, Freestate Justice (Maryland LGBT rights org), and IRC. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Important bulletin: My 8 month old daughter loves being tossed high in the air these days, and has begun to request baby-tossings via adorable miming and babbling.
posted by duffell at 6:39 AM on December 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Christmas Eve Dinner: roasted turkey with cranberry and ginger gravy, mashed butternut squash, Hawaiian roll stuffing.

Christmas breakfast: Panettone bread pudding, roasted bacon

Christmas Dinner: Bison roast, roasted green beans, fresh spinach gemelli with lemon and cream. Peppermint white chocolate cheesecake.

We had a good Christmas -- beau had to work Christmas Eve, and we'd both spent the better part of the week before Christmas getting over colds. We went to a friend's on Christmas Day, and hung out with their todder. My friends made this massive pot of smoked pulled pork, I brought an antipasto patter loaded with garlic olives, prosciutto, capicola, pepperoni, Asiago, and two kinds of fresh mozzarella. Someone else brought a tin of those chocolate-dipped European style butter cookies, and ...well, there was much eating. So much eating.

Then I got some kind of infected cyst-looking thing on my thigh, so that kind of sucked. But the dermatologist is going to look at it tomorrow, and then maybe I'll finally be able to walk off some of those delicious holiday calories.

We're having a quiet New Year's Eve at home, and I'll probably make some kind of stir fry with all of the various holiday leftovers we've accumulated. New Year's Day is the big friend party, and I'm planning to do another antipasto plate (but bigger! With five kinds of cheese and four kinds of meat!) Plus cupcakes, and pie and cocktail meatballs, and soup, and maybe a bonus spice cake since I was doing some therapy baking last night.

Then, I have the 2nd off, and I envision a great big pot of soup.
posted by PearlRose at 8:17 AM on December 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


The cena di vigilia at the in-laws was customarily meat-less: antipasti of gravlax (Swedish salt&sugar-cured salmon, with its hot&sweet mustard and dill sauce - memail me for the ridiculously fool-proof recipe for this most beloved of our family repertoire staples); brandade de morue (soft salt-cod dumplings) on baked polenta; Thai-style samosas (with shrimp and mint); and then a family-sized triumph of trenette ai frutti di mare (with scallops, moscardini, scampi and glazed tomatoes). X-mas lunch was homemade ricotta ravioli, and a Moroccan lamb with plums, plus panettone and struffoli.
Most memorable presents (beyond the swell of Gallo socks)... a Levitron floating top (which is lovely, once you get it to do its thing), tickets to Simple Minds and Depeche Mode concerts next year, and a Teen Vogue subscription for my niece (thanks, post-election thread!).

Now we're headed to the Tuscan hills for a breather & walks - happy break, all!
posted by progosk at 5:57 AM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


A very long time ago, my girlfriend had to give her only son up for adoption. She was too sick to care for him, and other family took him in so he'd be close by. (We've been together 12 years now, and this came to a head not too long before we first met.)

He's now 17, and came to visit us for this week as his present. We went to Christmas with my sister and extended family, and I've blown off work for the week. My girlfriend is the happiest I've seen her in years.

For me... I never had kids. I only ever even briefly entertained the possibility. I also hadn't seen the kid in 4 years, not since we moved up here. I've been trying to impart every bit of wisdom I can think of, in-between pizza and cake and showing him what little there is to see around here. I think it's the closest I'll ever come to that classic fantasy of 'what would you tell yourself if you could go back in time and give teenage-you advice.'

I think it might be the best Christmas I've ever had, and it's been one of the very few bright spots on this hellhole of a year. (If any of us make it outta the next few years alive, I feel like the kid will be all right.)

Happy holidays to all of you. Metafilter's one of the key things that got me through 2016 - I dunno what I would've done without this place, and I hope you all are well.
posted by mordax at 10:37 AM on December 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Randophonic (the radio show) is now halfway through The 12 Mixtapes of Christmas ...

Guaranteed, no Christmas music.
posted by philip-random at 11:37 AM on December 30, 2016


I bought my girlfriend a hatchet.

You see, her family owns a tree farm up north, and so I have been getting her a lot of Northwoods stuff, lumberjack stuff. And there is this company, Best Made, that has truly turned this stuff into fetish items. She has had her eye on the hatchet for a while. I've never seen someone so thrilled when they got their present.

She got me a t-shirt that says Made in Alaska. And it's true: I was conceived in an Irish bar in Fairbanks during a flood. I love that story, and I love that she got me something based on that story.

Nobody else understood why the fuck these were our gifts or why we liked them so much.

Also I bought myself a balalaika. It has a picture of Sputnik on it.
posted by maxsparber at 12:07 PM on December 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Nobody else understood why the fuck these were our gifts or why we liked them so much.

This. This, to me, captures the essence of a real relationship/companionship/friendship/love where you know each other so well that you are able to capture the essence of the other in one tangible artefact.

*sniffles into handkerchief happily*
posted by infini at 2:40 AM on December 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Since I've been rationing out the chocolates Santa brought, we only arrived today at my new favorite gift, an inappropriate Kinder Surprise
posted by romakimmy at 4:26 AM on December 31, 2016


Happy New Year from Ye Olde Englande! 1990 is now further away than 2043...
posted by Wordshore at 4:07 PM on December 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


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