Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

IMG_1697 We got up this morning and started getting the food ready for our traditional Christmas Day breakfast tomorrow.  One thing we have every year that we always look forward to is Scrapple.  It’s a Norwegian dish that’s been handed down from generation to generation.  It was especially meaningful to make it this Christmas b/c it’s something Grandma Johnson made for Dad & the other siblings every Christmas.  Here is the recipe:


Brown 1 lb pork sausage, drain grease and set aside
Bring to a boil: 2 cans evaporated milk and 2 c water.
Then add 2 c cornmeal, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp salt.
Boil for 5 minutes and stir constantly to avoid scorching.
Add sausage and pour into 2 greased bread pans.
Chill in the fridge overnight.
Slice into 1/4 inch slices and roll in cornflake crumbs.
Fry in hot oil.

IMG_1703 Here’s Mom & Lex stirring it so it doesn’t scorch.  That stuff gets super thick and it’s hard to stir it for 5 minutes straight w/ out taking turns.  So Lex would stir while Mom would hold the pot so it wouldn’t move around and then they’d switch.

IMG_1707 After making the scrapple, we busted out the Wii to play some games.  Here’s Lex & Jon getting a little competitive during one of the duels of Mario Party.  Andrew & Autumn had fun pretending to play, too.

IMG_1713 While we were all sitting and playing, we noticed that the rain outside turned to snow and it was staring to lightly snow.  None of it was sticking, but it was still awesome to see snow in Texas, especially on Christmas Eve.  The kids loved it!

IMG_1732 We spent a lot of the day watching Christmas movies.  One of them that we watched was, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”  I decided it would be fun to try and make Autumn’s hair look like Cindy Lou Who’s hair, so I put a domed toy in her hair and just wrapped her hair around it and put a pony tail holder at the top.

IMG_1735 She liked that so much that she wanted Lexie & I to have one, too.  I think Lexie’s looks the best and it was fun to do our hair silly.  We used a little bottle of Tylenol for Lexie’s hair and a jar of baby powder for mine!

IMG_1744 Autumn didn’t want Papa to feel left out, so she tried to fix his hair.  She gets major points for trying and even had a little tuft that she tried wrapping a pony tail holder around, but it didn’t stay in.  I guess Papa’s hair wasn’t meant to be made to look like a Who’s.

IMG_1750 After the movie, Autumn went down for a nap and I helped Mom & Lex get a nice dinner together.  We had a turkey, potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and green bean casserole.  It was amazing.  Lexie likes the dark meat on the leg of the turkey.

IMG_1757 When the kids woke up from their naps, we tried making them some turkey sandwiches, but they just wanted to eat the bread & butter pickles.  I think they probably had about 15 pickles a piece.

IMG_1758 We couldn’t believe it kept snowing all evening, especially since it was 72 degrees yesterday afternoon.  I guess it’s true what they say, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait 24 hours and it will change.”  There was enough snow accumulation that I could gather it into a snowball!  Looks like we’re going to get a White Christmas this year!  WOO HOO!

IMG_1763 Autumn & Andrew had fun playing in Mom & Dad’s room and hiding under the blanket from Dad.  They kept trying to hide and be quiet so Dad couldn’t find them, but they couldn’t quit laughing and weren’t very patient so they would pop out from under the blanket before he had a chance to find them.

IMG_1695 When we lived in Colorado forever ago, we lived next to the Greenwoods and one Christmas they brought over this incredible cream cheese bread.  Mom begged Mrs. Greenwood for the recipe and she gave it to Mom but made Mom promise not to share the secret recipe.  However, I’m not under that promise and it’s a tradition to have that bread (or cinnamon rolls) for Christmas breakfast.

Cream Cheese Bread Braid
(makes 4 loaves)

Heat 1 c sour cream, 1/2 c sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 c margarine.  Cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle 2 pkgs yeast over 1/2 c warm water.  Add sour cream mixture, 2 beaten eggs, and 4 c flour.  Mix well and cover tightly.  Refrigerate overnight.

Filling: 2 8 oz pkgs of cream cheese, 1/8 tsp salt, 3/4 c sugar, 1 beaten egg, 2 tsp vanilla.

Glaze: 2 c powdered sugar, 4 Tbs milk, 2 tsp vanilla

Next day, divide into 4 parts.  Roll out to 8x12.  Spread sour cream filling down the middle.  Roll up long and pinch edges and place seam down on greased cookie sheet.  Slit 2” intervals 2/3 of way to resemble bread: XXX.
Cover and let rise to double.
Bake 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees.  Glaze while warm.
Place 1/2 marshino cherry in center of braid.

IMG_1787 We made the bread mixture earlier in the day and let it sit in the fridge all day and then finished it tonight.  I love doing traditional things w/ Mom & Lex.  I also have no idea how I got flour all over my shirt!  Oh, well.  Just part of the traditions and memories.

IMG_1791 One tradition that we look forward to every year is when the Jones family comes over and sings.

IMG_1793 According to Mom, it’s just not Christmas until the Jones family comes to sing.  She loves how the harmonize and they do sound incredible.  Here she is leading them in, “Angels We Have Heard On High.”  I think it’s the highlight of her Christmas Eve.  This year they also brought us some out-of-this-world-melt-in-your-mouth mint brownies.  I’ll have to get the recipe, b/c they were incredibly good.

IMG_1796 After they left, we settled in for the night and watched The Family Man.  I love that movie.  Dad decided to peel and eat a grapefruit, and Autumn kept asking him for a bite.  She LOVES grapefruit and loves it even more that Papa shares!

IMG_1794 Nick had to work today and didn’t get home until 7:30.  After he had some turkey dinner, he just wanted to go to bed.  We told him that wasn’t allowed b/c it was Christmas Eve and we had to spend time together as a family (Nate is in California w/ Courtney).  We gave the kids the task of keeping Nick awake and not letting him sleep.  They did a good job and even busted out w/a flashlight.

It was a great Christmas Eve and I’m excited to see the kids’ reactions in the morning.  I’d better go to bed so that Santa can come to our house.

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