Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Christmas Mystery

A few days before Christmas, I think it was Wednesday evening, hubby and I were standing near the Christmas tree talking about something or other . . . who knows what it was . . . anyway, my attention strayed a bit . . . to the tree itself.  There, hanging right in front where anyone could see it, was a red tassel.  Now, the odd part was not the tassel itself, but . . .

  1. I had never ever seen this tassel before in my life;
  2. The tassel was in rough shape, literally coming apart; and 
  3. Just the day before that tassel had NOT been on the tree!  Period!
I asked hubby if he put there and he said no, not unless it had been in the few decorations he had helped put on the tree a couple of weeks before.  Then I explained to him how the tassel had not been there just a day or two before. It was a mystery!

And I know this wasn't on the tree before because just the day before I had been taking pictures of some of my favorite ornaments and had taken a picture of the ornament right next to where the tassel was hanging, and that tassel was not there!  Sadly, I had not like any of the pictures I had taken of the ornaments and deleted all of them to save space on my old PC, so I don't have those pics, but the mystery remains!

And another thing . . . since the day I had taken the earlier pictures, I had not been away from home!  I had walked up to the mailbox, but it is right in front of our house, in full view of the front door, so there was no way anyone had been into the house without me knowing it!

A day or two later I went to pick up my Mama to bring her here for Christmas and on the way took her by to visit her sister for a little while.  I dropped her off, ran to the grocery store to pick up a couple of last minute things, and then returned and spent some time with Mama and my aunt.  I told them both about the tassel.   We laughed about it a bit, and my aunt said, "You know, Becky, it could be a gift from your Daddy".  And I laughed and said "Yes, it could be, and it kind of makes sense, because he always had a crazy sense of humor, and only HE would leave me a gift of a defective tassel!"

So, all through Christmas I would go by the tree and finger the tassel and wonder how it got there.  But I left it there!  And it will now become a permanent fixture on our Christmas tree as a reminder that there are still some things that are unexplainable, and to remind me that some gifts aren't perfect, but they are still lovable, just like me!

Have you ever had a Christmas Mystery?  Tell us all about it!  Be Joyful, Becky

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our Christmas Eve Tradition

Since about the second or third year of our marriage, hubby and I have made a point of doing something special for Christmas Eve that was just for us.  For several years we went to a local Italian restaurant, but eventually they stopped being open on Christmas Eve.  Then we started going to a Steak and Ale for dinner, and after quite a few years, they too stopped being open for Christmas Eve.  So then we started going to a favorite place of ours in Buckhead (north Atlanta) - Dante's Down The Hatch.  Dante's is an amazing place!  They have a jazz trio, as well as other local talent in between sets.  The building is old, and they are in the basement, and there is an old ship inside, with tables and a stage for the band IN the ship, and then other tables on the Wharf.  There is an extra fee for sitting inside the ship, but you can hear the music all over the restaurant, so we usually sit on the Wharf.  There is also water surrounding the ship, complete with turtles and crocodiles - yes, LIVE crocodiles!  And there are vintage pieces from all over decorating the place - it is very eclectic, to say the least!

But the best thing about Dante's is the food!  They serve several different varieties of fondue, and our favorite is the 'Mandarin'.  You get a pot of hot oil and a plate of breaded shrimp and chunks of lean steak, lean pork loin, and chicken.  You also get all the fresh French bread and butter that you can eat.  We usually get a salad as well, and their bleu cheese dressing is incredible!!!  With the fondue you get four sauces - a teriyaki, a soy and ginger sauce, a sour cream and horseradish sauce, and their remoulade sauce.  And oh, my!  The remoulade is to die for!  I am so glad I didn't know what was in it before I tried it, because I probably would have missed out on the deliciousness that is in that sauce!

Anyway, when we moved up here to the 'country' we continued to drive the hour plus that it took to get down to Dante's, until . . . one Christmas hubby made me a gift of an electric fondue pot, and then our new tradition began!  We stayed at home, I prepared our fondue dinner to be as close as I could get it to Dante's but with the addition of extra veggies, and set everything on our rather large coffee table and built a fire in the fireplace, watched a Christmas movie on TV, and just relaxed with food and wine and each other . . . in the comfort of our own home.  Bliss, I tell you!

This year, Christmas will be a bit different for us, because my Mama will be with us.  And there will be only the three of us, and I am so excited about that!  We will still have our fondue dinner here at home, but we will move it to the dining table to make it easier and more comfortable for her.  But we will probably still have a fire in the fireplace, and will definitely watch a Christmas movie!  And we will enjoy relaxing with food and wine and each other in the comfort of our own home, only there will be one more of us.  And I can't wait!

So, I'm going to share with you the recipe for Dante's remoulade sauce (and yes, they gave me a printed copy once when I asked them for the recipe), and I hope some day you will give it a try!  Bur first I want to wish you a wonderful Christmas, and ask you "what is your favorite Christmas tradition?"

Merry Christmas, Becky

Remoulade Sauce 
from Dante's Down the Hatch Restaurant 
Atlanta, Georgia 

1 cup mayonnaise

1 egg (hard boiled and very finely chopped)

1 tsp. dry mustard (ground mustard)

1 tsp. anchovy paste (this is the only recipe I make that calls for this, and don't buy the stuff. I have found a little bit of soy sauce - 1/2 teaspoon or so - in it's place works every bit as well)

2 tsp. capers (small size, or diced larger ones)

1 tsp chopped tarragon leaves (or a little more - I love tarragon!)

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

Add mayonnaise to mixing bowl and stir in hard boiled egg. Stir in remaining ingredients, stirring until the anchovy paste disappears.

(This makes a good bit, so I usually half it just for us - I just cut the hard boiled egg in half and mince half of it.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Wonderful Giveaway!!! Just in Time for Christmas!!!

I have been given the wonderful opportunity to give away a gift certificate for $45 to one lucky winner to the CSN stores!  They have over 200 websites you can order from, and they carry everything from furniture, cookware, leather messenger bags, home decor, kids items, health and fitness and so much more!!!

Simply leave a comment here on this post through midnight eastern on Sunday 12/19 and I will choose a winner and announce it some time on Monday 12/20!

Also, I have been given an additional giveaway for my other blog, so please go there and enter to win again!  I will choose a winner there on the same day.  And to make it fair, you can only win ONCE, so if your name is drawn on both, we will draw again on the second blog to get another winner.

So please, leave a comment here, then leave another on my other blog, and then go tell all your friends about it so that they can enter, too!

Good luck!  Becky