Sunday, December 25, 2016

Paradise ponders, crab cakes, champagne, and M shirts edition...

Paradise ponders, crab cakes and champagne edition...  Well, we had a fine meal yesterday, and just the two of us.  The carrot-ginger soup (left photo) was spectacular after Debbie's adjustment of the seasonings, and the crab cakes with tartar sauce (right photo, which I forgot to take until I was partway through my crab cake!) were the best iteration of this recipe pair that we've had yet.  In past years we've had trouble with the crab cakes falling apart in the pan, so this year I tried putting an extra egg (total of two) in the recipe, and that did the trick quite nicely!  While snow crab meat isn't what you generally think of for crab cakes, in fact it was excellent.  The topper was the champagne: a nice bottle of our favorite (Veuve Clicquot Brut).

Stuffed, we were.  We two put away about a quart of soup, a pound and a half of excellent crab meat, and an entire bottle of champagne...

Our friend and neighbor Tim D. came over after we'd finished eating, to bring us a Christmas card and to visit for a bit.  When Debbie opened the card, she discovered a gift card for a meal at Maddox Ranch House, a place we love (and Tim knows it :).  We sat and talked for a while in our living room, in front of a roaring fire.

We love living here!

Last night we got about six inches of a fine, powdery snow.  It's not all that cold (25°F at the moment), so I'm a bit surprised how light the snow is.  Nevertheless, I'm going to plow it just in case things get worse later today.  The snow is still coming down, fairly hard at times, so I won't be a bit surprised if I need to plow it again before my brother Scott arrives this afternoon.  I hope he can get out of his driveway!  Some photos below that I took this morning:

Our front door wreath is very pretty with the snow on it!  The second photo shows what I saw when I opened our garage door.  Under the pines in the third photo, if you look closely, you'll see platoons of birds on our feeders.  I'll bet they need filling before the end of the day (I just filled them yesterday morning).  The last photo is the front of our barn, where a drift is close to two feet high.

When I'm not plowing today, I'll be helping Debbie make our Christmas meal.  Our menu: cream of asparagus soup (a scrumptious-looking Julia child recipe we've not tried before), beef stroganoff on homemade egg noodles (a new recipe for us, an Internet find), and chocolate mousse (a Julia Child recipe we've made many times before, and hands-down the best chocolate mousse I've ever had).  We shouldn't be hungry when we're done! :)

Here's a minor milestone I passed yesterday, which still has me kind of amazed.  For many years, my entire adult life really, my normal shirt size was XL.  They were a little big on me, but I like loose clothing, and L shirts were generally too tight.  A couple years ago I noticed that my few L shirts were fitting just fine, so my next few shirt purchases were L.  A few days ago, when putting on a L shirt, I noticed it was a little big – so Debbie secretly ordered a M shirt for me to try, a nice Carhartt flannel shirt.  It fits perfectly, just the degree of looseness I like.  I cannot remember the last time I fit into a M shirt, but it must have been when I was 15 or so...

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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