Christmas Eve 2020

Spotify and sugar save the day! Had a cheerful morning here baking to Christmas carols. Otherwise, it’s been so quiet, so subdued.

Thumbprint cookies, pecan balls, and pinwheels — more to ship West, some for the neighbors, a few for us.

If you knew what a messy cook I used to be, you’d be shocked to see me wiping counters between measuring, laying the wet teaspoons on a dish towel, and getting all my ingredients out prior to beginning. This affirms for me that people DO change.

Determined about a week ago that we’d have lasagna this year. True to Covid-custom, I ordered everything on line. Waved to the peapod guy thru the door. But guess what? I forgot ricotta! Quick. Quick. Checked amazon fresh. Every single size and make of ricotta was out of stock. That’s when I learned that other people make Christmas lasagna, too.

That night, I did not sleep. Not a wink. Not because of my ingredient oversight but because I just don’t one or two nights a week. I usually read and eat a bowl of cereal — that night, French Granola and a novel about immigrants in Brooklyn at the turn of century entitled, We Are Not Ourselves.

It was well enough written to make me read it in a few days, but otherwise? Just okay. Compelling details, though, about early onset Alzheimer’s, which one of the main characters suffered from.

I was more impressed when I learned that it was Thomas’s first novel.

Once it was late enough (early enough?), I headed over to Wegman’s for ricotta. The early hour is reserved for seniors.

A gull flew over head as I made my way across the parking lot, its belly orange-hued from the rising sun. Later when I remembered that tangerine-bellied gull, I couldn’t remember where I’d seen it. Or when. That speaks to Covid-mind more than to age, I think. Was it really this morning that I saw that gull? How is it even possible?

The last time I’d been to Wegman’s was March 11. I don’t usually remember dates, but I’d had a bone density scan that day in one of the offices above the grocery store, so it’s easy to peg in time. (That DOES speak to age).

K started working from home two days later. So it’s been nine months. Nine months of barely going anywhere and hardly seeing anyone.

One in fifty residents of Los Angeles County is infected with the virus now. My brother has a construction crew coming in and out as well as physical therapists. What to do? Both the therapy and a handicapped-accessible bathroom are essential. Everyone is careful. Still, it’s hard not to worry. My brother acknowledged on the phone this morning that he would not survive Covid.

Meanwhile, both of my careful sons have roommates going home for the holidays. WHAT THE FUCK? Nice way to put entire households at risk! Both boys will have to assume those roommates are infected when they get back. They’d be smart to avoid them and wear a mask in the house, but I’ll bet they won’t. I had hoped to be past nagging by now.

One batch of my pinwheel cookies was a botch. Too tedious to explain, but — no matter — I decided to call them Comma-Lah Cookies. Get it?

I think my second fox is adorable, don’t you? The first one is below. I think I only shared it on Instagram.

I’m babbling, so I’ll sign off: Merry Christmas or Happy Belated Chanukah to all and to the United States of America — let’s have Happy New Year. A happy January 6. A happy January 20th. Let 2021 turn the tide.

14 thoughts on “Christmas Eve 2020

  1. Jerry NyBlom

    Merry Christmas, Dee! 🎄🎅💚❤️⛄✨ I hope you have a good holiday and that you and all your loved ones remain healthy and safe!! Here’s to 2021!!!!! I love your foxes and your “comma-la” cookies! (Tee hee)

  2. Nancy

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Dee! I can’t believe how often lasagna has come up in the past few weeks! Seriously. I emailed my recipe for crock pot lasagna to a friend…and then I just keep seeing it everywhere. Your foxes are adorable! You did great with the felting 🙂 I have extended family members with the last name of Fox…it’s funny how popular fox everything has become in past few years. I guess we all cringe a bit with thoughts of early onset, eh? I keep reversing letters while typing and words while speaking. It has to be stress, right? Ugh.
    Have a wonderful holiday sharing and enjoying treats. xo

  3. Marti

    Merry Christmas eve foxy lady; your fox are such characters, their expressions are terrific.

    You know what: It’s ok to be babbling, it’s ok to botch a batch of cookies cause your boys are not with you, my girls and grands are not with us, it’s all ok so long as we and they, stay safe.
    Now the department of health in New Mexico has set up an on-line vaccine registry so we both signed up for it. This is a really good idea. Besides the usual name and zip code, we were asked our ages and what work we did or if we were retired. It is such a good thing because they will inform us when our appts are ready, probably for me not until the spring, R might get in earlier since he is 77 and they will also do follow-up for the 2nd vaccine.

    Would you like to know what is in my oven right now for our Christmas Eve dinner? Yup, lasagna. Didn’t have ricotta but I’ve used cottage cheese in the past and did so today. This is a hearty meat filled lasagna with Italian sausage and some lean hamburger, several types of Italian cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano and provolone. Store bought sauce which irks me but we didn’t get any tomatoes from our garden this year so I did not have batches of my homemade sauce. I always doctor up store bought sauces with onions, garlic and my own home grown herbs, in this case, herb ice cubes that were made with basil, oregano, thyme and a little rosemary. It is so easy to plunk a few cubes into sauces and soups. Another ingredient that I always put in tomato sauces is red pepper flakes.

    Went all out in the meat department because R has been almost a total vegetarian since his heart surgery and after consultation, it was deiced that it would be just fine for him to have this type of lasagna. He has been craving it and it is my gift to him. A salad is all that we need and this one is loaded with zucchini, garbanzos, beets, red onion, arugula and mesclun and I will make a simple vinaigrette to go with it. Leftover Panettone will be our desert.

    I’ll be thinking of you and K as we dive into our lasagna and raise a glass to you and yours with peaceful and healthy wishes for 2021.

  4. Deborah Lacativa

    Lasagna was always our Christmas day feast. My specialty, Jim’s favorite. I’d hold aside a few meatballs and make spaghetti for the wretched spawn who didn’t like it. Jim and I ate it lunch and dinner for a week and were sad when it was gone. I miss it. It’s time. Thanks for the inspiration. Merry Christmas!

  5. Joanne

    Merry Christmas Dee. I made a huge lasagna for my daughter a few weeks ago and she had it for lunch and dinner every day. Son is in San Jose and things aren’t good there either. Planes still taking off and landing here in Maine with people on them. Fools. I also add red pepper flakes to jarred sauce. Love the Foxes. You did great.

  6. Liz A

    Christmas Eve lasagna here, too … I’ve been using queso fresco in place of ricotta for some time now … it’s wonderful to nibble on, too

    the expressions on your foxes are price-less and all your pictures fairly glow … from the geranium in the window to the lemons in the white bowl …

    hope you wake up to electricity and no storm damage … we’ll be watching the weather reports with fingers crossed … Merry Christmas!

  7. Martha Schley Thayer

    Hi Dee, I don’t know about the lasagna but I decided to tackle a turkey rolled in it’s on skin called a Porchetta. I do know that one can learn to prepare ahead in the kitchen to create an ordered cooking experience. I never thought how it signified Change other than a willingness to put attention to craft but I love the idea that an ordered kitchen, mise en place, is proof positive. Last night, I, too, couldn’t sleep and I finished a book! Damn near read the whole thing —The
    Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff—fortunately a page turner. I heard a clunk in the night did not go down to investigate. Perhaps, Saint Nick paid us a visit. Will check the chimney later.

    Thinking of your brother, you and your family.

    Merry Christmas!


Leave a Reply