Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Five: It's Almost Christmas!

Rev HRod from RevGalBlogPals writes:

I have debated with myself for weeks about today's Friday Five.
  • Self 1: It should be deep and theological.
  • Self 2: But it's almost Christmas, it should be fun and warm and sweet.
  • Self 1: But your last Friday Five was sort of silly. You should show your more serious side.
  • Self 2: You worry WAY too much!
So after consulting with my fourteen year old daughter, we're going playful, pals o' mine! I love stories, so I hope you'll tell some about your favorite Christmas memories.

1. What was one of your favorite childhood gifts that you gave?
One year, one of my sisters and I were shopping for my mom. We were going to go in on a present together. We were walking ALL OVER the boutique of my family's choice (KMart) when we spotted this lovely animal. It was pink. It had rainbow-lined ears and a string tail. It was soft plush. It was a mouse. A BIG mouse. About 15 inches long. We thought it was beautiful!!! Mom HAD to have it!!! It was PERFECT!!! We bought it, carried it home, and with the help of a very surprised older sibling, wrapped it. What did Mom say when she unwrapped it? I don't remember. I am sure she said "thank you!" I know that she never would have guessed (unless our older sib ratted on us...) I don't know if Pink Mouse is still around.

2. What is one of your favorite Christmas recipes? Bonus points if you share the recipe with us.
That's a hard one. I think the "Chocolate Sugar Bombs" are now probably my kids' favorite. I like SIN-namon Rolls on Christmas morning.


(I think they are called "Kiss Surprise cookies" but I like my kids' name better.)

1 cup butter, softened
40 Hershey's kisses, unwrapped
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar + 1 cup
2 cups flour
1 cup finely chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla.

Beat butter, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. At low speed, slowly mix in flour and nuts until well combined.

Shape into 40 balls, wrapping a kiss in the middle of each ball of dough. Completely cover the kiss with cookie dough. Roll between your palms to smooth and then place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 12 minutes at 375 degrees F until set. Do not brown.

While hot, roll in 1 cup confectioner's sugar. Set on rack to cool. When cooled, roll in sugar again.
To make these look Christmas-y, we have added green or red cookie sugars to the confectioner's sugar before rolling. I'd put up a picture but they have all been eaten!


First, to do this recipe, you have to be making a batch of homemade bread (sorry). In a pinch you can get commercially frozen bread dough and thaw it. THEN proceed with these directions.

Take one loaf's worth of dough.
Divide it in half, and roll out each half on a floured surface until it is thin but still manageable. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the surface.
Add dabs of butter here and there.
Sprinkle over the surface: chopped nuts, cinnamon candies or raisins - about 1/2 cup total.
Roll up dough jelly roll fashion and slice into about 1 inch slices.
Place slices, sides touching, onto a greased pan. Press down gently. Let rise.
Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes about 1 dozen cinnamon rolls.

These freeze well, microwave well, apply directly to the hips EXTREMELY well.

3. What is a tradition that your family can't do without? (And by family, I mean family of origin, family of adulthood, or that bunch of cool people that just feel like family.)
I think it must be stockings. We start filling them now well before Christmas Eve. Everyone contributes little wrapped gifties. The night before we open them, I add the chocolate (...and if my kids are reading this, it's all chocolate with a coconut filling... ha!) We open them before breakfast Christmas morning.

4. Pastors and other church folk often have very strange traditions dictated by the "work" of the holidays. What happens at your place?
Wow. I guess there IS an advantage to working in a non-traditional setting. We will not have a Christmas Eve service this year; instead we are having a church-wide "Open House" for everyone at a local "mansion" which will include something for everyone.

5. If you could just ditch all the traditions and do something unexpected... what would it be?
Ummmm... personally??? Hire a cleaning service to come in and scour my home before and after the holidays. That would be fabulous.

But in any case - Merry Christmas. May God's joy and peace be yours...


RevHRod said...

I love your number five! And I think I may have to make those cookies before the week is done. Sounds yummy!

DebD said...

We made your Chocolate Sugar Bombs last year and loved them. I totally forgot about them until I read this entry.

I love the Christmas mouse story - how sweet. I'm such a scrooge I can't remember ANYTHING I gave for Christmas when I was a child.

Cathy said...

Well, I do like the idea of a cleaning service - that does sound like something that would fit here except we would have to clean up before the person came!

That's funny about the mouse!

revhipchick said...

fabulous play!

i especially LOVE #5--cleaning services are definately needed here!

the Christmas mouse is terrific as well!

chartreuseova said...

I think I'd like the cleaning service to become our newest tradition.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

totally want said cleaning service to show up at my place asap! and oh stockings...i'd forgotten those. we did that growing up too... candy, oranges, chapstick, jewlery... oh Santa?

Wyldth1ng said...

I am sure the mouse has survived.

Singing Owl said...

Ooooh, number five! Me too! Me too! Please.

Presbyterian Gal said...

I love the mouse story. That is so fun.

And I'll go in on the #5 with you and Singing Owl. We can ask for a volume discount!!