Ah, yes. Late yesterday afternoon, I did something I have not done in years and years! I braved the world of the SHOPPING MALL! Wow!!! OK, so I have been to the mall, but not three days before Christmas!
I had several things to do before I could leave….I set Michelle up with the vaporizer. She said her throat felt tight and dry, so I filled the vaporizer and set it up for her. As I thought about it, I asked if she might like some Vick’s or perhaps some Eucalyptus EO in the air. She opted for the EO, and within a few minutes, her room smelled so nice.
I had made a meatloaf in the Crockpot around noon, so it was nearly done. I put it in a 5 quart oval pot and it looked and smelled so GOOD! I have been using the same Crockpot recipe for years, and it is always good. Mark said he never really liked meatloaf until he tasted this one!
The recipe is from the book Crockery Cookery, which was published in 1975! I poured the ketchup-based topping on it, and set it to warm, hoping it would be good when we arrived back home.
I quickly wrapped up a parcel I intended to send after Christmas, but hey, I am AHEAD for once! Ben grabbed three letters that needed to be sent, and we were off! We HAD to be to the post office (about 15 miles away) within 25 minutes, so we hustled along!
We made it to the post office with about 3 minutes to spare! It was totally empty and it was a quick stop! Hurrah! Off to the mall!
When we arrived at the shopping mecca, I felt my hands grippping the steering wheel tensely. WHAT was I thinking? I caught myself and took a deep breath to try to relax….We pulled in and even though the line of headlights looked as though it went on ad infinatum, we found a parking slot about 10 spaces from the mall entrance. It was pouring down rain in sheets, so we scurried to the door!
At this point, I must interject that Ben is a serious shopper with an intensity….he knows exactly what to get everyone, and he hones in on gifts as though being driven by a homing device! Last Sunday, I bought a paper, and before we knew what hit it, he had cafefully cut out pictures and descriptions of each item he intended to purchase.
We walked around the mall, finding several items we thought would be good to buy. We went inside a few stores, combing the aisles, and although there were many, many people, it really didn’t seem too bad! We spent about an hour and fifteen minutes at the mall, then decided to leave.
Ben had only eaten a cookie yesterday. He was excited about going shopping, so I picked him up a sandwich from Wendy’s for which he was immensely grateful! We headed home and arrived at nearly 7:30.
As soon as I was in the door, I took the boys out into the downpouring rain. (WHY couldn’t it have been SNOW!!!!) After they finished, I grabbed a bag of red-skinned potatoes, and cut them into small pieces and boiled them for mashed potatoes. I loved mashed potatoes, but I really don’t like them “plain”. I looked up a recipe on the internet for Applebee’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes and they suggested adding roasted garlic to the potatoes. Well, I don’t always have roasted garlic, or the time to roast garlic. So, one day, I decided to just add freshly minced garlic to the potatoes. They were GREAT! So, last night as I hustled to prepare the potatoes, I was a little annoyed when I found no half and half to add. So, I grabbed the heavy cream, adding very little….OH WOW! I ground fresh pepper and sea salt….added a dab of butter….YUM!
By 7:50, we were finally eating! We had the meatloaf, potatoes (I leave the skin on and use the “wire whip” on the kitchen aid mixer…it does a terrific job of mincing the skins into small pieces) and brussel sprouts. For dessert, we had Shortbread Scotties from the mix my Secret Santa had sent. They were such a tasty way to end the meal! Michelle came down and only ate a cookie, saying her throat was too sore.
This morning, when I checked on Michelle, she said she is feeling a bit better. She has spent two days in bed, sleeping. She has eaten precious little, and I was worried about her. Well, she wanted to know if there was any food left over from last night. I assured her there was, except the potatoes were gone. She sighed, and I assured her I would make some for her!
Last night when we had returned home, the wind was absolutely HOWLING! Today, I grabbed my winter coat and took the boys out. I was shocked….it was so WARM! When we got on the porch, I checked the thermometer, and it said 40! The stream in the front yard is running quite well, and everything looks so clean! And, it should! With the RAIN we have been getting instead of SNOW!!! I did hear the weatherman say there is a chance we might get some “measurable snow” on Christmas Night. Ah well, I guess we take what we get, eh?