Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside

It's 5 below zero today. The wind blew all night and the snow drifts once again cancel-
ed our family Christmas dinner and gift exchange gathering.

Many church programs and holiday concerts have been canceled as freeway ramps are slippery, and driveways and parking lots have not yet been plowed.

I (regrettably) checked the weather for today in Mesa, Arizona. We'll be there in two weeks. 75 degrees and sunny.

I had to know that, didn't I?

Well, in the meantime, here we are. Bundled up, heat on, we've been snuggled in for the day. The sun was shining all day, deceiving us all. But I focused on its rays rather than the outdoor thermometer.

Even Catrina knows it's cold out there.
She prefers being on the inside looking out at the shivering, but most grateful, squirrel, digging for the seed buried deep under-
neath the snow on the patio.

We found all kinds of things to do to keep us warm inside. Those sugar cookies finally were baked and decorated, and we have a wonderful porketta roast slowly cooking in the oven now that the cookies are done.

I made a double recipe of cranberry-strawberry salad for our since-canceled family gathering. Combined with butternut squash, this will make a hearty dinner this evening.

The cranberry-strawberry salad is a very old recipe, and standard fare for all of our family's occasions. It is also perhaps the simplest recipe you'll ever have, but can be served both casually and elegantly.

Heat a can of Ocean Spray whole berry cranberry sauce until hot. Slowly stir in a package of red (any flavor) Jell-O. Let cool just a bit and add a thawed package of frozen strawberries in syrup.

For an optional topping, stir fresh lime juice into a carton of sour cream and garnish with a slice of lime.

Whatever you did to stay warm and cozy today, I hope your day has been filled with the good things this holiday season, and winter, offers.

Happy Holidays!