A Christmas Decorating Experience

Lights,camera, action

Lights,camera, action

See the figures in the left corner

See the figures in the left corner

At my parents house, there are boxes and boxes of ornaments, little used now that a full-size tree is no longer put up. Down in the basement, there are Christmas houses, a large plastic Santa face, sporting a Merry Christmas greeting that we used to put on the front door window, a collection of long-legged elves that my mother hung along her three small windows in her front door’s interior one year using those little silver ornament hangers hooked to the wooden edge, Santa and Mrs. Claus ceramic taper candle holder’s , old-fashioned ornamnents…. the santa face, icicles of shiny blue and sliver, many blue themed, a variety of tree toppers, angels, silver stars. We still have some handmade ornaments with sequins and beads that my sister and I made together with my mother when we were in our teens. (Featured in my blog under Holiday Home and Share) These were from a kit sold at a now closed home supply store, Rickles.

the pink of perfection

the pink of perfection

"Pretty in pink"

"Pretty in pink"

Antique santa puppet

Antique santa puppet


I thought I’d share this day along with photos with you out there in blogland.

Earlier this week, I spent time at my Mom’s house putting up a Christmas tree. She wasn’t home when I got there. That involved going to the basement and figuring out which one she used last year. I brought up a small one and wrapped the lights on and when she got home from senior lunch, she said there was a slightly bigger one that holds more ornaments; these are tabletop size. Until this year she did the decorating herself and would tell me to put my tree up yet; but that’s not happening this year. I put the lights on and a variety of ornaments; there are many more in boxes, that used to go on the big tree.
I love the christmas houses and churches , from when I was a kid, the kind you put a string of bulb lights, one bulb for the back of each house makes it look like lights are on in the houses through the color cellophane little windows in the front. There’s are white steepled church, too. All of these used to be placed under the “big” tree as a village of sorts; over the years we added a just the right size shiny sliver tree or two, Still have the original white under the tree skirt embedded with seemingly glistening sparkles. Do they sell these anywhere these days? In later years, my dad bought a plastic train set and we added that too, to the perimeter of the village.
Instead, I brought up three painted wooden snowmen and set them in a little “snowman theme ” basket and next to our “kiddy” christmas cups, one santa and one rudolf(pictured). The manger that was used since I was a kid is sitting on a popcorn can last time I was there. I found a few extra manger “characters”, two camels, two wiseman, one jesus, no mary to go with, and when I went back down I found a donkey and added him to the scene. Didn’t find the sheep.
For my house, I brought home one of the little tabletop trees and put it on the stairs landing. I decorated it with small flat wooden ornaments that my sister and I had sort of decoupaged way back when. These came with preprinted images for front and back of each wooden ornament; a group of Victorian carolers,two Victorian men playing instruments, a snowman, a jack-in-the box, a wreath, an old-fashioned santa claus with children, a candy cane are what I found. Some are stuck together, put those aside. There are many more in other boxes in the basement. A sring of lights, too and a few other small ornaments. Perhaps, we’ll put up my Victorian tree. It’s all in the attic. I put two large green and white striped candy canes by our sidewalk close to the door. A large very long crocheted stocking green and red and white is hanging on the front door, found in the basement with the other decorations.

Ta -daahh.....

Ta -daahh.....


Blue-light special

Blue-light special

Polenta Fest at Dorothea’s House, Princeton,N.J.

Yum Polenta and Lasagna

Yum Polenta and Lasagna

Polenta's ingredients in Italian-spicy sausage, mushrooms,toamtoes,...

Polenta's ingredients in Italian-spicy sausage, mushrooms,toamtoes,...

This is delicious

This is delicious

Polenta and vino, what more could one ask for?

Polenta and vino, what more could one ask for?

On New Years, Lentils and Polenta bring good fortune

On New Years, Lentils and Polenta bring good fortune

Not much left

Not much left

Polenta goer claps to the music

Polenta goer claps to the music

Listen to the sweet sounds of the music

Listen to the sweet sounds of the music

The Polenta buffet

The Polenta buffet

Polenta dishes

Polenta dishes

After polenta tasting comes dessert or before....

After polenta tasting comes dessert or before....

Yum dessert

Yum dessert

Polenta, a classic Italian dish made with boiled cornmeal was the highlight of this gathering last weekend. Among the foodstuffs added were spicy sausage, cheeses,mushrooms, tomato sauce, chopped cooked broccoli, and one daring cook placed cooked liver atop her polenta.

 

                              POLENTA WITH SAUSAGE  (Polenta con Salsiccia)

1 pound Italian sausage

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

2 1/2 cups canned tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 up cold water

Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Directions:

1.  Cut sausage casing, remove sausage, and crumble into small pieces with a fork.

2.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add sausage and mushrooms to skillet.  Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms and sausage are lightly browned.

3.. Slowly stir in the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper,  Simmer 20-30 minutes.

4.  While the tomato  and sausage mixture is simmering, bring 3 cups of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to boiling.  Gradually stir in the cornmeal and 1 cup cold water.  Continue boiling, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened.

5.  Cover,  lower heat,  and cook slowly 10 minutes or longer,  if necessary.   Transfer the cooked cornmeal to warm platter, and top with the tomato mixture.

6.  Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.                    6 to 8 servings

 

This recipe for the region of Italy: Friuli-Venezia Guilia

Ffruili in the name of this region recalls the Roman Forum., and the Guilia, the emperor  Julius.  After WW II, Italy lost a portion of this region, but picked up Trieste from Yugoslavia.   Trieste is famous for it’s soup.  A hearty chowder concocted of beans, potatoes, and sauerkraut, boiled with pork and laced with garlic, is called Iola Triesstina.

From Italian Cookbook Culinary Arts Institute  Copyright 1977

%d bloggers like this: