Monday, December 31, 2007

Our Little Christmas on the Prairie

We had Eggs Benedict for breakfast, right after we opened up our presents. (I got a new Chinese cookbook, among other things).

One of our favorite cookbooks is called “The Little House Cookbook” and it contains recipes based on the Laura Ingalls Wilder ‘Little House on the Prairie’ book series. Emily likes to challenge me with something new from this around Christmas time each year. Here’s what we had for Christmas dinner this year:

Codfish Balls
Creamed Carrots
Fried Apples & Onions

I’ll put the recipes up over at Nellis.

For the Codfish Balls (which, by the way, Emeril Lagasse called “Fritters” and featured on his show a few days ago), we had to mail order salt cod from a store on the East Coast that features foods imported from Spain. In Spain they call it bacalao, but now that I’ve made it I think you could substitute fresh cod from the local market and skip the 48 hour soaking process.

We had oyster stew for supper. I’ve been very disappointed with the oysters I’ve been getting here the last few years. They taste good, but they shrivel up into teeny little bites. I guess that’s the drawback with living in a landlocked state.

Make plans, NOT Resolutions

I just finished reading Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” and one of the things he says is, “If you don’t tell your money what to do, it goes away.” And I guess I’ve been living the truth of that for the past half century or so. He recommends making a spending plan each month that accounts for every penny of income you have. So we’re working on that for this year. But the sermon at CBC last Sunday made me think that Ramsey’s statement is also true of my time; if I don’t plan what I’m going to do with it, it goes away. Our Pastor challenged us to try and envision what we want to have accomplished in 2008 when we look back on it, and then make plans to achieve that. He says we should ask ourselves every morning; “What do I need to do today, so that when ‘I lay me down to sleep’ tonight, I can declare this to have been a successful day.” And then plan out your day accordingly. (I’m paraphrasing, obviously. I can’t write down everything he said during his 40 minute sermon).
So, in an attempt to apply these principles to my meager little existence, here is what I want to look back on as successes when I reach December 31, 2008:
I want to have memorized 52 more Bible verses.
I want to be able to look at the pages of my personal journal and see at least 120 new entries.
I want to finish the short stories I started last year.
I have five quilt projects in mind to get finished.
I want to be able to ride Lucy – fearlessly.
I want to have added a certain amount of money to our savings account.
I want to weigh 20 pounds less than I do right now.
With all of these things in mind, I will plan my days accordingly.
Now that I’ve gone public with this stuff, feel free to hold me accountable and bring them up every once in a while for a progress check.

Hey, Joe!
Is it still snowing in Chicago?


Cliff said...

Marilyn wants to lose 50 pounds of ugly fat but I refuse to die.
I would come to a christmas dinner that had oyster stew and fritters but not one featuring 'fish balls.'
As a matter of fact, That sounds like a Saturday night dinner special in a small bar in western Nebraska.
There is an old saying about 'How you spend your days is how you spend your life.' or something like that. Happy New Year J.
Kinda handy not having to watch Nebraska play in one of those pesky bowl games. Eh?

Paul said...

I like your list. I like the way your preacher laid it all out. I think I'll follow that advice. I want to do two things--now three.
Lose 40 pounds by July.
Walk 1,400 miles.
Get a fair amount of my father's diaries typed up.

Happy New Year.

Shirley said...

Does your pastor really talk for 40 minutes?

Janell said...

Cliff, let's have your funeral anyway; it sounds like it's going to be fun!

Paul, let's do a prgress check oneach other in a month or so. I need deadlines and accountability in order to get anything done! I think it's because I'm the youngest of six and if I procrastinated long enough, one of the older kids got stuck with the job I was supposed to do. (That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)

Shirley - yes, usually 40; sometimes more. But he's so good, it never seems like a long time. I never find myself watching the clock.

LaDawn said...

Eggs Benedict is my favourite breakfast and oyster is my Christmas Eve favourite (although no one here likes oysters so I don't make it).

Planning for success to your resolutions is a sound approach. Keep us updated. I would hate to nag although my husband tells me I'm very good at that.

No snow here although we got a couple flakes (literally a couple) yesterday afternoon. All clear now though.

I got an amazing cookbook for Christmas called Apples for Jam. I've read part of it and did my meal plans for the next couple weeks using it. The first night I loved the results but Marc wasn't keen on the egg plant. (It was Penne w/eggplant and ricotta cheese.) Seb loved it but Abby wouldn't try any of it.

Second night (last night) was chicken casserole which was delicious although more soup than casserole. I'll add potatoes to it next time. Everyone loved it and everyone ate it! I love it when that happens.

Tonight is Sausage and Potato Goulash. Am looking forward to this!

Joe B said...

Not a chicagoan til Next Wednesday.. Enjoying these last days in South Florida. Despite one night in the 30's. Its back in the seventies tomorrow! I'll be in the pool.