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Archive for December, 2009

For pronunciation of the “hon” in the title, one must watch the movie, “Hairspray,” either version. As I began to prepare for this year’s exchange, I noticed a theme emerging. It’s Bawlmer, hon. Baltimore, MD, USA, from whence I am blogging to you. (Well, about 20 minutes outside of Bawlmer, but still.)

First I will share with you an ornament that may not appear on everyone’s Christmas tree, but many folks in our area have some variation of this on the tree. It’s a crab! A few friends scattered over the country have one of these (or some variation thereof) on their tree from me, a reminder that “someone in Baltimore loves you.” People even paint and decorate actual crab shells! I haven’t done that yet, but hey, it ain’t over til it’s over. (I’m feeling a theme for a crab feast next summer…eat, then decorate!) And if you’re wondering why, it’s because Baltimore, and the Chesapeake Bay area, are famous for delicious steamed crabs.

crab ornament

The full crab theme emerged when yesterday, a friend gave us some crab cookies, and someone else requested that we bring my famous crab dip to their holiday party. Yes, in stores here, holiday baking displays may include a crab-shaped cookie cutter.

crab cookie

And here’s the crab dip recipe. I can’t show you the finished product, because I won’t make it until tomorrow, but I will tell you that once I make it, I will have to photograph it QUICK! because people scarf this stuff right up and lick the bowl.

old bay

Hot Crab Dip

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sour cream
2 T mayo
1 1/2 T lemon juice
2 t Worcestershire sauce
garlic powder to taste
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb. lump crab meat
3 dashes hot sauce
1 1/2 T Old Bay seasoning

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease 1 quart baking dish.

In medium bowl, mix first 6 ingredients plus 2 T of the cheddar. Fold in crab meat, hot sauce, Old Bay.

Transfer mixture to baking dish. Top with remaining cheddar and sprinkle with Old Bay. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Serve with your favorite crackers or crunchy bread slices.

Yes, crabs are such a vital part of life here in “the land of pleasant living,” that each year, the school children sing this song:

OK, that’s not true. But the radio stations do play it every Christmas.

This Christmas will be white, not because of new snow, but because last weekend we got 2 feet! We made powdered dognuts:

abominable snow biscuit

But he’s thawed out now, and ready to party:

reindeer

Your turn! Show and tell us about the holidays at your house!

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Yes! We are doing it again! Five years now! And thank you for the hundreds dozens OK, none, really of inquiries unspoken vibrations sent in this direction, wondering whether we would have it this year. That does mean SO much to me! (You know, that I could just FEEL that so many people were thinking about it.)

(Just an update, for anyone wondering. I’m getting better, healthwise. I am better than I was at this time last year. I’m just not “well.” And in some ways (not complaining, truly), life is a little tougher, because the weller I get, the more I try to accomplish, and the more I look to other people like I’m just fine, and then I overdo or overestimate and wipe out. So, my absence here doesn’t mean I’m not OK; it means I’m adjusting to the next phase of my recovery. Or something like that.)

So, yea, back to the Cookie Exchange, which will be held next Wednesday, December 23 (borrowing from previous years’ invitations):

Start with some variation of:

Favorite holiday recipes
Special traditions
Favorite gift to give
What you wear when you don your gay apparel 🙂

and/or anything else you’d like to tell us about your holiday celebration. As is the custom here, there aren’t many rules. Whatever you’d like to share is fine — carols, stories, decorations, a favorite holiday tradition or memory, something new that you’re trying this year, whatever. Here it’s Christmas, but all holidays are welcome. If you don’t celebrate ANYTHING, then your grinchy scroogey ass can just fake it for one day, for goodness’ sake! Make something up! And you don’t HAVE to include cookies, if cookies aren’t your thing. It’s just that “Cookie Exchange” has a nice, Christmas ring to it. Better than, say, “shindig” or “hootenanny,” although it may turn into either or both.

If you don’t have a blog (what?! why not?!), stop in next week and leave your contributions in the comments. If you DO have a blog, leave a comment here next Wednesday on the Cookie Exchange post, and we’ll all come to your party, too. You won’t gain any weight, and you won’t need a designated driver! So here’s the deal, again. We wanna come to your place and eat your cookies and rummage around in your things and stuff next Wednesday. (Oh, and do post an invitation at your place, if you’re so inclined — everyone is welcome, the more the merrier!)

Last year, I had an ambition to show you photographs of my town — Pretty City — which really is glorious at this time of year. I wasn’t well enough to get out and take the pix. I’m going to attempt again. That’s something you might like to share, too — does your hometown have some holiday decorations or events that we should not live our whole lives without seeing?

I’m so, so far behind in holidaying. I almost scrapped the party this year. But truth is, it does help get me in the spirit. I hope you’ll post at your place or come by here 🙂

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