I mentioned, yesterday, that my tree is ten feet tall. Notice how Sara is not standing on a chair but she can still almost reach to the top of the tree. This was not always the case…
The Christmas that the girls were five years old had them begging me for their own Christmas tree.
“I don’t have enough ornaments. What will you use to decorate?”
Clearly, they had anticipated my response. In unison, they said, “we’ll use our stuffed animals”. It was really difficult to argue with such wide open enthusiasm – not to mention those irresistable toothless grins!
We had not yet made the switch to artificial so, I took the three girls to the tree lot at the end of our street and bought them their own tree.
While I put their tree up in our basement family room, they gathered all of their stuffed animals. Furry little animals in every color under the sun – you have no idea how disturbing this was to my esthetic sensibilities!!
I went upstairs and left them to their work. About two hours later – it turned out to be a great way to keep them entertained – they called me downstairs to see their ‘masterpiece’. It was adorable! They had managed to decorate their tree by sitting their stuffed toys on the branches that were strong enough to hold them. There was only one little issue. The tree was only decorated half way up – as far as they could reach. From their vantage point it was perfect.
I sent them to bed full of anticipation of showing Ralph when he returned home the next day. As soon as he was in the door, they pulled him to the basement. It was so cute listening to them explain how they had convinced me to let them have their ‘very’ own Christmas tree because they already had the decorations.
They pointed out each of their toys and explained why it was placed where.
They never noticed that the stuffed animals now covered the entire tree. Santa’s elves are very slick!
This year, Sara and I finished our tree together.
While I was in Calgary, Meaghan made a delicious chicken dinner.
Meaghan is a Jamie disciple. She owns everyone of his books and uses them with fearlessness.
Roast Chicken in Milk
Preheat the oven 375°F
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons dried sage
zest of 2 lemons
10 cloves of garlic, skin left on
2 cups milk
Season chicken generously all over, and fry it in the butter and a little olive oil, turning the chicken to get an even colour all over, until golden.
Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the oil and butter left in the pot.
Put the chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and cook in the preheated oven for 1½ hours. Baste with the cooking juice.
The lemon zest will split the milk, making a delicious sauce.
Meg served the chicken with sweet potato mash and baked beets. Don’t be afraid to try this dish – it was out of this world!
This recipe was adapted from Happy Days with the Naked Chef
Thanks for reading!
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