My Pandemic Christmas

First was the Christmas prep. I bought two Cornish game hens and a duck for Christmas dinner.

We dropped off presents for the grandkids and picked some up from them. William wrote the gift tags for the first time.

On Tuesday I made grampa’s egg nog a little early.  

So I could sip on it while watch Charlie Brown Christmas.

On Christmas Eve morning, after a long shift at work, I got my COVID-19 vaccine.  

vaccine bandage

Once home, I put a suet feeder out and almost immediately we had an oriole on it.

I tried to nap then got up in the afternoon to start diner while watching the Nutcracker on line.  We made Paul Hollywood’s Sausage Wreath.  I do not believe that I have grated frozen butter before.

Here is the wreath going into the oven,

I had bought a Christmas Vacation moose mug for Tom for Christmas.  I gave it to him a little early, and he enjoyed some cider.  It is easy to drink from backwards.  

Recently I have been playing Ambience of Yesteryear videos on the TV.  They are relaxing.

And here is the wreath cooked.  It is not as pretty as the photo on the recipe.  I was going to move it to a platter for the photograph but decided it might not survive the move.  

Here it is on my plate for dinner.  It was really tasty and festive. 

We got done just in time for our Christmas Eve zoom with my family.  We lit brandy over pear-ginger pudding.  My camera was on the wrong setting though so you cannot see our lit pudding.  But you can sort of see the zoom in the background.  

Our zoom was nice.  We got to see each other, have pudding and open presents.  I had British crackers that I had sent to everyone for the zoom, but they were lame.  I had a post zoom cocktail (and the last of my liquid advent calendar) of Bijou.  I thought it was Christmasy with the green and red, but the oversized lemon twist takes away from the Christmas color scheme.  

Christmas morning involved me getting up early and starting some pecan rolls.  I had made this dough the day before in the bread machine.  But I used the pecan rolls recipe from my old Good Housekeeping cookbook to prepare and bake them.

I also made Rice Porridge/Risgrøt, a Scandinavian Christmas tradition.  This may be the first time I have sliced open a vanilla bean.

Here are the Christmas cards we have received.  

Here are the boughs of holly, ivy and yew.  A friend had asked if the yew might have been the cause of Chloe’s death.  I was horrified that I might have caused her horrible death.  I called the vet that saw her that sad evening, and she called me back Christmas morning, bless her heart.  She said that it could have been the cause but was more likely a natural cause.  Yew poisoning is quite uncommon in cats (Lily poisoning is the most common).  It is 2-4 hours between ingestion and death so the time frame doesn’t quite fit as I had the yew inaccessible to her by 10 AM.  So I may not be to blame for her death, but now I know the dangers of yew and will never use it again.  Unlikely I will deck the halls again, but these boughs do give me a peaceful feeling when I look at them, especially in the evenings.  

Here is the Risgrøt all cooked up.  

And here are the pecan rolls.

And here is my Christmas breakfast.  Tom had the same minus the porridge.  It was incredibly yummy.

The two of us then opened our presents.  This is part of the mess left behind.

Here is the hat I bought Tom, all lit up on the lamp.  No Winthrop tickets for sale which is usually my present for a number of people.  So a hat will have to do for now.  

Here is the tree with the opened presents, plus the Yule Log on the TV.

I did the chores after the presents, so later than the critters would like.  Here is a GBH hanging out near the cows. 

I noticed that the previous pig shelter is sprouting grass from the seeds in the straw.  

I also noticed and admired our new rooster again.  How gorgeous!

Steve got a new toy for Christmas.  He likes to play keep-away.

I did get a new barn knife for Christmas from Tom as I recently lost mine in the muck.  He got me an orange one so hopefully I will be less apt to lose it.

We are noticing that with Chloe’s death, our ex-barn cat Izzy has moved into the house permanently.  Chloe must have been pretty mean to her since the change is quite noticeably.  

I then started working on Christmas dinner.  I used the new knife I got for Christmas from my father.  I have been finally reading Anthony Bourdain’s book, and he recommended this brand.  It is amazing.  It cut through chestnuts like nothing (later it cut through duck, game hens and carrots like they were butter).  These chestnuts were for Downton Abbey Christmas stuffing.

Tom roasted some chestnuts on the grill for an afternoon snack.   Now these were peeled chestnuts so not the same as whole ones, but the effect was still good.  

I baked the duck using instructions from this recipe and the hens using this recipe.  I stuffed them all with the Downton Abbey stuffing, however.  Here they are after roasting.

And here is my duck dinner.  It was good and Christmasy.  Tom had a hen.

After dinner we watch Netflix (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Crown). 

We had some leftover pudding so we lit it again with brandy, and I was able to get a better photo of it.

So that was our Christmas. Definitely COVID safe. It was less stressful and hectic than our usual Christmas but less fun and social. I may still be a memorable one, like the one I spent alone here while the house was under renovation. But it was nice nonetheless.

P. S.: Per Jeanne’s request, photos of Tom’s cane which was a present I forgot to take photos of.

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8 Responses to My Pandemic Christmas

  1. kapperkay says:

    You had me at Christmas Vacation moose mug. LMAO.

    On Sat, Dec 26, 2020 at 5:31 PM Schoonover Farm Blog wrote:

    > Donna posted: ” First was the Christmas prep. I bought two Cornish game > hens and a duck for Christmas dinner. We dropped off presents for the > grandkids and picked some up from them. William wrote the gift tags for the > first time. On Tuesday I made grampa’s egg ” >

  2. Amy says:

    So festive! Nice that you could light the steamed pudding twice!

  3. Jeanne says:

    Very nice post, Donna, and the pictures are great! It’s interesting that Izzy has moved into the house. I hope he’s a good resident! (We have to be so careful about leaving any food around, because Chica will try to get it… The other night she snagged a turkey wing bone and nearly got away with it. I was the closest, and followed her to my daughter’s bedroom and hollered at her to leave it. She did, amazingly enough, and I was able to grab it!) It sounds like you got nice gifts.

    How is Tom’s knee? Please try to send a picture of his cane.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Jeanne! So far Izzy is doing OK. We shall see how this goes, Tom’s knee is the same. He has an appointment with the orthodontist on 12/30. I will attach a photo of the cane at the end of the blog post.

  4. I have been following your blog for a while, you have a beautiful rooster there – I am wondering if he ends up on the table for dinner! Looks like you had a peaceful Christmas – you must be feeling good to have your vaccine – we won’t get ours for some months yet (we are UK) Wishing you a safe and happy New Year

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Betty! He is beautiful. As long as he behaves (which he is) he will be a resident rooster here in the barn. We had a very peaceful Christmas. I am feeling good about the vaccine and not reacting to it. I will feel better after the second one. Issues for me are that we do not know if it protects against asymptomatic spread and if it works in people on prednisone like me. So I do not know if it will do me any good but willing to try as it is much better than the alternative. Happy New Year!

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