Hoping for a brightly colored taco or a pair of glass briefs.

Archived | December 7, 2009 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I turned it up so we could hear it in the living room where we were putting up the tree. Not that I had to be in there, mind you. Mr. Sundberg and the kids do just fine without me. I just get some kind of joy out of watching him hold it up while the kids strain on their bellies under the tree, cranking away at the screws on our cheap ol’ plastic tree stand which has always worked just fine. Of course, the fun comes in when Mr. Sundberg steps back and asks, “Is it straight?” and one of the kids says, “No, it’s way leaning toward the couch.” So back down they go and loosen the screws and he straightens it — too far back this time — and they screw the screws in again and stand up and step back and nope, it’s still crooked and this goes on for a good half hour, during which I leave because too many bosses makes for you-know-what.
I’ve always been the one to put the lights on the tree, mainly because putting them on requires a good deal of patience and time, and who has that when you’ve just spent yourself putting the tree up? Plus, there’s an artistry to putting on the lights. You have to space them out and not leave big gaping holes, and make sure the top half of the tree is lit in proportion to the bottom half. Care must be taken when unraveling the lights so as not to break them, and if you forget to test them before you put them on, well, you may find yourself undoing the whole thing and starting over. Yet another reason why the job is now mine.
The ornaments I wrap in tissue and pack away carefully each year sometime around New Year’s Day, and so decorating the tree with them is a rather drawn-out endeavor. Takes an entire evening, usually, and there are stories with each ornament, and we get rid of the broken ones and each year add a new ornament for each of the kids and one to kind of summarize the theme of the year. This year’s theme is a bit vague, though one of the kids suggested “calm” for the lack of storms we had this summer. I prefer more light-hearted themes myself, like “airborne” since we got a new trampoline this year. Or “spicy” as this was the year all the kids wanted was Mexican food. Or “lost underwear.” For reasons I won’t go into.
The trick is to find the right ornament to represent the theme. And I’ve been looking. I did find a miniature catapult which might do justice to “airborne”, but I’ll keep looking. Hoping for a brightly colored taco or a pair of glass briefs. You just never know.
This recipe is wonderful after a big meal when you’ve got some leftover mashed potatoes. Serve these patties with meatloaf or sausage to round off the meal on a snowy evening.
Potato Patties
1 ½- 2 cups mashed potatoes
1 egg
Milk to soften
Blend ingredients together until firm and smooth.
Melt a bit of butter in skillet.
Drop by large spoonful onto skillet. Flatten out a bit.
Fry until light golden brown; flip. Fry.
Add salt and pepper to your liking.