Saturday, December 15, 2018

I Can't Take The Credit



So I went to two Vendor Christmas Parties this Week, the Family didn't want to attend with me, but I brought them Home some of the Delightfully Decorated Sugar Cookies from the Dessert Table and some Chocolate, which I can't eat.  No, I can't take the Credit for these mini Masterpieces of Sugar Art, though I sure Wish I could Decorate this skillfully, since the Decorating of them with Royal Icing was Sublime!




I'm impressed when anyone can Decorate Food like this, even tho' I'm Artistic, this is certainly not among any skill set I personally possess.   I'm not adept at Baking and Cooking either, tho' my Dad was a Master Chef and Pastry Chef by Trade, his Culinary Arts Genes didn't pass down to me unfortunately!  *Le Sigh*  My Maternal Welsh Nanna was also a Professional Baker and Cake Decorator.  I recall the Superb Royal Icing Flowers that Dad and Nanna piped on top of Eggs in the Fridge, to set up so as to put on their Cakes.




I was mesmerized as a Child to open the Fridge Door and see all varieties of Realistic looking Flowers atop all of the Eggs sitting in rows in the Egg Tray!  I remember how Delightfully crunchy those Royal Icing Flowers were and that they were almost too Pretty to want to eat!   The Cakes my Dad and Nanna Created were Artistic Masterpieces.  My Dad once baked a Cake for when President Kennedy visited the Air Force Base we were stationed at in Massachusetts, it was a Christmas Cake with a 3-D Nativity Scene in Royal Icing.




 My Nanna also made Marzipan Fruit to Decorate Cakes with, they looked very similar to this Image, she Created all manner of Fruits, including Tropical Fruits like Bananas.  I liked Marzipan with it's sweet Almond flavor and of coarse each piece was miniature Art, which made it all the more Fun to eat.   Both of my Parents used to Bake a lot of Homemade Confections from scratch during the Holidays too, I sure miss that!  I particularly miss Dad's Famous Chex Party Mix Recipe that he modified and made every Christmas for us all... it tasted like none other!




Mom was known for her delicious Zucchini Bread, Banana Bread and Pumpkin Rum Bread Loaves during the Holidays.   She also made a mean Liqueur from a Recipe a Friend gave her for Bailey's Irish Cream... it was da bomb made Fresh!  I remember my Welsh Nanna giving us a shot glass of Advocaat Liqueur at New Year's, it was always my Favorite guilty indulgence!  It has a smooth Custard like flavor and is somewhat similar to an Eggnog.  Very hard to find here in the States, but I have found it before at 'Total Wine'.  Santa Clara Rompope is very similar if you cannot find Advocaat and can be found in most Hispanic Grocery Stores.




Another thing my Parents made from scratch and infused quality Liquor in was their Homemade Fruitcakes and Bread Pudding during the Holidays.   I know Fruitcake has a bad rap, but that's probably because nobody ever had my Parent's Divine Fruitcake... or they'd be a Fruitcake Convert for sure!  *Winks*   The irony being that my Dad never drank, but he did Create some Alcohol infused Desserts because of the complex flavors it imparted that couldn't be matched.




What Holiday Traditional Foods and Desserts bring heady doses of Nostalgia to you my Friends?   I feel kinda Guilty that I can't Bake or Cook from Scratch so that our Kids and The G-Kid Force could grow up having the same spoiling we had growing up with Parents that were Superb in the Culinary Arts!   That's why I often take them to Fine Dining Establishments tho' so they can partake of Award Winning Dishes prepared by Master Chefs and Pastry Chefs.  I want them to appreciate and recognize good foods masterfully prepared.




Even tho' I'm not personally big on Desserts and rarely partake of them, I Visually find going to a Good Patisserie to be a Feast for the Eyes!   I remember my Dad Creating the most Sublime Cream Puff Swans and they tasted like Sweet Air, that delicate pate a choux literally melting in your Mouth!   I wasn't 'into' Photographing Food back in da day *LOL* so I had to Google some Cream Puff Swans so you can see how they'd look.




Aren't those just an Adorable Feast for the Eyes?!  I remember one thing in particular about Cream Puffs tho', depending upon altitude of where ever we lived, the recipe had to be tweaked to account for various altitudes.   High altitudes can be particularly challenging for some recipes apparently.  I also remember that Dad never measured anything... but his Eyeball and Instinct measurements were as accurate as if he did measure, it was uncanny!




So since I don't Bake for the Holidays I usually buy whatever we will have in the way of Confections, at various Favorite Bakeries around the Valley.   I spend most of my time this close to Christmas just tweaking my Decor.  I always think it's Done and I'll just Stop, but I almost never do!  *Winks*  There are always some finishing touches to be added almost up to Christmas Day!  And we won't take anything down until after New Year's Day.




Even tho' I have Edited and Purged a large amount of my Seasonal Decor, I will purchase some selective new Seasonal Decor if it's Fabulous enough.   While at the Christmas Party at the Downtown Phoenix Brass Armadillo Antique Mall location I purchased this Adorable mini Christmas Tree with a Vintage Bambi wearing a Santa Hat.  I Love Vintage mini Porcelain Christmas Figurines.




This little Tree was nestled in an Old Drawer with Crystal Knob Pull.  Each little Christmas Bulb was attached to the Branches with a Vintage Button!   The Rim of the Drawer was covered in German Glass Glitter.   All Vendors were getting 15% Off all Purchases during the two Christmas Parties Hosted at each location.




I bought the Small Tabletop Tree at our location during the Vendor Sale.  I liked the unique Color of it, it's Photographing more Greenish, but in actuality it's more of a Sepia Hue like I'd wanted to try to Tea Stain our Main Tree and decided against.  The Force have teased me about the Weirdo Colors I like for a Christmas Tree to be.   They joke that I can't find a Full Sized Tree in my Desired Hues because NOBODY else has your Taste in a preferred Color Palette for the Holidays Gramma!!!  *LOL*




Now I don't personally find anything Weird or Wrong with liking your Christmas Tree to be a nice Sepia Hue like an Old Monochrome Photograph!   Sepia is in fact my Favorite Non-Color or Neutral Color, next to Black.   I bought these Adorable Hand-Made Felt Acorns with Natural Shell Ornaments from a Pet Rescue Charity Shop to adorn the new Tabletop sized Christmas Tree with. 




Along with Decorating it with some Miniature Catholic Felt Scapular Bracelets too.   My very first Collections were of Spiritual Objects and Antiquities from a variety of Cultures and Countries.  I have pared down my Religious and Spiritual Collections over the Years but I still have kept a significant amount because they are meaningful to me as more than just a Collectible or Collection of Objects.




I particularly enjoy finding Spiritual and Religious Objects in a variety of Languages.   I have Catholic Scapulars in a few different Languages.




There is the most Beautiful Vietnamese Catholic Church in Downtown Phoenix, the Architecture is uniquely Asian and quite breathtaking.





I enjoy Decorating for the Holidays, even tho' this Year I had to ease into the doing of it and gain some momentum.   It didn't seem as effortless to me as it always has been, it took more effort to get into the rhythm of Holiday Decorating.




Once I was on a Roll tho' it started to be more Fun and not so much like Work to delve into the doing of it.   I think I had gotten inside my own Head too much and become overwhelmed by the prospect of taking Autumn and Halloween down and putting it all away first.




I felt like that was going to take way longer than it actually did.  Honestly, had I remembered that it takes hardly any time at all to take it down and put it away I might not have had as much anxiety about tackling it!  *Smiles*  Do you ever do that my Friends, blow a Project out of proportion in so far as actual time spent being far less than you imagine or exaggerated it's going to be?!




In my Head it was going to be this massive undertaking, in actuality it took less than a few Hours to complete and I wasn't even tired when I was done squaring it all away!!!   Wow, that was easy I thought to myself... so Why did I imagine it being such an Ordeal I Wondered?!?!




Today I even finally got The Holy Family out in the Front Yard... tho' I had to improvise The Baby Jesus Manger.  So He is in a Terra Cotta Plant Pot Manger, which I have yet to fill with dried Leaves from my Desert Willow Trees which will take the place of Straw.  *Smiles*  I also had to buy some exterior extension cords since I have never previously done exterior Decor or Lighting so I didn't have any to plug everything in to light up.




How do people anchor Blow Mold Decorations down so they don't blow away tho' or get jacked?  Any suggestions will be helpful since I know that a strong Wind will blow The Holy Family halfway down the Street otherwise or be vulnerable to Thieves!   I hate to think of the Bad Karma a Thief stealing Religious items heaps upon themselves, but some folks Live dangerously I guess?   Anyway, I also hung a Blow Mold Santa off of The Balcony Of Death.




You should have seen how absolutely terrified I was stepping out onto The Balcony Of Death to hang him!  *LMAO*  Usually I make The Man or The Young Prince risk their Lives hanging anything from that Balcony Railing!  *Smiles*  Neither of them has Vertigo or is afraid of heights so it's no Big Deal to them, but I can't even watch them do it or I almost have a full blown Anxiety Heart Attack!  *Smiles*




My Friend who is temporarily living with us is coming back from Texas any day now and she'll help me to get The Holy Family and Santa lit up.   She's done exterior lighting before for the Holidays, so she has more experience at it than Yours Truly who typically never Decorates the exterior of our Home for Christmas.




Now Inside is a whole other matter, I go kinda hog wild Decorating Inside our Home for every Holiday.   Much less than I used to, but it's still rather a LOT by most folk's standards!  *Winks*   The sights, smells and sounds of Christmas are clearly evident once you walk thru the threshold of our Home!  I have Delightful Gold Canyon, Yankee or Votivo Candle Scents of Christmas burning almost all of the time if the Family don't get too Dramatic about the Aroma being too 'heavy'!?  *LOL*




*******

Merry Christmas from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


3 comments:

  1. Now I want fruitcake and pate a choux swans.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Dawn.... we use pieces of exterior plywood---cut in squares/rectangles about 8-10" bigger all the way around each piece. These can be screwed with big curvy machine screws into the figures and anchored into the grass if need be with stakes. They can be removed for storage(numbered)---we cover our with this and that artificial greens---with grass by you---you could just paint them green and they will disappear. IF you wish to make them theft proof---screw them together---the pieces of wood---with a 2x4 ....not making it an easy snatch and run. This method is crude but efficient-we had used rocks inside-cat litter inside, with holes plugged up---but condensation in the figures shorted out the lights and were stolen anyway.
    Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete

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