Tuesday, January 19, 2010


We're planning our annual January Brunch for this Sunday, and my lists grow---the Menu, the grocery list, the list of what-dish-will-hold-what, the number of chairs and skirts and tables and glasses and spoons. And the arrangement of two-tables-for-six and one-for-four may require the concision of a graph, in this room which holds so much of our days' needfuls.
It seems so silly to concentrate on such mundane matters in these days of cold and world turmoil, but we go on, living our separate lives, tending to our little chores and making our way through the muddle. I believe our simple samenesses, our regulated timings, our puttings on and takings off---turning down a bed, wiping a counter---help. It's not the UPS which get us through, somehow, but the LEVELS which tend to smooth the hard times.
So, the preparations are underway, or at least the jotting down and firming up FOR the preparations. With all of the activity and a little one here all day for several days, with all the toys and books and little lessons, plus meals and Tea-time at four, the little socks and shoes and pullups and then the jacket and hat for a walk, with the Elmo leash and FuzzyPup on his own red lifeline---those take up the hours, and it's a blessing to run and laugh in the crisp air.
Who can concentrate on bowls and plates when there's such company to be had? Thursday and Friday will be time enough for the vacuum and the Ticklefoot (the long stick with the floofy pink fake "ostrich-feather" plume for ceiling-dusting---that silly name from years ago, when oldest GrandDaughter lived with us) and all the getting out of linens and trays.
Right now, I think this is the plan:

Jalapeno Rollups
Crudite and Ranch Dip
Hot Artichoke Dip/Crackers and Scoops

Chris’ Grilled Ham---a whole one, put onto the grill about 8 a.m., to grow even more tender and luscious, with the smoke permeating and the pink slices falling moist beneath the knife.
Broccoli/Tomato Quiche---a big old poufy one, in the immense swan-boat casserole dish.

Shrimp Creole & Rice---Trinity sauteed, then chunky tomatoes, a bay leaf, a sprinkle of sugar, salt, pepper, with a good dash of Old Bay and a little L&P. That will simmer for thirty minutes or so, then several pounds of peeled shrimp will go in, just to pinken beneath the lid. Good redolent ladles of this over Calrose.
Hashbrown Casserole---this is already made and in the freezer---it's two packs of Ore-Ida Hashbrowns, tossed with three cups of extra-sharp cheese, a big minced onion, salt,pepper, a hint of garlic. It will pack into a big casserole dish to bake gold and bubbly. Perhaps a layer of crumbled crisp bacon on top when it comes out of the oven.
Steamed Baby Carrots---Our Girl's favorite food (besides Birthday Cake, of course)
Biscuits and Preserves

Pastries---Half-size Danish---strawberry, raspberry, pineapple, cheese, and apple butter
Fruit bowl with Cream Cheese/Marshmallow Dip

Brownies with white chocolate chips and pecans Birthday Cake Vanilla Ice Cream

Cranberry/Apple Juice Marys Wine Iced Tea Coffee Pots of Earl Grey

Sounds good in theory; now for the actual achievement.


Tonja said...

Loved this! And it All sounds yummy!

Isn't it all about what we 'do'? These little rituals we have, the things we do because it's time to do them. While the rest of the world goes bonkers...in our own little world inside the walls we put up...all is well. Or at least as well as we can make it! As long as we can keep doing these things...all is right with the world. Oh, how we deceive ourselves!

And, I like a nice big slice of that grilled ham!

Anonymous said...

What time shall we show up? And, thanks for the uplifting message of keeping on keeping on. I woke today thinking of a lady at my chuch who turns 100 this week, and that her purpose in life from day of birth was to keep on keeping on. Best wishes

Keetha said...

I need to learn not to come here when I'm already a bit hungry. :-)

Sunday brunch. What fun.

Please report back!

Maggie McArthur said...

Thank God for the minutae of daily life -- to focus on the global tragedies all the time would lead to madness. And planning an entertainment adds some bubble to the batter of everyday life.

Yes, ham please, and hashbrowns, and some shrimp, and a teeny piece of the quiche, and a Bloody Mary, and I wouldn't say no to seconds of ham!

racheld said...

I wish it were ALL ready RIGHT NOW!!! You'd all be so WELCOME, and we'd sit down and eat and chat, and pay no attention to this messy house.

What a wonderful bunch you are!!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

have had to FORCE myself out of the doldrums and go on but it isn't easy. Eating what I want, when I want, as much as I want and having a warm comfortable bed to sleep in...bothered me but everyone is right when they say we have to go on with our everyday lives...or go crazy.

I love coming here. Racheld...I have NO doubt you can pull it all together! :)

Kouign Aman said...

C'nI come too? Please? I'll bring the last little grape tomatoes - for you to share in a small cutglass bowl on the table, or to hoard for your own.

Southern Lady said...

It sounds lovely, Rachel, and I know it's going to BE lovely, too.

We're going to be away for a few days, but I will keep in touch on my laptop. I'll be thinking about you.

racheld said...

You're all SO welcome, anytime!! KA---those are my very favorites, and someone's last tomatoes of the season---those are in the league with being given already-cut corn from the freezer, or a mess of greens already cooked---THAT somebody LOVES you.

Those little tomatoes are always served with a teensy pink salt-dip of the fine pink salt.

Janie--thanks for the thoughts---it promises to be a busy few days, as there's not a great lot I can do til my little whirlwind is out of the house for a while. Have a lovely trip!

Kim S. said...

It all sounds so lovely, Rachel! January is the perfect time for something like this. We all need something wonderful and warm to take us out of the doldrums of the month!