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Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day

I always knew that the day after Christmas was called, "Boxing Day". ( Catholics celebrate the feast of St. Stephen on Dec. 26th as a minor holiday and not an obligatory day)

I mistakenly thought it was the day you  boxed up all the items that you hadn't used for a year or items that were still usable, but had been replaced with new Christmas gifts, were boxed up or bagged up and donated to a charitable organization. Whoa. Just read that, "Boxing Day" is the day that the servants got their gifts.
No servants in this house!

Anyhow, the day after Christmas has always been the other kind of Boxing Day in the Laughlin household. I went through every single drawer, closet and cabinet in the entire house- including all the boxes in the garage- and collected all the items that we really don't use. Bridget the Yorkie and I packed them all into the car and drove them over to the Salvation Army (which is about a 20 minute drive away) . This is a little nod to my friend, Rosita, who pointed out to me earlier this month that Salvation Army gives a higher percentage of the proceeds to the poor, as opposed to Goodwill (which is only 5 minutes away). Since gas is so cheap, I felt like I could drive the extra 17 minutes to take my donations to a place that will be better stewards of the donated dollar.

On the way, home, Bridget was whining for something yummy for lunch, and she cannot handle anything at Del Taco, so we drove through In N Out. She got a burger patty with no salt, and I got a protein style, extra pickles, mustard fried, no onion burger. YUM. She also got a couple of pets and exclamations "LOOK at this CUTE puppy!!! (she's 12) She is so ADORBS!" Well, yes, in her little plaid jacket and her cute little Christmas bow, she is exceptionally cute. The manager yelled at them to not pet her since they were handling food...well, my life has been covered in dog I can sort of sympathize. I don't enjoy dog hair in my food, and I supposed no one else would like it, either.

 We scarfed it down in the parking lot of Home Depot.

After sharing the french fries, we waddled into Home Depot to be stopped by pretty much every employee with a dog cookie, a pet, and other high-pitched exclamations of love for a darling Yorkie...and even some pets from some really surly-looking dudes pushing full carts of wood and paint products. Not me, of course, Bridget got all the petting! Ha ha ha!

Anyhow, we got home and decided it was time to plan for tonight's cocktail.

Oh, I forgot to tell you about the delicious cocktails from Christmas Day...

I made a wonderful drink for us called, French 75".

Last year, our son Chris, gave me a wonderful book called, "The Craft of the Cocktail". I LOVE this book! I have it on my kindle and the recipes, stories and photos really make this a great resource.

The French 75 was named after a French artillery piece. Rumor has it that Captain Harry S Truman told his men, just minutes before their French 75 guns rattled 75-millimeter shells at the Germans, " I'd rather be right here than be president of the United States!"

I had all the ingredients so I decided to try it as an afternoon cocktail on Christmas Day- between the breakfast Bloody Mary and the wine at dinner.

It's delicious!

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice:

1 shot of brandy
1/2 shot of fresh lemon juice
1/2 shot of simple syrup

and shake well.

Pour over ice, and top with Prosecco. STIR gently. Drink two or three of these before dinner.

Today, I decided on a 'Whisky Sour' for, l'heure de l'apĂ©ro or les happy hours" .  Oops, sorry, I've been reading my new cookbook, My Paris Kitchen. I am in love, once again, with all things French...well, except this cocktail- which is also amazing.

To a cocktail shaker full of ice add...

2 shots of whisky
1 shot of simple syrup
1 shot of fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons of cherry liquor (from either the maraschino cherry juice or Trader Joe's dark Morello Cherries, which is what I used)

Shake, shake, shake and pour over ice into a glass. Garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry- or not.

You will drink several of these! Quite good!

Anyhow, Boxing Day is over and we are happy that Christmas was a lovely day. Quiet, but lovely. We missed Pat and Chris and their wives, but I suspect that this will be the only quiet Christmas we will have for a while!

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