Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ten Things of Thankful-27

Today is the beginning of the end. It is the first day of technical rehearsals for Nutcracker. The Counting Mutant, Ase, Zaney and GirlyK are all in it. I do a little sewing with the costumes, embroider names on the show jackets and the odd delivery of food or supplies. Next week will be the Ten Things of Thankful: Nutcracker Edition. This week, however has been full and I am tired, so this is the quick and dirty edition.

First order of business though, because you asked so nicely, here is the Cranpear recipe: 

Cranpear Croustade

3 c fresh or frozen cranberries                             ¼ tsp sea salt
¾ c maple syrup                                                 1/3 c Orange juice
2 medium pears peeled, cored and diced               3 tbsp kuzu dissolved in 2 tbsp water (You can use                                                                                        cornstarch)
1 tsp vanilla extract                                              1 tsp orange extract
¼ c fruit only jam heated with 1 tbsp water

 Combine cranberries, salt syrup, orange juice and pears in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil        and simmer 5 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop open.
Stir dissolved kudzu and extracts into fruit and cook until thickened.  (About 1 minute.)  Transfer filling to a shallow glass bowl and chill.
Roll one chilled pie dough into a 12-inch circle between 2 pieces parchment paper.  Roll ½ recipe to ¼ inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes such as maple leaves. Refrigerate both, wrapped in plastic with parchment paper still underneath, for 30 min.
Remove unbaked crust from refrigerator and carefully peel off plastic.  Spread dough with   chilled filling, leaving outer 3 inches of dough bare.  Use parchment to help fold edge of dough up and over filling.  Press down lightly and form tucks between you thumb and  forefinger.
Bake pie in lower third of a preheated 400* oven for 35 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350-*, brush crust with jam mixture and bake 15 min longer, or until crust is firm and filling is bubbly. 
Now to the Thankfuls:

Catching Fire: The holidays are tricky for me and this year is especially so- I will write about it soon- and my PTSD/anxiety was at an all time high. We went to Catching Fire on Sunday afternoon.

I cried through the whole thing.

Because of my family and life experiences, I really relate to Katniss. Watching it purged all the anxiety and for the first time in five nights, the nightmares did not come. I slept soundly. I might get the movie just to have it on hand when I need to clear my head.

Mondays: Yup. I said it. I am thankful for Monday: especially the one after Thanksgiving. With four days “off” so full of fun, it was nice to have a normal day. I woke up slowly. Had a nice long walk with the dogs and mentally prepared for the rest of the week.

Damned Joy: I am part of another blog hop on Wednesdays. It is at A Mother Life’s Hump Day Hook Up. After Sunday’s movie, I felt at a loss for words. I pulled out this little gem and dusted it of. Why wouldn’t I want to pour salt into my anxiety wound? ANYWAY reading through it and editing it gave me a bit of my voice back and reminded me why am working so hard at healing. It is about JOY.

Photo taken from Rosy-Posy 
Homeschooling: This week I taught a craft class for our homeschool group. The Christmas class is one of my favorites because of the handmade ornaments. We made Cinnamon Christmas Stars from Rosy-Posy's blog. The kids had a great time and they looked fabulous. GirlyK helped at two of the other stations: decorating a foam wreath and a how to draw from Art Projects for Kids. I love watching the kids’ collaboration and creativity explode.

Gary Hoey: A musician friend introduced me to him years ago. His Christmas albums are a refreshing twist on old favorites. I actually look forward to him all year long.

Brian Setzer: Yup, the guy from Stray Cats in the 80s. His regular stuff is fun and if you ever get a chance to see either of these guys in concert: GO! BUT his Christmas stuff is the perfect extra shot of espresso in my Carols. 

Find it at Amazon
John Stewart: His commentary on The War on Christmas was the absolute perfect therapy to my holiday anxiety. The whole thing just adds to the anxiety I already feel about the holidays. Aren’t we supposed to be getting along? Why are we fighting?

I have decided to abstain from “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays” all together. Consider this my sit in as I wish everyone a HAPPY WHOLIDAY.

Dr. Seuss: For creating Whos and Whoville and the Grinch.

Icey cold temperatures: I know. Again with the cold. But let me ‘esplain Ricky. In the Central valley of California our winter weather is rain. Now, if we have warm temperatures we end up with this:

It hangs around for days and even weeks. NO SUN for days and weeks. Just dirty, brown gray.

When we have cold temperatures- low here is in the mid 20F/3C- fog doesn’t form. We have bright, shiney, sparkly days. I am happy to wear a hat and a jacket on my morning walk.

For my back yard: On stormy days like today, the colors as the sun peaks out make every glance out of the window a surprise. Instagram’s Weekly Hashtag Project was Liquid Landscapes. I had so much fun running outside to snap these today when I needed to clear my sewing brain.

During the Wholidays, people decorate their back yards. Simply magic...

Have a great week! What is your favorite post Thanksgiving/early December thing?

Ten Things of Thankful


  1. Love the reflections in your photos! Good luck with the "Wholiday" season; it can be difficult, but it sounds like you have some good coping skills in place. Thanks for linking up!

  2. Those cinnamon stars are BEAUTIFUL! I might just see if I can make them myself!

    I love your back yard and those decorations and the reflections of the lights - so very beautiful.

    And I'm glad that you're feeling a bit better and that you found a handy 'outlet' with the movie, there. Here's to Sugar Plums for a while yet *hugs*

  3. I love the Nutcracker - what a fun, family affair for all of you to be a part of it! My daughter danced with the Moscow Ballet for two years when they came to our town to perform it and used local children in the production. I also love the cinnamon stars! I lived in Ventura for a few years. We had "marine layer" all summer, which didn't burn off until late afternoon. Coldest summers of my life!

  4. prefer rain to snow anyday, no matter what time of year, bodies of water make everything look….better, cooler, more magical. no such thing as a bad water view.

    loved the Brian Setzer

  5. Love Brian Setzer... hey and thanks for remembering the recipe... I forgot so this was big bonus!

  6. I love, love, love How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Great book. Great movie. When I was growing up, a family in town did their yard up with the decorations and lights. People all over town made a point to not only drive by, but stop and walk past his yard each year. His neighbor, in the spirit of fun, had a gigantic Grinch up on his roof, looking down over the Christmas display. It was awesome.

    We have yet to see Catching Fire, much to my boys' chagrin. I even got to tour the place where President Snow's house was shot, 2 weeks after they did the filming, but haven't gone to see the movie. I keep hearing it was a good movie.

    I am jealous of your great backyard view.


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