Merry Christmas and the “Magical Macy’s Christmas Tree”

This post is courtesy of Cher from her blog, The Chicago Files.  I thought it was the perfect way to wish everyone a Merry Christmas because this tree is one of the best things about My Fair City during the holidays.

******************

macys-christmas-tree-2016-2Well isn’t this absolutely spectacular! I took this photo today while strolling around Macy’s Department store in downtown Chicago.  I absolutely love this tree! It is breathtaking and reminds me of a winter wonderland! How beautiful! I had to share it with you of course!

Source: Magical Macy’s Christmas Tree!

A Hotel Hanukkah in Knoxville

Our menorah powers off of a 9-volt battery.  Instead of lighting a candle, The Boffin threw a DIP switch. Dinner was what we could grab at CVS since every place else was closed or closing. That was OK because of our gluttony at Skyline Chili earlier.  No latkes.  Just Stouffer’s or snacks.  Our presents were loaded into reusable grocery bags and lugged in for the evening.

It wasn’t home.  We didn’t have our Furball beating us with her paw and proclaiming her complete and utter starvation by standing pathetically by her bowl.  But we still had the quiet.  The calm.  The three of us.  Still good, though not usual.  I guess it is what you make it.

Here’s to a happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate.

Quality Street and the Advantage of the Tall Tin

It’s the time of the year when many people are fortunate enough to receive tins of chocolates.  But the truth of it is that most of us cave and buy them in November even though we have piles of Halloween candy left over.  At least, that is the way it works Stateside.

Well, the Nestlé Quality Street tin is one of the British national favorites and is available year round.  John Mackintosh first started making his toffees in his sweet shop in Halifax, West Yorkshire back in 1890.  His business grew so much that he opened his factory in 1898.  Unfortunately, it burned down in 1909, and Mr. Mackintosh ended up buying an old carpet factory and started again.  To make a long story short, after Mr. Mackintosh’s death, his son, Harold, inherited the business, and rebranded the toffees as Quality Street after a J.M. Barrie play.  It was a play off the words, “Quality Sweet”.  Nestlé bought Rowntree Mackintosh in 1988 and have maintained its deliciousness ever since.

As you can see from the French text, I imported ours from Canada with the custard powder.  There was a reason for this.  They had the tall tin.  The tall tin is very important.  The tall tin has the ever important guide.  We got the wide tin last year, and it didn’t have one.  Being that I am the American, I still don’t have the wrapper colors memorized, and I didn’t want to keep bothering The Boffin.  (“Which one is the green one again?”)

img_0032

The only other option is to get this tattooed on my arm.

Secondly, the tall tin is a good lesson in sharing for The Sprog because it forces her not to hog her favorite chocolates and leave the rest for us. As you can see from the opening, it prevents the person from rifling through to hunt for the “good” ones.

img_0034

And we can easily catch anyone who dumps the tin out. Because someone who hogs one particular kind of chocolate is a nobhead. And the worst thing is if you are left with the one chocolate that nobody likes because the others hogged the good ones. We don’t want our daughter to be a nobhead.  We are a family.  Family means being kind to each other and sharing the good chocolates.

And with that notion, I hope your friends and family share the good chocolates with you too.

Thanksgiving is Coming.

Pennsylvania Dutch potato filling…

Three sticks of butter and a death wish.

Edited with the recipe with the following changes.

Use all of the butter for the frying of the bread and vegetables.  Do not put any on top.  Not necessary.  You may even need extra butter, hence this time I needed three sticks.  I used salted.

In the UK, use size medium eggs.  In the US, size large.

You can season it however you would like.

 

Something for Next Year for “Guy Fawkes Day”

Unfortunately, I did my grocery shopping too late, so I missed a chance to utilize these helpful suggestions on how to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night according to one of my local grocery stores.

CCF11132015

Hey, it turns out that Guy Fawkes lead the conspiracy and not Robert Catesby.   Who knew?  And Guy Fawkes also did some time travel too because the Kingdom of Britain did not exist until 1707.  I thought it was still the the Kingdom of England and Wales in 1605.  He must have used the TARDIS.  The Doctor never seems to go anywhere apart from London, as far as I have seen.

Regardless, so what are Americans supposed to do, since there are no fireworks, bonfires, nor parades around these parts (although there used to be in early colonial days in New England)?  Well, it looks like we are supposed to drink Irish tea with chocolate covered digestive “crackers”.  Perhaps we can snack on baked beans on top of Irish beer-flavored potato chips.  Sounds pretty lame.  Is that all?

ronpopeil

The grocery store also gave an idea for a meal to fix along with some more specials.

CCF11132015_0001

Ah!  It’s Cinco de Noviembre!

Considering we have some of the best Mexican food in the Chicagoland area, this could work.  Instead of the bonfires, we can make Guy Fawkes into a piñata, fill him with a lot of that leftover Halloween candy, and have the kids hit him with sticks.  And we are always looking for reasons to set off fireworks and explosives.  This is America.

What do you think?