Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Greetings!

Jim joins me in wishing you all, children, relatives, friends, acquaintances out there in Blogland, a Blessed Christmas today. May the love, the joy, and the peace of God live in our hearts and in our world today, and in the days to come. Our prayer is that God will create justice in the hearts of all, that the poor may be blessed by the rich and that peace may come in place of war.

Our little country church held a Christmas Eve service of lessons and carols last night. Because this is the year of our church's centennial celebration, many of us dressed as we would have in 1909. We sang only carols that would have been sung in that year, and although we used electric lighting (candles would have given the Fire Marshal fits!), we sang from song sheets and hymnals. I played organ for the service and Brian was on piano. For special music three young men sang "We Three Kings", and for another number I played "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne" on violin, accompanied by Brian. It was a lovely service, appropriate to those of a century ago. Though we were not many gathered in our little church, we had a joyful time together.

Today is a day of leisure for the two of us. Daughter #1 is at work as an RN in an emergency department. Daughter #2 is at her in-laws, who live much closer than we do. Son #1 is at work in Yosemite as a mechanic and tow truck driver, and son #2 and his family are also at in-laws (same situation--it's a much shorter drive). Actually, we discourage our children and grandchildren from visiting at this time of year. The roads can be treacherous and the airports can be a nightmare.

We are spending the day by the fireplace reading and knitting, with the Christmas tree lit up. If it becomes warm enough (say -18 or -16) we plan to do some cross country skiing from our back door and over the fields.

In the meantime I'm baking a bit. When the kids were home there was always fruit cake and banket (a Dutch almond ring) for this time of the year. But since it's just the two of us, we just can't get rid of all that baking. So instead, for breakfast this morning I made a Fruity Scone and now there's some Boston Brown Bread in the oven.

Fruity Scones:
1 orange peel, zested
1/2 cup of orange juice, used to soak
1/2 cup of dried cranberries.
Mix together
2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt.
Cut 5 tablespoons of butter into
the flour mixture (I use my Cuisinart for this).
Beat 1 large egg into 1/4 cup of milk.
Transfer flour mixture to large bowl.
Add the cranberries and orange juice, and the
egg and milk.
Stir gently until all the flour is moistened.
Shape into a circle on a cookie tray covered
with baking parchment.
Pat the circle down, and score into 8 parts.
Bake at 375 for 18 minutes.

Enjoy warm with a good cup of coffee, and don't worry about the calories.

And to replace fruitcake as an afternoon snack, here's my take on

Boston Brown Bread
2 1/2 cups of freshly ground whole wheat flour
(Or 2 cups of w.w. flour and 1/2 cup white flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt.
2 cups of low fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup of dark molasses
1 cup of raisins (rinsed with warm water).
Divide into 3 coffee cans, thoroughly greased with margerine.
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
Let stand in cans until cool.
Turn out of cans.

Can be frozen. Tastes great with jam or with cream cheese, or with both, or with any other suitable cheese (cheddar, provolone, etc.)

This is a very low fat, low sugar treat which we enjoy.


  1. Sounds like your centennial church service was lovely. I love that you even dressed as if it were 1909!

    I'm going to give B your recipes. He's the baker. I want those scones! ; )

  2. Those scones are a real breakfast favourite of ours. And since there are just the two of us, one preparation produces enough scones for two breakfasts. We had the second part of the batch this morning, and reheated in the microwave they taste just as good as fresh.