Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas morning

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I have been thinking about Christmas's past and what the mornings always brought.  Usually my brothers would wake me up and we would try to sneak out into the living room to see what goodies were there.  I don't remember ever making it to the livingroom without Dad telling us to get back to bed.  It never failed that we somehow had to pass by our parents room to get to the living room.  Sometimes we would hang out until we were allowed into the living room and sometimes we would go back to bed but not very often. 
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We would finally get Mom and Dad up and we would plow through the loot and then dump our stockings.  We always had an orange at the bottom with a can of blue diamond smokehouse almonds.  We also always had a box of Whitman's Sampler chocolates - of our very own.  We sometimes got Hickory Farms meltaway mints - which I love.  My brothers would get cans of smoked oysters which I couldn't ever stomach.  Dad usually put in a little necklace that he had made for me with an opal or garnet in the setting.  Sometimes I even got a ring.  It was always wrapped in layers and layers of tissue and then slid or shoved into a film canister. (That dates me - you probably can't even find a film canister around) 

We didn't really have a breakfast per say - we would eat our oranges, munch on our almonds and chocolates or the homeade candies left over from neighbor gifts and stollen and fruit cake.  Ralph's family always had Campbells chicken gumbo soup.  The morning was so crazy for their family that it was easy to open a can of soup and have cheese and crackers with it.  I think they always had grapefruit as well.  It was a treat for them and they loved it.  When I first got married, it was kind of fun to do something different, soup with cheese and crackers for breakfast, but I am all passed that now.  I really prefer breakfast food for breakfast.  It is my favorite meal of the day.  Ralph still prefers his soup.  A friend of mine used to serve her children parfaits - layered with fruit, ice cream, and granola.  That sounds good.  I thought a nice breakfast casserole or eggs benedict - you know something special.   I think we will always be divided on what is for breakfast Christmas morning.

I have plenty of things to do tonight.  I will leave you with a recipe for the best buttermilk pancakes you will ever eat.  I got the recipe off the internet - they are unbelievable!  I usually add a little bit more milk because I like my pancakes thin.

-- 2 cups all-purpose flour
-- 2 tablespoons sugar
-- 2 teaspoons baking powder
-- 1 teaspoon baking soda
-- 1/2 teaspoon salt
-- 2 eggs
-- 2 cups buttermilk
-- 1/2 cup milk
-- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
-- Choice of berries, sliced bananas, raisins or chopped toasted nuts (optional)
-- Oil for griddle

INSTRUCTIONS: Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Lightly beat the eggs with the buttermilk, milk and melted butter.

Just before you are ready to make the pancakes, add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once, stirring just long enough to blend. The batter should be slightly lumpy.

If you want to add fruit or nuts, stir them in now, or you may sprinkle them on the pancakes while they are on the griddle.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or heavy skillet over medium-high heat (375 degrees on an electric griddle).

Pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto the griddle or skillet, spacing the pancakes apart so they do not run together. When bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes and the undersides are lightly browned, turn and cook for about 2 minutes longer, until lightly browned on the bottom.

Serve immediately on warmed plates with the topping of your choice. Serves 4 (yields about 24 four-inch pancakes.)

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