Saturday, December 19, 2020

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Last minute Christmas doings

As I write, there is a gentle cold rain out of doors and the kitchen has become warm due to more orange slices drying slowly in the oven.  (We did receive snow mid-week but it has melted.)  These were the remaining oranges from a large bag that were getting quite old so, it was toss them or dry them... and drying them is a much better alternative.

They will take awhile to dry since I sliced them thicker this time, making them sturdier for hanging. Dried orange slices are something akin to stained glass when hanging on a window in winter.  I saved the ends and the unused bits and pieces, they are simmering slowly in the smallest saucepan on a stove burner, adding to the citrus aroma in the house.

There was a bit of a lull in household projects last week and I used the time for some past due organizing.  The in-basket on my desk was piled high and stuff kept falling out of it.  It's not really that I had more in there than ever before but it included a Ziploc bag filled with Christmas and office card supplies.

At one time, my Family Room floor was covered with various stacks of medical and insurance papers from the in-basket to be sorted and then filed away.  There were pretty cards received from friends to be placed in the hatbox kept for that purpose and coupons to check the expiration date with my lighted magnifying glass. 

I keep most of my coupons in an envelope in my purse at all times but those from the Sunday paper that my husband thinks I may want are placed in the in-basket, as are the Sunday paper McDonald's coupons for buy-one-get-one-free McMuffins.  I was obviously late getting around to checking them.

I only have a few items that need placed in a box and dropped by Goodwill before the new year. That will be accomplished next week and the Study will be decluttered... except for houseplants, a tea set, and brown transferware all keeping a temporary home there until after Christmas.

During the COVID shutdown, I did a great deal of decluttering, as did much of the population it seems.  So, there isn't a lot that needs to be sorted through but enough that I want to begin with a fresh start in January.  That has been my traditional decluttering month even before a worldwide pandemic.

The first thing I will do is look carefully through all the Christmas items before putting them away again.  However, I think just about everything that I no longer want to keep - or - I don't think my kids will want, have already gone to Goodwill in previous years to be a blessing to other homes.

I went to the grocery stores Friday morning for the last of the Christmas Eve dinner items to make certain I could get everything on my list.  Otherwise, I needed to tweak it.  Christmas Eve is the one Holiday dinner that I still like to have in my own home as long as I can, especially since I can keep it simple.  Thanksgiving dinner has been thankfully passed on to my son's family.  Especially after enjoying that turkey he smoked this year.  

It seems once we reach a certain age... often about the time our first child graduates from high school or college, we begin having to adapt our old traditions for new situations in life. Then, add COVID to that, and I think everyone is having to adapt to changes this year.  

I am thankful to God that we could be all together in October and that we have been able to celebrate Thanksgiving and (most likely) Christmas Eve with our son and his family.  Beyond blessed...

So, if you need me beginning Monday, I will probably be elbow deep in flour or getting homemade candy ready for the freezer.  It is time for the last minute baking and such to be accomplished.  Most of my recipes are the traditions from past year but I saw a shortbread recipe last week where they added Christmas sprinkles to the dough before baking.  I can't wait to try that for two little people to enjoy... and a few big people, too.

ImageChristmas Glow: Artist, Gretchen huber Warren


Kathy said...

Hope you are able to have a wonderful celebration on Christmas Eve with your son and his family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas!


Vee said...

I like to think of you in your cozy kitchen up to your elbows in flour. I spent a bit of time in your recipe blog scouting out some recipes that you have shared through the years. Found them, too. Maybe I'll be in the kitchen as well. A blessed and happy week to you!

Anonymous said...

Yes, decluttering is kind of an ongoing job at our house too.

Here in Mississauga (Canada) we are in a shutdown so it will be a quiet Christmas. It will be less work but we'll sure miss everyone.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year, Brenda.

Deanna Rabe said...

I plan to do a bit of baking this week, also! I’m going to make a sugar free fudge for my dad, and a peanut butter fudge for Tim, as well as the usual cappuccino muffins.

Praying that you’ll get to be with your son and family on Christmas Eve!

elizabeth said...

I hope the baking and all will go really well and be a wonderful time! Happy Blessed Merry Christmas! Even if different this year, the main thing is that Christ is Born! Glorify Him!