Tag Archives: Family Christmas

Baking Love

20 Dec

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis




Our daughter arrived from Florida yesterday to spend the holidays with us in North Carolina.  Like me, she enjoys the Christmas season when there is a nip to the air. I am thankful she chose Wednesday for her flight as Thursday’s weather in Florida would have made her flight iffy.

Rebekah and I enjoy baking together for Christmas but we weren’t able to do any while we were in Florida as the church event consumed our time and energy. While we were in Ashville yesterday, awaiting her flight, we stopped at Fresh Market to pick up some baking supplies. I fell in love with the store. Everything is arranged attractively and the produce section popped with color. More importantly, I was able to purchase some hard to find ingredients for our baking. My husband and I are 6 months into clean Keto living and looking forward to Christmas treats without the harmful ingredients.

I needed to pick up several quarts of heavy cream to be sure I had enough to make eggnog and a special Christmas coconut cake. I decided to pick the cream up at Aldi, since it was less expensive there. A lot of people must have had the same idea as Aldi was out of heavy cream!

Today we awoke to a steady and cold rain. I wasn’t thrilled about braving the weather to buy heavy cream but it turned out we needed several items so my husband agreed to drive us to the entrance of the stores and pick us up when we finished. Our daughter said it was like having a personal Uber.

While we were waiting and hoping the rain would stop, I decided to use the heavy cream on hand to mix up the eggnog. My mom would make eggnog at Christmas, but I always bought a quart at the grocery. The recipe called for freshly grated nutmeg. I had bought the nutmeg seeds in Ashville and I thought I knew what to do but when I took the seed out of the package, I was baffled. How does one grate a hard knot?  I decided it must have a shell on it and I did a web search for how to crack a nutmeg. Wikihow said I needed to smack it with a large knife. I got out a butcher knife and gave it a sharp smack. The nut skittered out from under the knife and shot across the counter. After a couple of attempts, I got serious. and pulled out the big gun.


This weapon got the job done! Split that nut in half. But then I couldn’t  figure out how to get the shell to separate from the meat. My husband, who is a You Tube enthusiast suggested I You Tube it. After watching three videos, including one that gave the history of nutmeg ( did you know that the discovery of nutmeg changed the world? You Tube said that so it must be true.) all they told me to do was use a fine grater. After walking up to the television screen and peering intently at the screen, I determined that my nutmegs were not in the shell! And it was quite easy to grate.  Fresh nutmeg has a wonderful aroma and I look forward to grating some on top of my eggnog tomorrow.

Rebekah, our daughter, mixed up a recipe for shortbread and put it in the fridge to chill. Tomorrow she will make cut out cookies. She is mach better at rolling out cookie dough. My husband said he was looking forward to having a treat to eat with his evening tea. Fortunately, the gingerbread bundt cake with lemon glaze we also made turned out well. We left molasses out of the recipe to decrease the carb count and weren’t sure how it would taste. It was delicious! I only had a small slice. So far no one is owning up to the large slice.



Friday is supposed to be another rain day. I haven’t decided what to bake but I am drooling over the recipe for peanut butter bundt cake with chocolate ganache. The recipe is in Keto Gatherings by Kristi Sullivan.

Baking with someone you love is one os the best parts of Christmas for me.

Christmas is Coming~Part 3

17 Dec

Judy Wills




More Christmas memories.

I have always enjoyed music. I’m not a terrific pianist, but I get by. Unfortunately, I usually have to have the music sheet in front of me in order to play anything. I don’t have the gift of “playing by ear.” I wish I did, but God didn’t give me that talent.



I have always loved to sing. As I mentioned in another post, my first memory of singing was my first grade class’s Christmas program. I think I did a solo to Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. I’ve been in choirs of some sort all my life, especially the church choirs. But I was also in school choirs, as well. (Please see my post of October 16, 2016, titled Music to my Ears)

I have one Christmas musical memory that is precious to me. We were stationed at Tyndall AFB, Florida (Panama City, Florida), and I had joined the Officer Wives Club singing group. We performed for quite a few venues throughout the Christmas season, doing our Christmas music.


Photo credit WJHG.com
 Credit Google search


This one particular time, we were performing our Christmas program for anyone on Tyndall who would like to come to a concert. We did the performance in the Chapel, since it held a large number of people.



I had told Fred to bring the girls, to enjoy the concert. As I recall, they sat near the front of the Chapel. We sang quite a few songs, then I was to do a solo…I Wonder as I Wander. Since I had always done a bit of public speaking, it was my habit to look at the “audience” as I was speaking – or in this case, singing. As I looked out at the audience, I happened to look at my family. While Fred and Karen were invested in my song, when I looked at Janet (she was about five years old at this time), I nearly stopped singing for joy! Her little mouth was open to an “O” and her eyes were saucers! She was completely swept up in Mommy singing!

Perhaps she had never heard me singing before. I’m not sure. I’m only sure that she was entranced with her mother singing. The look on her face was one I’ve never forgotten. It is so precious a memory for me.

That’s one sweet Christmas memory I won’t forget.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued through Christmas~~~~~~~~~~

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