Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Luncheon with the Girls

Yesterday we hosted my sisters and my friend Shirley for our annual holiday luncheon here at the farm.  I tidied and tweeked and dusted and arranged things.  I prepared a salmon fillet for Dayle to put on our smoker grill.  I decided to try a new potato recipe... we put on Christmas music on our iPhone on the Bose.. we lit scented candles and Dayle laid and lit the fire.. would you like to join us?  Come on in!

After a bit of chatting in the living room, the salmon and potatoes were deemed done and we placed our luncheon on the table and were seated for the feast.  Shirley (my best friend from 7th grade) brought broccoli salad, younger sister Denise brought a chocolate pie (using our mom's pudding recipe) and older sister Roberta brought deviled eggs and a lime jello salad with pears.

What a feast!

Wait, stop, I need a photo before we dine.. hey HONEY?  Can you snap a photo for me?  Or 3.  Now sis needs him to take a photo on her phone.. hurry before things get cold!  LOL!  From left, Denise, Shirley, me and Roberta.

To have a moist salmon, I place the filet on foil on a cookie sheet, sprinkle it with a bit of salt and pepper, spread a layer of sour cream on top and bake until done.  I had seen these interesting potatoes called "Hasselback" potatoes and started researching them online.  Each recipe was different, so I gleaned something from each of them and made them how I wanted.  I used Russet baking potatoes, I peeled the top and left some peel on the bottom to hold them together, put two rubber spatulas handles (or wooden spoons or chopsticks) on either side and cut them in slices - you want the bottom not to be cut through.  I spread butter and fresh rosemary sprigs on top and put in the oven to bake at 425 deg. for an hour.  I then melted butter with minced garlic and brushed them with that every so often.  It was fun to do something different, but next time I will just make baked potatoes.. similar result, way less prep time.  :-)

We feasted to our heart's content.. chatted.. laughed.. and then retired to the drawing room in front of the fire.  I took this shot from the front door entry to get a bigger view of the room.

I got a new piece for my village - a "bucket brigade" with volunteer firefighters.  I put them in front of the pond.. maybe the bonfire got out of control?  I got the new piece at our DAR meeting at a sale of member's things.

We opened our little gifts from each other.. that is always so much fun!  I'll show you later what they were.. and visited and laughed some more.

Denise made a chocolate pie using our mother's recipe.  She used the same recipe for all her famous cream pies, chocolate, banana cream and coconut cream.  It was delish!!  She served it with squirty cream!

I just went into the kitchen and looked through my old wooden recipe file box and found the recipe to share with you.  One part of the recipe was on the back, so I used PhotoShop to add the last line at the bottom.  The "cocoa" in this recipe is Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder.

Our son arrived home and joined the party, the boys got home from school and joined us too, along with Kristi.  We had such a good time visiting and catching up with each other.  Shirley and both of my sisters brought something for the boys.. sweet.  

The boys and grandpa started a game of marbles, he was teaching them how to shoot them.. cute.

We got this tree before Christmas last year from Costco.  It's kind of amazing as each light can be clear or colored and it also can flash back and forth.  The boys like them colored (I like them white).  We take turns.  :-)

The sweet gifts we exchange.. not super expensive, some home made.. just fun things.  Shirley put an air plant in a glass ball with glass pebbles in the bottom and a few tiny xmas decorations.  Denise brought fingerless mitts for each of us along with a "Corndle", a corn shaped candle.  Roberta brought large hole beads for us and a leather cord for us to make our own necklaces.  Fun things! 

My cute little air plant!  I made Denise a turquoise pendant to match some earrings she's been wearing a lot.  I made Shirley and Roberta a crochet net covered red ornament - reminiscent of a Japanese fishing glass float.  :-)  I also gave each of them a bottle of Avon Skin-So-Soft shower gel.  My mom was known for giving Avon for presents, so it was kind of fun to remember those times.  Plus, it smells like mom, she used it all the time.

Today I have some silverware to hand wash and a lot of packages to wrap!  And a few more gifts to procure.  But all in all, this season is just what I'd hoped for.  Calm, pretty decorations around the house, holiday gatherings and a cozy old farmhouse filled with love.  I hope you are having a wonderful holiday time.  
((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. What a beautiful setting to hold a family luncheon. Perfect for making some more wonderful memories to cherish. Beautiful gifts for each other, the sort of Christmas it should be without all these hi tech expensive gifts and piles of debt, stunning.

  2. Your meal looks delicious and your house is sooooo festive! I can't believe how bright your tree is in the last photo, it completely changes the tree from the white lights (which I love too)

    Merry Christmas! xxx

  3. That family meal and celebration sounds picture perfect. The food looks fabulous, and that tree with the special lights is a beauty.

  4. A lovely lunch indeed, thank you for having me. The potatoes were especially good. I do love your living room, it's so beautifully decorated, and how nice to be able to change the tree lights, it completely changes the feel of it. The green colour of your wall is fabulous. The old recipe is a thing to treasure I think, I always love old handwritten recipes, there's something very special about them. How lovely to see your grandsons playing marbles, it's something my boys love to do too. Enjoy the rest of the week Teresa. CJ xx

  5. As always I wish I was there ... Such sharing and daring going on xxx

  6. What a beautiful luncheon, Teresa. It's so nice to see you and your sisters and friend getting together so often. Your meal looks delicious. I've always wanted to try Hasselback potatoes, and they look great, but they do seem like a lot of work for a potato. I'm sure they were very tasty, though. The gifts are lovely. I love the photo of Dayle and the boys with the marbles; I think I've seen the exact same pose with my father-in-law, my children and their marbles. :)

  7. What a feast and your home looks so festive Teresa. Great times, thanks for sharing x

  8. Oh Teresa it is all so beautiful and how I think Christmas should be. Beautiful food, beautiful setting and beautiful people. Love the presents you gave each other. Hugs Anne x

  9. Your home looks so warm and inviting. Thank you for sharing your mom's pudding recipe. My grandmother used to make homemade chocolate pudding as well and we always enjoyed it, very rich and creamy. Have a great evening. Heather

  10. What a nice time and cozy home to enjoy it. I inspected each photo thoroughly looking at all the details. I'm nosy! LOL. Your house looks so pretty all decorated for Christmas, as it does every year. I sure hope we can find something similar in coziness when we finally move. Love and hugs! Pammy Sue

  11. Looks like a wonderful time was had by all! The salmon sounds so tempting to me right now. Here in Iowa the only salmon I eat is canned salmon--and I like it. But I vaguely remember the fresh salmon our neighbor's son would bring us in Portland. The pie looks delicious as well. Thanks for sharing the recipe. My sister recently found a recipe for Santiago chocolate pie. We enjoyed it for Thanksgiving, and wow, was that scrumptious!

  12. Oh how I enjoy your blog posts! Felt like I was there celebrating and enjoying the festivities right along with you girls! All the gifts you received are lovely, as well as the ones you gave. My mom, too, was an Avon giver. :) As always, thank you for sharing. :)

  13. Years ago who would have ever thought that we could change the color of the lights on our Christmas tree just by flipping a switch! That is so neat, and very generous of you to let the boys have colored lights sometimes, Teresa :) Thanks for sharing your photos and narrative and recipes which really did help me feel like I was right there with you enjoying the festivities. xx

  14. I'm living vicariously through you. We have not even gotten our tree yet. My daughter is running around central america this winter (guatamala, belize, and now costa rica) so it will be very quiet this christmas.
    I think I'm going to get a prime rib roast for Christmas Day (Yay! no work).
    I saw a really cool idea on a sewing blog to scan those old recipes written in your mother's hand onto Spoonflower and print up tea towels for you and your sisters. I think if you google that sentence, you will find the 'how to'. Spoonflower can print your designs onto fabric.

  15. It was fun to go to your luncheon with you Teresa. Thanks for inviting us. It seemed a lot like our bloggers lunch last Christmas at the farm. I'm looking forward to Friday. Pray for calm skies and airplanes on time!

  16. Beautiful! Your home always looks so comfy.

  17. It all looks bright happy and very festive Teresa, your home looks beautiful and the food very yummy indeed. :)

  18. Your home looks so festive and pretty! And, your luncheon looks delicious! What fun!

  19. I see there was an empty chair there for me. Thank you ! I Loved those potatoes and the broccoli. I never met a chocolate pie I didnt like.
    LOVE Your sweet gift exchange; the best kind.
    I love presents all the time!!
    Your table and home are beautiful. I LOVE your changeable tree what a great idea!

  20. Your meal looks so pretty out on the table and no doubt it was delicious!

  21. Oh what a lovely post. Your home is always so cozy and inviting! I love seeing all the pretty things you and the others made. Merry Christmas to you one and all. :)

  22. Everything looks so festive! And what a feast!! I've been looking at the pic of broccoli salad and trying to work out what's in it ... I'm always looking for ways to get green veg into my son!

  23. Of course I would like to join you and thanks to your wonderful post I feel like I was sitting right there enjoying the yummy food and the wonderful conversation.
    Hugs to you Teresa,

  24. I'm reading from your last post back to here, pre-Christmas! It's quite a nice way to do it in these last days of Christmas until twelfth night on 6th.
    Happy New Year Teresa.


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