Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Solstice+7, Christmas+3 (DEFCON 2)

It’s a dark, rainy, cool, perfect morning, and I’m sitting in my very quiet living room, in my amazingly peaceful house. Mom and Joe left Monday morning, and Rebecca and Scott headed home that evening. Erin left yesterday evening on the 6:15 Amtrak Cascades. It was kind of fun to be in the train station—I’ve never seen it so busy.

Before Erin left, she and I carried out our annual see-a-movie-at-Christmas tradition and saw The Family Stone. It’s a great holiday flick, about a quirky family whose eldest son brings home his fiancé to meet the family. Of course everything goes wrong, beginning with the fact that the fiancé (played wonderfully by Sarah Jessica Parker) seems to have an extra-large stick up her… well, you know, and is about as far away from this bouncy, awkward, enthusiastically liberal family as one could get. The complications—both hilarious and poignant—ensue, and it’s a great ride. I heartily recommend this for anyone simply looking for an enjoyable two hours.

Today reality has struck, and it’s time to do the annual post-holiday recoup, i.e., vacuuming, general pick-up, etc. Bits of ribbon and tinsel and glitter keep popping up, and every time I turn around I run into an empty box or a ball of tissue paper. I went looking for some ‘uns this morning and realized I hadn’t done laundry since last Thursday. Yikes. So now there are five piles of laundry lined up in the hall—plus one in the wash—as well as two beds to change and a load of towels. This should keep me busy.

I’m treating myself to an 'Individual Breakfast Strata' for lunch. This is a great recipe for one person, and easily multiplied for more. It’s the perfect way to use up those last bits and bites of leftovers in the corner of the fridge. The one I’m making has leftover chicken-apple sausage and brandied mushrooms, plus slivers of fresh onion. Yum!

Breakfast Strata for One

1 slice bread, crusts removed
1/3 C. milk
1 egg
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
Dash black pepper
Fillings of choice: diced or thinly sliced veggies, meats, cheese, etc. (about 1/2 C. total)
Sliced or grated cheese for topping

  1. Butter or grease an individual-sized casserole dish or an ovenproof bowl.
  2. Dice the bread and place in the casserole dish.
  3. Top with the filling.
  4. Combine milk, egg, and seasonings and beat until smooth. Pour over the bread and fillings.
  5. Top with grated or thinly-sliced cheese.
  6. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

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