December 23 …. 2 Days Until Christmas

Where We Are … (Hannah)

Up early, back into the magic sleigh for a quick hop across the Mediterranean. The weather is perfect (what else?) as we descend towards the boot of Italy.

Today, we’re on the Amalfi Coast, and the heavens have graced us with summer weather. We check into the Belmond Hotel Caruso and set out for an afternoon picnic in the enchanting ruin of Sant’Eustachio. Then it’s a vigorous hike on an ancient path that links Agerola and Nocelle, offering stunning views of the shimmering blue sea and mountains in the distance. 

We’re probably going to have to eat that horrible Italian food, too!

What We Eat … (Sandy)


Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme

Remember me to one who lives there

She once was a true love of mine.

Not enough turkey at Thanksgiving? If you are planning an encore (or a roast chicken) for Christmas, here is a seasoned herb dressing to consider trying. When someone at the Thanksgiving dinner table in 1999 asked for a copy of my dressing recipe, I came up with the following and named it in honor of the flavor makers – parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme harvested from my herb garden.

The herb garden at The Parsonage
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 6 stalks)
  • 2 medium apples, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped (Dried are fine substitutes.)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 8-10 cups bread stuffing cubes
  • 1/3 cup parsley
  • 2 tbsp crushed sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 cups hot chicken stock

In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, and raisins with the bread cubes. Fold in the parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add the onions and celery; cook over medium heat until soft (10-15 minutes). Combine with the dry mixture. Stir in hot chicken stock, blending all the ingredients.

Stuff the bird? Serve the dressing as a side dish? Or do both? If you choose to serve it as an accompaniment, bake the dressing in a buttered 9” x 13” casserole dish covered with aluminum foil until heated through (about 30 minutes). Uncover and bake another 10 minutes, or until the top is slightly crisp and golden.

What We Listen To … (Jacob)

I don’t hear this song too much these days, hence I’m not totally sick of it before the Holidays even start like I am most Christmas songs. Hopefully you aren’t sick of Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry either.

What Makes us Laugh(Patrick)

Some things just get funnier the more you watch them. Personally, I’ve watched this one 625 times.

What Amuses Us (Whitney)

This year, Jake introduced me to the truly surreal “Star Wars Holiday Special”:

Debuting on TV in 1978, a year after A New Hope, it goes places no one in the Star Wars universe has ventured before or since, answering questions such as: What does Chewbacca’s family do at home when he is off adventuring with Han Solo? What if Star Wars had a musical format and Princess Leia sang a holiday carol? Amazingly, it features all of the principal actors and droids from the original film and centers on a day of celebration called “Life Day,” an obvious stand-in for Christmas. It is over an hour and a half long and has 10 minute-plus stretches where the only language spoken is Wookiee. Not only does it have a Julia Child sketch and Bea Arthur crooning in the Mos Eisley Cantina, but it also introduces Chewbacca’s son, Lumpy. While probably unsuitable for undivided attention, it is ideal to put on in the background for those holiday tasks such as wrapping presents or preparing your Life Day feast.

What Makes Us Family (Stephen)

Tired of seeing Morrises? For these two weeks we’re all Morrises, some of us just have different last names. Here are a few named Levesque and Goldrick celebrating Christmas in Gilead.

Do you have any Christmas photos of your family to share? Send them along.

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