It’s been chilly down in the Southland this week with temps dropping into the low 30s. There’s worry about the citrus crops freezing. Our lemons seem to be fine… and we have a lot of them. Of course it’s kind of warm compared to where Bill is this week. It was -12 in Salt Lake City when he arrived with a windchill of -24. Yikes! It’s definately warming up though… the high today might get up into the 20s. Ooooooh. Thursday he’ll be in Seattle. It’ll be in the 30s and possible raining or snowing. Perhaps it’ll rain slurpee. He’ll be very happy to be back home where at least it’s sunny.
Now that I have my camera back, here are some images from Christmas:
James and Kristen are text messaging Veronica posing as Bill. Guessing by their expresions they’re sending dirty messsages.
Here we’re having lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. For some reason, James has broccoli in his nose.
The morning of our flight home we had breakfast at Shoney’s. Logan is making funny faces and doing weird things with his pacifier:
A pretty sunset of Rockaway Beach in Queens on our approach to JFK. Probably the best photo I’ve ever taken from an airplane.
The original plan was to celebrate Christmas with everyone on the 26th so that Mark’s dad, Dave, sister, Kim, and her husband, Gary could join us from Seattle. That continued to be the plan, but unfortunately, the three of them caught the flu just before and were specifically told not to come. We didn’t want to get sick! Jackie had a problem with not having people over on Christmas Day, so she talked Mom and Dad into making breakfast for everyone on Christmas morning. We opened a few presents from each other and enjoyed some of the lengths people took to mask what the gifts were. Jackie had a very large box from Arthur that turned out to be a Nintendo DS in pink. He even put 5lb weights in the box to keep the suspense. Patrick and Veronica actually colored the wrapping paper for Bill’s gift to look like the tree.
Then went to even greater lengths to make it a pain in the butt to open.
And it turned out to be a cool cookbook and an easy button.
Veronica, Michael and Arthur, playing someone else’s electronic present:
That afternoon I went to Bill’s parents’ house to make some mochi with Bill’s mom and aunt. I don’t know what it’s called in Chinese, but the way we made it is much closer to the Japanese mochi. The most common way for Americans to try mochi is when it’s filled with ice cream. They serve it at some Japanese restaurants and you can buy it in the freezer section at most grocery stores. It’s made with glutinous rice flour, sugar and water then cooked until it’s the right consistancy. Then, while it’s still hot, we mold them by hand with different fillings and shape them to be one or two bite-sized. The two fillings we made were sweet red bean paste and a chopped, roasted peanut mixture with sugar and toasted coconut. Later we ended up mixing the peanuts with the red bean paste. They really turned out good. While you can eat them once they are cool enough to eat, my favorite way to eat them is pan fried. That way the outside edges are crispy and the inside is still very chewy. Mmmmm.
Ta da! Bill’s mom and aunt were impressed on how quickly I figured it all out.
For dinner we had dungeness crab. It was very good. Personally, I think crab should become a traditional Christmas dinner… it’s in season!
On Tuesday we went to Jan’s for Christmas dinner. Cindy and Sue joined us along with Sue’s boyfriend.
Here Bill is carving the prime rib. One job he is always happy to do. Mmmmmmm.
And Josh is always happy to help. “Please Bill, just drop a few pieces.”