Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Drinking a lot of tea!

I finally succumbed to the bug that has visited all the children.  They bounce back from these more quickly than I do.  I have felt like a wet dish rag pretty much for a week now.   Drinking a lot of tea because one does not feel well is not quite the same as "taking tea" in the afternoon, but certainly a comfort nonetheless.   Today's tea was Stash's White Christmas, a gift from my mother-in-law.  This tea has become one of my favorites - along with Stash's Ginger Breakfast Black tea.  

Now I am in recovery mode and the list of things-to-do has grown exponentially each day I was not up and around.  I did finally pack up my "Advent Box".  One year I finally realized that there were certain things I needed even before the start of Advent.  I put together a box that I can take down with essentials to get a good start on the Advent season.  Interestingly, the Advent things always seem to get packed away well after most of the Christmas decorations are put away.  I had a lot of help from Gandolf, our fluffy addition from last Christmas.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to have Santa deliver a cat?  But he did and we have loved having him for the past year.

My packing session went something like this....put out box....remove cat from box...pack a few things......remove cat from box....pack a few things....remove cat from box...you get the picture.

Anyway, the Advent box has a few books that help me plan for Advent and Christmas and any books that are specifically for Advent or the feast days that fall in Advent - such as St. Nicholas Day and St. Lucy's Day.   Before I closed the box all up I took a few pictures of my "new" Christmas book.  I am in love with the illustrations and colors.  It is an ex -library copy of The Christmas Anna Angel by Ruth Sawyer and Kate Seredy (a wonderful combination of talents!).  I had never heard of this book before but I was looking for more titles by Ruth Sawyer and took a chance on this one.  I am so glad I did!

The story is perfect for Advent with a visit from St. Nicholas...

And a description of their rousting of the chickens on St. Lucy day to ensure a supply of eggs through the winter.

The book focuses on Anna and her desire for Christmas cakes at time when any surplus wheat has gone to the soldiers and the war effort.  A wonderful addition to my Christmas book collection.  Also in the box are the candle holders for our Advent wreath and all the things I need to set up our Advent Garden (minus the greens of course).  Mother Mary and the Infant are wrapped in tissue paper along with some very pretty geodes that I bought so long ago at a Christmas fair at the Fellowship Community in Chestnut Ridge. 

What else is in there - our Advent calendar, many more books, ornaments for the years I do a Jesse tree and this little guy who acts as our family version of the Elf on a Shelf.

Until next year.....

And now my cup of tea is empty.    A simple Beet Soup is on the stove for dinner this evening...the boys will be thrilled, well Aidan does really like beets, Christian not so much.  But there hasn't been much shopping happening and I have an ever growing supply winter beets from our CSG....beet soup it is.  It is a recipe that is found in Nourishing Traditions - I usually make this at least once for our soup suppers during Lent at Church - it always gets rave reviews.  I don't usually have chives, so I just skip it, but I do season with salt and sometimes a bit of ground ginger. 

6 medium beets
4 tbl. butter
1 quart water
sea salt

Peel beets, chop coarsely and saute very gently in butter for about 1/2 hour until tender.  Add water, bring a boil and skim.  Simmer about 15 minutes.  Puree with a handheld blender and season to taste. 
That's it.  Just the thing for a mom on the mend.

And I won't forget to visit Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight.  Her delightful kitties haven't been feeling well, I hope they are on the mend.

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