Why yes, it is a very busy time. You too? Oh, I'm so glad I'm not alone. Allow me to introduce scenes from the pre-holiday:
It started with a cough from The Mister, and is ending with perpetual sneezing sessions from me. I could only duck his cold for so long. I find a sympathetic ear in my friend Lois, who, after I get done expounding on the unfairness of always catching your spouses cold and explaining how I expect to be bed-ridden any minute, asks good-naturedly "Are you coming Christmas caroling with us?" Hmm, with my nasal passages clogged and my voice unrecognizable between coughs, I think not.
I'm on the phone (yes, the dreaded phone) with my sister-in-law and we're making plans for Christmas day. She puts my three-year-old niece on the phone.
"You coming our house for my birthday?" she asks.
Oh dear, it seems that every time she observes plans being made and family converges on her home, my little niece Katie figures that it must be her birthday!I hope she doesn't get the wrong idea about the meaning of Christmas.
And of course it would not be complete without bickering over food, this time, with my mother:
"(Picky-family-member) suggested that you bring a cake for dessert."
A cake? Why? What kind of cake?
How is a cake ever light?
"And it should have fruit."
There isn't a lot of fruit in season right now.
"But not a fruit cake."
I give up.
This is a favorite winter side dish. Squash and apple slices baked until tender with a hint of brown sugar. A winner!
Baked Squash and Apples
2 pounds butternut squash (peeled seeded and fibers removed, cut into 1/2 inch slices)
-arrange in an ungreased baking dish
2-3 baking apples (cored and cut into 1/2 inch slices)
arrange on top of squash
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tb butter
1 Tb flour
1 ts salt
1/4 tsp ground mace (optional)
-combine in a small bowl then sprinkle on top of apples and squash. Cover and bake at 350F until squash is tender (about 45 minutes).