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December 28, 2005

Holiday Hangover

Holiday Hangover

by Susan, Still Recovering

I've had post-holiday deadlines for the past three years, so Christmas always seems a bit of a blur.  I haven't put out decorations in quite awhile (surprise, surprise), have missed a lot of holiday celebrations, haven't sent out cards since God knows when, and yet I somehow manage to find the spirit of Christmas just in time for the Big Day.  Like Sarah, I'm mulling over the highlights of this year's family gathering and figure I'll share some of the most memorable--okay, quirky--things.

Like my mother calling on Christmas Eve day (we do our big family dinner that night) to tell me while she was listening to the gorgeous voices on the IL DIVO holiday CD I'd given her early and baking a pecan pie, she'd burst into tears, saying to herself, "How lucky am I?"  Ah, mothers.  That is so sweet.

Listening to my sister tell a story about a blind date the night before (it was the cute salesguy, Dan, from REI who'd given me a thumbs-up on the things I'd picked out for Ed...and I couldn't help but get his name and number because I thought he and Molly would hit it off).  Needless to say, she had a great time, and apparently so did Dan, at one point putting his hands against his cheeks and proclaiming, "My face hurts from smiling."  Upon hearing her recount that part, my brother turned to her and remarked, "Was he high?"  Much hilarity ensued as Jimmy did a great imitation of face-clutching and moaning, "Oooooh, my cheeks hurt...I need some munchies...ooooh."  I know, a true Kodak moment.

Playing "Compatibility" with the clan (if y'all don't have that game, you should get it!) and being allowed to cheat a bit so Ed and I could catch up--and surpass-everyone else.  Who said cheaters never prosper?

My mom's famous Christmas morning Cowboy Coffee Cake turning out as flat as a pancake, and her saying, "Maybe I forgot something," and going through the ingredients only to realize she left out the baking soda.  We dubbed it "Unleavened Coffee Cake," and she threatened to clobber us and/or take back our presents.  Neither happened.

Everyone getting along and seeming to truly appreciate the thought that went into every gift exchanged.  No one did any, "Can I return this?"  No one made those fake "I love it, but I really hate it" faces. Amazing.

All in all, a very nice holiday, one that seemed to come at me in a rush (like my looming deadline).  And I feel like my mom, dwelling on all the good that's in my life--maybe more these days than ever--and thinking, "How lucky am I?"

Pretty damned lucky, I'd guess.




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Say hi to your mom from me - I forgot the baking powder in the scones I made to take to work last Friday. I have gotten so good about getting all the ingredients out before starting, but this was my first time making them in my new food processor and I blew it. My husband thought they tasted OK and I should take them anyway. But they looked bad and I didn't.

I want that Pat McBride Cowboy Coffee Cake recipe, with or without the baking soda. But only if Pat comes with it.

MaryR, I will tell my mom you left out the baking soda in your scones. That'll make her very happy (well, you know what I mean!).

Harley, she would love to come to your house and make her famous Cowboy Coffee Cake (with baking soda) and spoil your kids, as an honorary grandma should.

I too would love the famous recipe.

Susan, your family sounds like a blast. I can see why Christmas is such a special time.

Lisa and Harley, I'll get the recipe and post it on the blog this weekend while everyone's taking a break!

Hey, SusanCo wants it, too! You would think being a Texan I would know of this Cowboy Coffee Cake recipe.LOL With your permisson I would like to send it to a friend in England, if that is ok with you? Just think , it could be made and enjoyed all over the world by next Christmas! Thanks SusanCo


2 1/2 c. sifted flour
2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. shortening
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 c. sour milk
2 beaten eggs

Mix flour, sugar, salt, and shortening until crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup. To remaining crumbs, add baking powder, soda, and spices. Mix well. Add milk and eggs. Mix well. Pour into 9 x 9 inch greased and floured pan. Top with reserved crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Yep, that's it, Rob. I'll double-check my mom's recipe (passed down from my grandma), but I think it's the same. I'll post on the blog itself on Sunday for all to see. But thanks for going to the trouble! Hope you had a great Christmas!

Didn't mean to steal your thunder. I just put Cowboy Coffee Cake into Google and this is what I found. :)

I'm sure mom's version is much better (when she gets it right :)) and has that special touch.

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