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Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Monday Before Christmas



    "It was a fortnight before Christmas, and everyone agreed that this would be a real Christmas, such as had not been seen for many years. There was a delightful cold nip in the air, as exhilarating as good news; the sky was grey and overcast, and the streets were covered with a thick layer of snow.

    Few sights are more charming than that of a town covered with new-fallen, clean, white snow, and how pretty it is to watch the tiny flakes drift downward through the air as if they were a wedding in the sky and the fairies were throwing confetti.

    At this time of the year the afternoons are short and the daylight quickly fades, so that the narrow streets which lead off the main roads of a great city like London assume an air more and more mysterious. The passer-by looks anxiously about him as his business takes him down some dark alley, for this is the season of goblins and pixies and elves -- perhaps even the will-o'-the-wisps are in town."

           From The Mysterious Toyshop by Cyril W. Beaumont, 1891-1976

Not real snow, but snow-flocking in an aerosol can lightly spritzed over cedar boughs and pinecones from my yard. Ribbon-tied candle jars with LED tea lights adds a gentle glow. This evergreen centerpiece is on a sideboard adjacent to the dining area.

Some very quick and easy candy -- Dark Chocolate-Dipped Apricots
I used a 6-oz bag of pitted dried apricots and 3/4 cup of dark chocolate baking pieces for some very easy to make fruity candy. I melted the chocolate pieces in a bowl in the microwave in short bursts of time, beginning with 30 seconds and reducing to about 12 seconds, stirring in between each cooking period. After the chocolate was throughly melted, I quickly dipped each dried apricot, about 3/4, and laid on a sheet of waxed paper to harden. Here's how they turned out.

The batch yielded 26 pieces or about 10 oz of candy.

Have a great day!


  1. We had a snowfall last week and much of the area is still covered in white. Not because there was lots of snow, but because there's a layer of 1-2" of ice under it all. However, the roads are mostly clear and a warming trim should melt much of it by Christmas. Which is okay by me as pretty as it is. I think I'll watch "White Christmas" to get my dose of Christmas snow.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Watching White Christmas sounds like a good idea. It's snowing here right now, but it won't stick around for Christmas. That's okay. I like to see that snow a couple of times in winter, and then I'm ready for spring.

      Have a good evening, Live and Learn.

  2. Your greenery and candles are my kind of decorating! Classic and comforting. Lovely.

    Your chocolate apricots also look good! Are you done with making treats, or do you still have more to go? We did our gingerbread people baking and decorating last night. The house still smells good. If I had to choose only one cookie for Christmas, that would be it. I prefer the taste of gingerbread over sugar cookies and you can decorate them, so that makes it fun for the kids.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Thank you. I'm almost done with baking. I've got one more batch of cookies and a loaf of almond-filled bread for Christmas day and then I'm done. Gingerbread is one of my favorite types of cookies. I like them plain (so I can eat them for breakfast) but my family does like them with icing.

      I hope you and your family are enjoying a lovely week leading up to Christmas!


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