Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Tale of Two Trees

Things didn't go well last week when I baked pies. So badly that I didn't photograph the pumpkin pies. The pecan pie was perfect, but I was out of the mood to take photos. Besides I shared the pies last year with you. 

As I was putting the second pumpkin pie into the oven, I spilled the filling all over the pre heated oven door. I attempted to wipe up the spill, but it was already cooked on--in seconds at 425 degrees F. So I closed the oven door and let the pies bake. And bake they did. I cut out sweet, little leaves to place around the crust on one pie, adhering them with an egg wash. Let's just say that it did not go well because the crust burned. I took the pie to Thanksgiving dinner anyway. Hey. Sometimes things go wrong. I knew that the filling was good. There was so much food along with the pecan pie and the other pumpkin pie that only got really brown. Not sure what is going on with my oven.

So What to Do?

I mixed up a simple scrub of baking soda and water and applied it to the burned on filling. I had to keep scrubbing and wetting and scrubbing, and finally I had to use a razor blade scraper to get the tough stuff off.

There it is. All shiny and clean. I wonder what sort of damage I can when I start Christmas baking?

Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful. Jen and her family hosted, cooking a wonderful meal.

When we arrived, the girls were busy carrying on a family tradition, making the Watergate salad. Their great grandma Violet (the Head Gardener's mother always brought the Watergate salad--you know the one: a package of pistachio pudding, cool whip, mini marshmallows, and canned pineapple). Each girl took her turn, until one complained that her turn was too short, ending the group project. Kids.

Did I mention that it was snowing? It snowed all day, making every thing look really pretty. After dinner, the kids layered on their winter clothes and went to enjoy the snow. 

And now on to Christmas. Have you begun your Christmas decorating? I haven't. I do have the Christmas tree in place now.


I won't get around to decorating it until next week end. I am not in any particular hurry. As a kid, the tree always went up on my birthday, the 20th and came down on mom's birthday, the 31st. 

This is the staging area downstairs. I have drug all most the decorations out of closet in the basement.  This year I am not going to do the pink and gold tree; instead, I am going use all of the heirloom decorations, using the traditional red and green Christmas color.

See that box? Well, now we get to the Tale of Two Trees.

I wrote last week about buying the new tree and getting is set up. As I took a small package of screws out of the box, I had that strange deja vu that we all get from time to time then continued to set up the tree.

When I went downstairs the other day there was a tree stand on top of the pile of boxes just like the one that the new tree came with. The deja vu began to form a memory of parking my SUV in front of Hobby Lobby in Ft. Collin and a brown haired young woman poking a long white box into the back of the vehicle. Did I buy a new tree last year? Yep. There it is. It was buried under the pile of boxes. Now I have two trees. I used to decorate two trees at the old house, but I don't have the room here. Or do I? I'll let you know.

I am literally on the edge of chair. The Denver Broncos are playing the New England Patriots. Payton Manning is out injured with the backup quarter back playing. It is snowing like crazy in Denver and the game is tied in over-time. 

I can't bare to watch.

This is the last week of school at UNC. I cannot believe it. I will meet with my students for the last time on Tuesday when they will turn in their final essay. I will be in my office Thursday so that students can come see me and again on Wednesday and Friday during their final exam periods when they will come pick up their graded essay and their semester grades. Then it will be over. Wow. It went fast.

Have a wonderful week, my friends. Be sure to visit Judith at Mosaic Monday.

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Oh. Broncos win in overtime. 


  1. This seems to be a post of disasters and dilemmas. To be honest I haven't even begun to think about Christmas really - it all seems to be coming round so fast this year. I suppose it will all come alright in the end. The snow pictures are lovely - snow always looks beautiful when it has first fallen - pristine and clean. We are back to wet and windy here - not so pleasant - soggy and muddy.

  2. What about those Broncos!!!! Yeah! We're in NM right now and will be going home to IN in a couple of days and then my house will look like yours preparing for the holidays! Have a wonderful week!! And again "Go Broncos!!!"

  3. I enjoyed my visit to your part of the world. Rats about the pie spilling all over the oven. I think we might have the same stove. That little one in pink is adorable -- oh my, what a smile! And I like your Christmas tree, just as it is unadorned, it's a pretty tree. I can imagine what it will look like all decked out.

    Coming to you from Mosaic Monday ... and wishing you a beautiful week ahead!

  4. Congrats to the Broncos! Sorry about the pie, at least you could still use it.
    I have not begun to decorate, I have to ask hubby to drag out the tree and decorations. The girls look cute making the Watergate salad. Have a happy new week ahead!

  5. I'm sorry about the pie, but otherwise: What a beautiful and fun post! Your Thanksgiving was surely lovely and the girls look so cute and pretty!
    I wish you a lovely new week and happy time with Christmas preparations.
    As to Pinterest, I will probably never build my own doll house, but if I do I will use all those wonderful printables and tutorials on your boards. And meanwhile I enjoy whole-heartedly seeing what others are doing.

  6. Well it seems you have a great outlook about those pies....and what a scene with all the snow. No decorating here as I put it aside during garden season...

  7. Oh Ann, what a thing to have happen with the pies - never fails when you want things perfect! Glad you got the oven door clean, now it's ready for your Christmas baking.
    How exciting to have snow for your family gathering, something to put you in the mood for decorating.
    Like you, I used to decorate two trees at our other house but now we're down to a tabletop one which is just fine for our little bungalow.
    We're all decorated and enjoying twinkling lights with Christmas carols on the radio.

  8. Lots of ups and downs at your house, it seems. That's so funny about the two trees. How quickly we forget! Glad you got your oven door clean. Your pies were likely delicious and no one minded about the way they look.
    Just a little decorating has happened here. I did a little over the weekend and haven't had much oomph to get to the rest of it. We have a real tree, so it won't go up for a bit.

  9. I made a pumpkin pie so bad it had to be thrown out - we tasted it (it looked awful too) and decided we couldn't serve that to company. I had made a perfect mince meat pie and our daughter brought a pumpkin cheesecake so we had lots of dessert (plus there is always ice cream in the freezer).

    We finished decorating the house tonight - just a few tweaks is all that is left. The tree is so pretty with the sparkly lights. Once I start I just want to plunge on and finish it up. Then I can enjoy it. I baked today too - for Don's staff meeting - I made extra dough so I could bake more for gifts later. I'm glad it is christmas time.

    I love that your granddaughters make the salad together - a nice tradition.

  10. OH..someone else beside me forgets what they buy?!! I spill some of my pumpkin pie too, i swear it makes to much. I am sure they tasted good. What sweet memories it makes of your Grandaughters making a family recipe. The snow looks so pretty. Have a great week!

  11. I can relate to your pie woes, because I once had visitors, and promptly dumped the apple pie onto the oven door. I scraped it up, made a new crust, and served it anyway!