Merry and Bright

We met at Herb and Anneliese’s home this year for our annual Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas dinner party. We were greeted to their beautiful home and enjoyed many well thought out details of the season.

We all contributed some dishes for our gathering from appetizers to main course and dessert. Julies gluten free roll-ups were a big hit.

It had been a while since this many of us were together and it was good to catch up with one another.

Anneliese went the extra mile with veggies, fried potatoes, cucumber salad and home made rolls along with her Rouladen.

It was Dear and my first time enjoying Anneliese’s Rouladen and Bev’s Spaetzle and both dishes were delicious. Judy’s salad was a great starter to our meal.

For our exchange we decided to each bring one gift from our kitchen or something gathered for our kitchens to share with one another. We brought one gift and left with one gift.

We roused the guys to help take our annual Christmas shot and Lovella’s beloved captured both sides of the photo shoot.

Lovella’s Black Forest Torte and Marg’s Hazelnut Roll topped off the evening.

Dear and I headed for the border at 9:30 and were safely home by 11:10. We had two great border crossings and safe roads. We are in recuperating mode here at this old house. No decorations here yet so it was really nice to enjoy Anneliese’s home all decorated and ready to go.

First Christmas Party of 2017

Dear and I traveled to Abbotsford, Canada yesterday to start off the Christmas season with these “girls” and their husbands. Herb and Anneliese opened their festive and warm home to the 16 of us for the evening. We missed our two Manitoba girls and their husbands. I’ll share photos from our evening together soon. Today I’m recuperating from all that good food and the drive to Canada and home again.

What About You Hodgpodge

1.  What’s something blogging has taught you about yourself?

I’m social and I like to meet new people and see and experience new things. Blogging has opened up a whole new world to me with a walking buddy while I was living in Southern California (Willow’s Cottage), tour guides on trips to Canada (Pondside), outings with blogging friends to museums in California (Willows Cottage and Sara), a meet up and shopping trips with a blogging friend from Orange County who is no longer blogging, a meal with another blogging friend in the Sacramento area (Scrabblequeen) Lunch in Kansas with another blogging friend who is no longer blogging. The most amazing impact on my life that came to me through blogging is my association with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. These nine women have enriched my life in more ways then I can count. I’m so thankful to God for them and the lives they lead in service to others and all the dear friends I’ve met in person or enjoyed by visiting their blogs. I’m ready and willing to meet any more of you who travel to my part of the world.

2.  Leftovers…are you in the ‘reheat and eat’ camp or the ‘put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them’ camp? What’s your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?

Both. I like small amounts of leftovers but I get tired of some things that linger in the fridge. I really enjoy Stroganoff and tuna noodle as leftovers. Soggy salads aren’t my cup of tea.

3. ‘Me time’…your thoughts?

At this stage of life I have plenty of “Me Time”. When my children were living under our roof “me time” was a rare commodity. I don’t think it’s too healthy to think too much about ME. There are seasons of life where we have more time for self and seasons with less time for self.

4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

Emotional support.

5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.

 Cabbage as in Borsch. Marinated lamb cooking on the barbecue. Lots of rice.  Sour cream as a side dish. Blintzes swimming in butter and half and half. Good fresh bread. In other words heritage food was the smell of my childhood. My mother’s and father’s love language was providing good eats for their family and others. We would probably be considered poor growing up but one thing we never lacked was tasty food.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Yippee, Yahoo, our countertops are being installed this morning, one week late! Better late then never! In the meantime I’ve accomplished some organizing and thinning out of stuff at this old house with the anticipation of moving next June! No Christmas decorating at this old house yet till we clean up the mess from the new countertops going in. Next week sounds like a good week to get a tree and start decorating.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions!

Getting to Know You…

I enjoyed reading Eileen’s Getting to Know Me and Mildred’s, too, so I’m answering the 25 questions.
1. What is your middle name?: 
I do not have a middle name on my birth certificate. In my Russian culture I would be introduced as Ellen, Moisi’s (daughter) Bagdanov. Everyone would then know that I was Moisi’s daughter not Ivan’s daughter.
That’s my maiden last name in Russian on my paternal grandparents’ gravestone.
2. What was your favorite subject at school?:
Any class where the teacher made me feel like they appreciated having me as a student especially my English teachers in high school. I enjoyed Home Economics and ended up majoring in Home Economics.
Mrs. Nicolaus was my favorite primary teacher.
3. What is your favorite drink?:
Morning: coffee  Cocktail: Gin and Tonic
4. What is your favorite song at the moment?:
Adore by Chris Tomlin
5. What is your favorite food?:
It’s hard to beat a good Ribeye steak or Osso Bucco or Prime Rib. I can’t narrow it down to one. My easy go to comfort food is probably Mexican food but I love finding good Persian restaurants that take me back to my food roots. I’m going to say my favorite food is food!
6. What is the last thing you bought?:
A large angel at Homegoods today.
7. Favorite book of all time?:
Yikes! Another hard one to narrow down. Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter Series.
8. Favorite Color?:
Blue
9. Do you have any pets?:
No
10. Favorite perfume?:
I don’t wear perfume and if you do please spray lightly. Thank you. 🙂
11. Favorite holiday?:
Easter is my favorite.
12. Are you married?:
Yes, this month we’ll celebrate 44 years!
13. Have you ever been out of the country?:
Yes. Great Britain seven times, Italy (Milan) once, Mexico once, Canada too many times to count.
14. Do you speak any other language?:
I can speak Russian poorly. I understand it better than I can speak it.
15. How many siblings do you have?:
Eight, 4 brothers and 3 sisters.
This photo is from my sister Kathy’s wedding. The groom and best man that are flanking Kathy aren’t part of the my 7 siblings and Dear is standing next to me. All the rest are my brothers and sisters who are now 44 years older! Kathy, Vera, Fred, Ellen, Tim, Steve, Lana and Leonard. The last two are twins.
16. What is your favorite shop?:
Homegoods
17. Favorite restaurant?:
For a nice hunk of meat, Metropolitan Grill. My all time favorite places to eat are Pubs in Great Britain.
18. When was the last time you cried?:
Last week. I cry easily during worship services.
19. Favorite Blog?:
I like a variety of blogs and especially enjoy visiting blogs that don’t bombard me with ads. I’m sad that a few of my favorites aren’t up and running at present.
20. Favorite Movie?:
The older Pride and Prejudice series with Colin Firth. Does that qualify as a movie?
21. Favorite TV shows?:
Great British Baking Show, Alone, Top Chef, Project Runway, Live PD, Survivor, NCIS, just to name a few.
22. PC or Mac?:
PC
23. What phone do you have?:
Samsung 4 or 5 , probably time to upgrade.
24. How tall are you?:
5′ 4-1/2″
25. Can you cook?:
Yes I can and I’m part of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. My mother was a great Russian cook. Her love language was to cook for others and to feed them. She loved to listen to cooking shows on the radio and try to write down the recipes. Since she didn’t know how to write in English this was a challenge for her. She enjoyed trying new things and inspired all of her kids to cook. The photo above is from our humble home in Montebello at a dinner prepared for the cheer squad by my mom, Borsch, Meat and Potato filled Perishky and Blintzes. My parents modeled hospitality even though they always struggled financially while we were growing up.
Thanks for visiting today. We are hoping our counters will be able to be cut and installed on Monday!

Black Friday

Click on over to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog to see the easy recipe for these French Toast Rollups that are a fun way to serve breakfast or brunch.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at the home of dear friends with so much good food and good cheer. There were 44 of us!

When we came home last evening we noticed several homes in our neighborhood had put up their Christmas lights. It’s time for the “Season of Light”. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5 (ESV)

Today is Black Friday. Are you shopping today?

Game Day Snacks

New recipe up for these Spicy Chicken Roll-ups on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog today.
We had an intense wind event in the Puget Sound area yesterday with trees and power lines down all over the region and lots of branches and leaves. Thankfully our power persevered here at this old house. Thousands are still in the dark today.
Our counters are now scheduled for install next Tuesday, the 21st of November. That will work out well for us since we aren’t hosting Thanksgiving day festivities. I’ll still have to choose a day to have a turkey cooking in our oven after Thanksgiving day.
Happy day to you!