I was listening to the radio yesterday, driving from our house to Alamo, and the DJ said that there is always that moment, a singular moment when you know you know you have Christmas spirit. I can't put my finger on exactly when it is for me, I'd venture to say that it arrives somewhere between midnight, December 25, and the morning of December 26--after the peak, after the excitement, the rush. Who knows why?
Every year I swear that this will be the year we'll dust off the Christmas tree box, lug our artificial friend into the house and then, right after Thanksgiving, maybe even the day after, line up their color coded branches, stick the metal ends into the skinny trunk, string up the lights, oooh and ahhh, and begin to decorate the prickly branches. Then, we'll stand back and admire our handiwork--just as we do every year, but this time, we'll have time to enjoy it before it's time to take it down.
Yesterday morning I emailed our friends to ask if they'd like to come to our house for Manhattans, dinner, and to help decorate the tree. I signed the email Ba and Humbug Luck. Our friends are remodeling their downstairs, (translate no downstairs heat, stove, sink, dishwasher, etc.) We thought they'd enjoy a nice warm house and a Manhattan or two.
And so it would make sense that our heater went out about five minutes after I sent the email, and on the coldest day of the year, with frost on hillsides, rooftops, and grass. The water in the water fountain was iced over, there was snow on the top of Mt. Diablo (which my husband called me outside to see barefooted at 6 am before he left for the gym), and our friends were looking forward to a nice cozy evening with heat, which under normal circumstances we wouldn't be a problem.
When I told them we'd be chilly they still wanted to come. They must have been near desperate for a home cooked meal or a Manhattan. I think it was the Manhattans. My husband makes the best Manhattans.
After drinks and dinner the guys roped the lights around the tree, we all hung the ornaments and then we had dessert in the family room. They brought their two dogs with them, so along with our one and their two dogs we had a full and furry house.
Now I have Christmas spirit. It came right after I'd finished dessert...a very quick, experimental dish--so easy--so simple--so delish that I'm including it here so you can enjoy it, too. I can't tell proportions because I made it up.
Buy Pepperidge Farms frozen pastry cups. Bake according to directions
Cut off tops
Heat 2-3 tbs butter in a large saucepan until bubbly
add 2-3 tbs of brown sugar
Slice two bananas into 1/2 inch pieces
Add bananas to melted butter/sugar and stir. Cook until the bananas are warmed through. Scoop banana mixture into the cups, replace tops, drizzle remaining sauce over top of pasty cup and add a dollop of ice cream. Simple. Delish. Enjoy~