Sunday, December 22, 2013

This Christmas Part Ten

Just a mater of days now. How have your traditions been going? Most of all, how many smiles have you been able to generate on other people today? Doesn’t that make you feel good?

Slave got to thinking today about a tradition that used to be very strong in this little town of Saint Charles back in the 60's. That is when my family moved here. It was called “luminaires”! These were little paper bags (usually white) that held a bit of sand and a candle. They were placed every 5 or 6 feet along the curbs of nearly all of the streets in town. After sunset on Christmas eve families everywhere were out lighting the candles. It was always very impressive. You could drive up and down most streets in town and see candles for miles!

They were to be like runway lights for the baby Jesus. Well the grown-ups put it in better terms but you get the idea. Somehow these simple and inexpensive candles and bags made so much of an impression and filled the heart with such joy to see. Now slave loves the bright different color lights that adorn the houses and trees, yet these flickering temporary feeble lights out shown the computer controlled LEDs that chased across the roof-lines.

Slave would go as far as to say they held more joy of Christmas than even the inflatable outhouses with Santa going in them! What conveys the meaning of Christmas more than Santa taking a poop? (forgive me Rudolph!)

Every year people would say: “Its a shame we don't do that anymore”. But no one would step up and do the organizing necessary. Taking orders for bags and candles, collecting the money then delivering them on time, etc. It was a thankless and expensive job. Life got in the way. People forgot how beautiful and inspiring these lights were.

Sorry, but what kind of life is it without simple joys like these little things? Lets hope this has been replaced with yet another meaningful tradition. It is in times of great stress that traditions provide a foundation and comfort for our very being. That has kept rituals alive for thousands of years. They give strength and stability in the chaos. Slave sincerely hopes these blog posts has inspired you to fill your lives this year with happiness and joy of the season. When you feel these, you become lighthouses: brightening the nights of all around you.

slave just checked and the turkey breast that has been thawing for going for 4 days now is still hard as a rock. Glad we left ourselves enough time just in case this happened!

Let us turn our attention to a much overlooked vegetable that we can use as part of our Holiday feast! Its healthy, its beautiful, and its easy to fix!

Our Orange Ginger Cottaging Carrots

This is a low sugar version of glazed carrots draws big flavor from orange juice, honey and ginger which all go to enhance the natural carrot taste. After all is why you fix carrots in the first place isn't it?

1 16oz pkg peeled baby carrots
1 Tbs orange juice
1 Tbs honey
½ teaspoon of grated fresh ginger (this is one of those rare times that slave went ahead and used bottled ground ginger – using an equivalent – a full teaspoon)
Finely shredded orange peel (optional)
NOTE: when you use grated or zested orange peel you get the taste of the orange without the bitterness that often comes with the juice.

In a large saucepan put the carrots with enough water to cover them on medium high heat. Put a lid on the pan. When it comes to a boil, time it for no longer than 5 minutes. You don't want a mushy mess!

In a bowl mix the other ingredients well. NOTE: before you measure out a tablespoon of honey, give the measure a quick spray with the cooking spray. The honey will all come out nicely. Whisk this all together.

When carrots are done, drain well and place in large bowl. Cover with the orange mixture and stir it well to coat. You will immediately smell the most wonderful aroma that reassures you this is going to taste great!

For your information: fixed this way, they have no Saturated Fat, no Cholesterol, in fact no fat at all! Yet 1 serving gives 1g. Protein and 4g. Fiber, with over 200% of your minimum needs of Vitamin A! We can keep that just between us, because all they want to know is how good it tastes!

The biggest complaint slave hears about cooked carrots are they usually are overcooked and you can only taste the butter and sugar! Nothing wrong with butter and sugar but everything has its place. This is a dish that you can fix the day before and just bump in the microwave on the day of the feast. Just don't over cook!

Yes, it is OK to be excited! Just don't let it get in the way of being efficient and serving all the joy the day can bring!

Serving My Master Indy


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil,
comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

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