Sunday, December 12, 2010

Marathon-long Christmas post.

We have been "Christmasing it up" in the Moore family this weekend, despite John's confirmed case of pink eye (THIRD ROUND!!!) and sinus infection.  We are becoming quite familiar with that doctor's office!!  This time, John is taking an oral antibiotic rather than eyedrops, and I am THANKFUL for that!!

The good news is that John doesn't really act like he feels bad, his eye just has that obvious goopy, pink eye look, so we decided to go ahead with any plans as long as they involved John being close by my side.  You know, when you're feeling sick, mom is a must. 

So here is what we did...Saturday afternoon, after I tutored and did the weekly grocery trip, and after Ada napped (which was a prerequisite for all weekend plans), we piled into our car and headed for Lenox Square mall to visit the famous Pink Pig ride at Macy's.  I know many of you ATL natives are super familiar with the Pink Pig tradition, but this was a first for us.  I had heard about the Pink Pig last year from Tutti and other friends, but I recently heard more about it through my connection with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (part of the proceeds benefit Children's!!!) Well, we were obviously first time visitors and did not plan well.  If any of you are not familiar with the Pink Pig, go here to read the background.  In my words, it's an Atlanta Christmas tradition that began at Rich's department store in 1953 and is now located at the top of the Lenox parking deck in a big tent.  You won't be able to miss it.  Just look for the insanely long line!!! 

I am thinking that we picked the worst possible time to ride the Pink Pig.  It opens at 10 am, and next year, I plan to be there at 10 am!!!  This year we were there around 6:00 pm.  on a Saturday night.  two weeks before Christmas.  You can imagine the situation.  Plus, I just didn't realize exactly how cold it was.  So, after about two seconds in line, we headed ourselves into the mall to Baby gap to purchase hats and gloves for the kiddos.  I told Ada that she needs to act surprised when she sees those gloves in her stocking in a couple of weeks;).  Okay, so after purchasing the least expensive, but warm, things that we could find, we headed back to the line, tickets in hand.  Let me just say, the line moved fairly quickly, and Ada was so excited about the upcoming the ride, that she didn't complain at all.  She was too busy jumping up and down, dancing around, and putting her mouth on the germ infested rope that fenced in the line.  And the ride was a hit.  Ada loved it.  And it did feel Christmasy and festive and traditional and all of those seasonal things, and I am all for coming back, at a much less crowded time.   I also noticed as we were leaving the mall later, that the line was much shorter, so coming near closing would also be a good idea.  And--thank you, Lord--John was also a trooper, only getting really fussy right before we got on the ride, and he was a happy camper once the train started moving. after we got off the pink pig train, we headed into the mall for Ada's first mall and escalator experience.  She loved it, and I felt like we were "country come to town" the way she was going nuts over the sights and sounds of Lenox.  I didn't realize how much we don't do malls until I saw her reaction to everything.  If we do shop (which is rare) it's Target or the local outlet malls, which have everything we need.  And I see why that is a good thing after coming up with a list a mile long of clothing items that I "have to have" after observing the crowds and the store windows.  Oh the boots that I saw.  The gorgeous boots. was a fun, albeit tiring, night, and I recommend that everyone take a turn on Macy's Pink Pig Ride.  I also recommend that you go some other time than 6:00 on Saturday night, unless you don't mind a wait.

Here are the kiddos waiting in line, photographs taken by my new smart phone.  I am loving it, and can't believe I have one because it is so unlike us to have anything even slightly technologically up-to-date.  All photographs will be taken by the phone for a while because our camera is under the weather, just in time for Christmas.  But honestly, the camera's pictures were the same quality as the phone's, so it doesn't really matter.

 Little trooper, despite his pink eye.  Can you see it?  It's permanently pink, it seems.

Next Christmas activity of the weekends--CHRISTMAS COOKIES!!!  Using my mom's butter cookie recipe topped with homemade buttercream icing.  We were prepared with plenty of Christmas themed cookie cutters, sprinkles, and everything in between.  Ada was excited, to say the least. 

So...I made the dough last night after the kids were finally in bed, and I let it harden in the fridge overnight.  Then after a Sunday afternoon nap today, we rolled that dough out, and Ada went to town (with much help) making her Christmas cookies.  She even had a little apron to wear.  Below are images from the afternoon.  Notice that she went a bit nuts with the sprinkles, and I think she ate her weight in cookies before I regained control of the situation.  Oh well, how often do we make Christmas cookies together?  Not often.

By the way, the photo below is a picture of the buttercream icing, which contains, count them, THREE STICKS OF BUTTER.  I even called my mom to make sure I was reading that correctly.  But it tastes really good, as you can imagine.  I will post the recipes for the cookies and the icing at the bottom of the post. 
Again, the recipes both belong to my mom, and I have eaten those butter cookies all throughout my life.  The taste says home to me.

Okay, the recipes, copied straight from the e-mail that my mom sent last night, that I read on my phone.  I know, I know, I am so behind the times, but I still can't get over how I can check my e-mail or facebook or google reader from anywhere.  Crazy stuff.

Butter Cookies

1/2 cup sugar, 2 sticks of butter(room temperature), 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of vanilla, 3 cups of flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.

With a spoon mix the butter and sugar really good. Then add the egg and vanilla and mix it in really good. Next add the flour mixture and stir until it is mixed all together - this part makes my arms tired.

This dough does best if it gets cold and hard in the refrigerator after you've mixed it. If you bake the cookies right after you mix the dough, it works best if you just drop spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet, without trying to roll out the dough. Bake at least 10 minutes in preheated 400 degree oven, maybe longer, 10-13 minutes. Check them to see if they are the right amount of brown.

Laura Beth, the above is how I bake them. I like them crisp. Ann, however, likes them softer - so she bakes them at 350 degrees - she says they hold their shape better at that temperature and she doesn't roll them out as thin as I do. Also - right after you take the dough out of the refrig it will be very hard. You'll have to leave it out just a bit and work with about 1/4 of the dough at a time. Don't try to roll out the whole ball of dough at once.
And the icing, also copied straight from the e-mail.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1- 1/2 cups butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add milk; beat until spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla.
Okay, I have to get off this computer.  It is 10:26, and I still have "miles to go before I sleep."


Elizabeth said...

How fun to have this post awaiting me this morning! I loved reading about the whole thing - didn't know ya'll were doing all of that even though we've talked throughout the weekend - in spurts - I loved the picture of Ada staring into the oven - watching her cookies bake, I assume. Love, MOM

shannon said...

Loved the new Christmas traditions! There is so much I want to do with Tripp but his terrible two's (which kicked in about a month ago) just won't allow it...maybe next year!

Ann said...

Isn't that cookie recipe and icing combo "to die for"? I want to give a shout out for it. They look really cute.

Mom told me the story about Ada wanting to see Santa. How funny! Does not get that from her mama.