It’s out there. You cannot see it. You cannot taste it. You cannot touch it. But you can feel it and you know it’s there….
THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING – EEEEK!!!!!
I get both excited and scared at the same time. If I did not have custody of my grandson, it might not feel so extreme? Then again, maybe it would. I am a crafter by passion, and I work on my crafts all year long. With that said, I still get a “major stress on” every year about this time.
- The kids are back in school.
- The stores have out the Halloween decorations. (Some are also doing Christmas already-grrr.)
- The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer.
- The full course of fruits and veggies are almost done with our mega processing.
- Pull all that together with the impending tasks of holiday stuff, and you can go crazy.
So, how do I handle all of this mess – laughter! As much of it as I can muster!
I try to remember the better holiday times of my life. Most were from when I was very young, but some (the better ones I think) are from later in life.
- Stepping outside on the first deep freeze. Breathing in real deep and having my nostrils stick together. For some weird reason, I just loved that?!
- Digging up the last of the potatoes out in our garden. Here again, I was a bit strange as I would always keep a couple hidden in my pocket for later. Just loved the taste of a garden fresh potato (yes – crunchy and sometimes a bit dirty but delicious).
- Playing outside when the winds kicked up just to dance in the falling leaves.
- The smell of hot chocolate when we came in from a cold day of play (still love this one).
- I don’t remember doing much trick-or-treating when I was little as we lived in the country. Running from house to house sucked up a ton of gas with little returns. Some years we would drive into the local small towns, but not often.
- I did love the Halloween television shows: Charlie Brown Halloween was (and still is) one of my favs. There were some odd ones too, The Monster Ball and one about a mean Pig creating Frankenstein’s monster – both were in Claymation (this is still my favorite animation form).
- Then, as we matured (and I do say that lightly), my two sisters and I loved dressing up and bar-hopping.
- One year I was a black widow spider, eight legs and all, and no one knew it was me. Loved it as I was completely covered in dark black material and body paint.
- My younger sister had a party where she dressed as a unicorn (oh, by the way, we made ALL of our own costumes as that was part of the fun of it.)
- Our older sister dressed as her husband, and he dressed as the Grim Reaper – couldn’t tell them apart – ok, maybe just a bit.
- o The most favorite of all was when were still in Wisconsin and owned a little bar/restaurant establishment. The basement was the place for the younger crowd. We held our costume party in which our older sister went as a Lobster. She was head-to-toe deep red – – –for several weeks after! We still reminisce on that one, especially when we need some great laughs. (Along with, never at.)
- When we were younger, the routine was the same. Christmas Eve was going to church for our pageant. After we put on our little play, the church gave everyone a large brown paper bag. The bag held some of the greatest gifts of Christmas:
- Always one large navel orange and one huge red delicious apple.
- A huge variety of fresh nuts – never shelled as that was also part of our Christmas fun…cracking the nuts open.
- And last, but my very favorite of all Angel Food Candy! Man did I (and still very much do) love that stuff. Some people call it sponge candy. I have heard it called other things, but it will be Angle food for me forever. Decades later I wanted to surprise my family for Christmas and buy some, but I could not find it anywhere. I was lucky that computers were becoming very handy then (early 90’s), and I found a website called Wisconsin Recipes. I do not believe it is still around. I did find these:
- http://www.oldwisconsin.com/recipes has some great (looks like mainly German, Swiss, and Swedish foods) main course meals.
- I also have a childhood friend with which I recently reconnected. Come to find out she loves to cook and to blog about it. She is not in WI anymore, but I bet she has a ton of recipes from there. If you are interested, you can find her here: https://indianeskitchen.com/ Her recipes are yummy!
- The last I found after a ton of searching, cooking, tasting, and comparing. It is the (apparently) secret recipe for Angel Food Candy. This is one of my most favorite candies ever, and I only make it up for Christmas.
- The last one popped up by accident. I only saw the Wisconsin Old Fashioned part and didn’t realize until I clicked on it that it was a drink. I found this as my daily omen as it was my parents drink of preference ( Brandy Old Fashioned ). Yes, we grew up with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer (kind of have to in WI), but as they aged, they went to the B.O.F. for their drink of choice. Since we owed a couple of different bars and restaurants while I was in my tween-teen years, it was all good.
The funniest part of that candy recipe hunt was the last. I do not do hard booze at all. I like my beer during our Friday game night or at family get-togethers, but no strong alcohol. This was also due to my parents and our bar rearing. But that is a story for another time.
You can also check me out on: www.helbergfarmstories.com for more fun stories from our farm.