The presents are all opened and the trash and recycling has been brought outside, now is time to enjoy all the gifts – play, create, read and draw!
The anticipation of Christmas Eve is over. When I was a child it seemed like Christmas Eve was the longest night of the year – it was hard to fall asleep and every little noise made me think that Santa was here! Christmas Eve usually means a seafood dinner, listening to Christmas music and opening one present – not the smallest and not the largest. This Christmas Eve for us was a little different – we were invited over to some friends and they requested that I make my pizza – so that is what we did. Then it was off to the Old Dutch Church for Christmas service. The Old Dutch Church was built in 1685 and is the oldest church building in New York State. The church has no electricity or heat and is only used for special services. It was a beautiful service by candlelight and we all stayed warm with the help of the wood burning stove. After the service we enjoyed cider warmed on the wood burning stove and some ginger cookies. We went back home and opened our one present. Tucking Stella into bed, we also had to make sure to place the tooth she lost under her pillow – she figured on Christmas Eve the tooth fairy traveled with Santa – I think there is a story there!
Christmas morning, for me started at 4am – when the dog decided to poop in the house – not sure why – since I had last walked him at 11pm, but that is how I started the morning – then it was back to bed, hoping to be able to fall back to sleep. Stella awoke at 7:30 – excited that the tooth fairy had come and down the stairs we went to open our stockings. We then took a break to make breakfast.
Sweet Potato Oatmeal Casserole (the original recipe came from http://ohsheglows.com/2011/02/22/sweet-potato-oatmeal-breakfast-casserole/)
Ingredients – Casserole
1/2 cup regular oats
1 1/2 cups milk
1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
1 ripe large banana
1/2 – 1 medium sized apple, cut
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup cooked wheat berries
1 – 2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt (sea)
2 Tbl pure maple syrup
Ingredients – Topping
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour (wheat)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1. Prior to starting the casserole you will need to cook the wheat berries – I did this the evening before. In a saucepan place 1/4 wheat berries, 3/4 cups water plus 1/8 cup water and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer, covered for 1 hour or until the wheat berries are soft. Drain and place in a container for later.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, while the water is heating peel and chop the sweet potato. When the water is boiling add the sweet potato, cook over medium heat until fork tender about 5 – 1o minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Cut up the apple – I used about 1/2 an apple and left the skin on.
4. Rinse the pot and add milk and oats, mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat add the wheat berries (1/4 cup cooked) and cook for about 5 – 7 minutes, stirring frequently until most of the liquid is absorbed.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Add the sweet potato and banana, mash with a potato masher. Add the apple and mix. Add the coconut and mix. Cook on low for a few minutes.
8. Place the sweet potato mixture into a baking dish and spread out evenly. I used one that holds about 4 cups. Sprinkle the topping on top. Place in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes. The original recipe states to then turn the oven to broil and brown the top – since I have an old oven that has the broil as the bottom drawer I could not do this part.
9. Take out and serve – delicious!!