…..began when I met Miss Judith and Eileen to continue the drive to Lizzie’s. But first…..a little Southern humor to be sent to my redneck cousin….
Miss Judith showed me one of the presents Santa brought….what a perfect gift….
In the kitchen….is this or is this not the best ever????
On to Lizzie’s where we’re entranced by all the artwork she has done. Hubby John looks on….
Here’s a long view….
I’m especially proud of these two Brush paintings that Lizzie did and Miss Judith along with Eileen enjoy them as well.
There were several Christmas trees and I managed to photograph this one….
Wonderful Christmas decorations were everywhere…..
What was deja vu all over again for me was seeing this book by Diana Kan……'The How and Why of Chinese Painting', as it was the very first book I purchased on Chinese Brush painting! It meant so much to me and you can imagine how thrilled I was when Watson-Guptill (now Random House) asked me to write ‘The Ch’i of the Brush’! It’s now also published in Spain and France. We never know what wonders lie ahead as we journey through life…...
Let’s open some presents……I mounted the Brush painting Lizzie did for her Christmas card and had it framed……meet ‘Christmas George’….or as I say, ‘By George, It’s Christmas!'
Isn’t he wonderful!!!!
Lizzie gave each of us one of these stunning teapots…..you can see mine in the studio….
O.K., you foodies have waited long enough….
This cream cheese, butter and sour cream mold is beyond belief delicious….possibly owing to the addition of sugar, raisins, slivered almonds and lemon rind. I obtained the recipe and will gladly share it. I’m embarrassed to say I gobbled up almost half of this.
By special request from Shawna and with permission of Lizzie, here’s the recipe:
12 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese
1 stick butter (no wonder it’s sooooo good)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 envelope plain gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup white raisins
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Grated rind of two lemons
Saltine crackers ( I know, you want something more trendy but make no substitutions)
Let cream cheese, butter & sour cream come to room temperature. Cream well & add sugar. Soften envelope of gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water. Dissolve over hot water. Add to cream cheese mixture. Then add raisins, slivered almonds, & lemon rind. Put in one quart mold in refrigerator. When firm unfold and serve with Saltine crackers. Can be frozen.
….and this treat from Gelson’s...
Did I mention we had Champagne???
Before Lizzie could shepherd us into the dining room for lunch (because we hadn’t had enough to eat!)……I spied the garden from the kitchen….
Meeting piggy along the way….
I don’t even know how to describe the garden except to say it's heavenly….a Showcase perfection! I’ll share a few pictures but the true essence is really hard to capture.
Looking back towards the house….
Eileen decided to harvest the limes….
….and we all joined in….
There was beauty everywhere….
Miss Judith paused in wonderment at the miracle of this little flower….
The birds must think they’re in Bird Heaven….
As inspiring as that garden was, I think the joy of the day was meeting John, Lizzie’s brilliant, most kind, humorous and handsome husband. We all fell in love with him and here he is telling us how Lizzie commandeered his office for her painting studio. It was the funniest story ever but you know I’m with Lizzie on that one!
We all had the classic Chinese gift envelopes at our places…..my memory is that they should hold a coin but with inflation we each got a dollar!
You’ve been patiently waiting for more foodie news so I’ll continue …….
First course, the yummiest pumpkin comfort soup and the secret ingredient is Coconut Milk. Who knew!
Any room left????
At this point I was feeling rather like one of the Macy’s Day Parade figures…..
I love telling the story of using musical Crackers at our Christmas dinners (I’m the conductor keeping everyone in good toot-a-bility). Anyway, Lizzie had a box of Crackers (Americans seem to want to say Poppers) and didn’t know what they were. I could tell by the $14.95 sticker that they’d been around a very long time!
“Allright then” says I, “Let’s just pop those Crackers!” Eileen loved the saying in hers…..we all loved the paper crowns and prizes inside.
Miss Judith captured the moment….
Thank you dear Lizzie Girl for the most memorable day…..so joy filled yummylicious. It will long linger in my memory!
And special thanks to you Miss Judith for all that you do and all that you are. Your friendship is my treasure!
Wishing you beauty in this wonderful New Year and the many joys of friendship!