In the spirit of wintertime holidays from years past, I decided to go ahead and do an aftermath blog entry for Christmas Day 2008: holiday hand-me-downs, boys and toys, or cool gifts from Yuletides’ past. From Star Wars to Doctor Who to Matchbox and, of all things, Puppets. There’s some cool play things here to see, new and old. Some things even you might remember as a kid. Unopened presents and a few stocking stuffers, too. Not to mention this past year’s tree, a few ornaments, and the delicious meal that I cooked; plus, a recipe. But first, the night before Christmas…
The Christmas Tree
The Stocking Stuffers
The Christmas tree stands about four feet, nothing spectacular, and the puppets are by Melissa & Doug’s (coming soon to book promo videos near you). The stockings were a very interesting investment. Something like two for five, but purchased the day after Christmas 2007. It’s amazing what you can find for practically nothing once the holidays are over. The Sesame Street theme was cute, too. We had lights up in the kitchen, and hanging snowmen and Santa ornaments in various places around the house — some attached to magnets — made of wire and a clay mixed with ceramic. These were inexpensive, too. Next, we have the meal…
Baked Ziti w. Hint of Chicken Casserole
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Cayenne Pepper Chicken
I didn’t make the baked ziti — it was out of this world! — but there was a lot, and it had a hint of “chicken casserole” in it, if you know what I mean. The side dish this year was garlic mashed potatoes, and I cooked my own specialty in the picture above: Cayenne pepper chicken, spicy and delicious! Having been to Santa Fe, New Mexico, I know how to give it just the right flair. Yes, you could use a barbecue marinade. Hey, even a mesquite. But why use a mesquite when you don’t have to?
The recipe is very simple, and after you burn your mouth eating it — have a lot of water handy — you’ll still be glad you broiled it because of that flavor. Here is what you will need, and this is good if you’re cooking for the whole family and want leftovers. As for ovens, your typical gas range is fine.
-Two big oven pans/trays for broiling. Layer them with aluminum foil.
-32 to 40 Perdue Oven Roaster drumsticks AND thighs.
-Defrost chicken well, then lightly salt (garlic works, too).
-Two hours later use cayenne pepper seasoning on pans/trays.
-Dip bottom of chicken in cayenne pepper seasoning, then spread it across the top layers heavily. You want spice!
-Put the thigh/drumstick tray (or pans) in oven. Make sure the top of chicken looks nice and reddish-orange.
-Preheat oven to 425 or 450 degrees, cook for 45 to 50 minutes.
-Check on it while it’s cooking. 45 to 50 minutes is well done.
-Shut stove off. Let cool. Sit down. Eat, and Enjoy…
Now for the hand-me-downs…
Big Guy and Little Guy
Star Wars and Dad's Toys
And these would be from my own personal collection… A few of what’s left, anyway. I’ve collected Star Wars for 30 years now. Yup, since I was a toddler. On the left is a talking Darth Vader stuffie, the Empire Strikes Back action figure Bossk the Bounty Hunter (behind him is another packaged figure; Han Solo in Hoth Gear). Next to that you have the Hammerhead figure, Roron Corobb (The Clone Wars cartoon). Behind Roron Corobb, there’s Luke Skywalker, dressed in ceremonial garb from the ending of A New Hope (when he received the medal for destroying the Death Star). Over on the right, yes, that would be the original 1983 Rancor Monster and Darth Vader Action Figure Holding Case. Inside are TONS of figures made between the years 1977 and 2007.
Last but not least, the blue phone box in the center is Doctor Who’s time machine, the TARDIS. It blinks, it flashes, it makes sounds, and David Tennant’s voice emits from it. It also doubles for a coin bank. I used to have a couple of Dapol ‘Who’ figures and a Tom Baker doll back in the day, too. All this and more will be handed down to my boy when he gets a little older. Unless he wants to trade his 2008 Hess truck, mind you.
Then came Christmas Day (or Boys and Toys)…
Wakey, Wakey, it's Christmas Morning
Oh snap! Santa was here!
Decisions, decisions. Which shoud I open first?
Betty Crocker 43-piece play food set
Another shot of the Betty Crocker set
Opening the other gifts - 2008 Hess Truck (grandpa)
Never too young to write - Leap Frog Phonics Writing Desk
Matchbox talking pirate/skull mountain playset
Toy ATM Machine and Toy Shopping Food Cart
Animal Planet Remote Control Tarantula - I loved this!
Some MORE Mr. Men books by Roger Hargreaves
2008 Limited Edition HESS Truck w. snow tractor (from Grandpa)
Christmas toys and books
Noon spelling lesson
Time to visit the relatives
Other gifts for the 2008 holiday included a Curious George Doll and children’s book set, a few Berenstain Bears children’s books, a plush recliner for toddlers from Land of Nod, a Remote Control Spider (which I think I already posted), a Little Tykes Piggie flashlight, and for me, books yet to be read. There were some small NERF balls, too. However, the Pillsbury Doughboy is not new. Very old school.
At the end of the day it’s time to finish off the season right… Watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special via BBC satellite, like every year, or on a Web forum tonight. David Tennant and David Morrissey in the long-awaited episode: THE NEXT DOCTOR.
And Happy Holidays!
Lawrence R. Dagstine