Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Day 2007

Clair and Beverly came up from Corbett to spend a few days with us this Christmas. I wish I had taken some pictures of Clair in the kitchen making a fabulous clam chowder for Christmas Eve dinner.

The clams were compliments of my cousin, Steve Klock. Story is we ended up losing a can of clams (store was out of fresh) between the store and home so when I was talking to Steve's Mom, Kathy, I asked her to see if Steve had any clams on hand. Kathy showed up on our door step with a 51 oz can of clams. We were NOT short of clams in the chowder. Yummo.

Here are some photos from Christmas day.

Clair and Beverly after Christmas dinner.

Beverly helped Max unwrap his garden (see previous post) and Clair helped him put it together.

Happy Holidays!

P.S.: We would love to hear from you!

Max's New Garden

With the weather so cold outside, Max hasn't been able to get out and wander in the yard. BUT, Santa did bring him a surprise so he can grow a crop right in our kitchen any time of year! Max was quite intriqued with that big box and was anxious to see what was inside. Here he is unwrapping the surprise garden. Did you know you could buy a garden in a box?

Right now we have a very interesting array of herbs growing including, Italian Basis, Cilantro, Min, Dill, Parsley, Chives, and Purple Basil. It was planted on Christmas Day and as soon as yesterday the Italian Basil was popping it's little head up. It will be fun to watch the progress and how quickly the "crop" matures.

Besides a huge variety of herbs, we can grow tomatoes, peppers, beans, peas, various salad greens, AND flowers. You buy the little pods and "plant" them and they grow right in front of your eyes. Pretty darn cool!

Check back as time goes by and we'll let you know how the garden is doing.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas From Max & Carol

We've been remiss in getting Christmas cards out, so we hope this can serve as a way for us to send everyone our very Best Wishes for the Holidays and happiness in the New Year.

Here is a summary of our year 2007. Please click on each month's link to be taken to all pictures and commentary from that month:

January: After a fall on the snow and ice, Carol had successful back surgery to repair a crushed vertebrae. We were on our way to California about 10 days later. This driving trip to California was one of the most eventful we've ever had.

February: Spent the entire month in Palm Springs in a rented condo. Our patio looked out over a lake and fairway and it was fun watching the golfers go by in our spare time. Carol worked ALOT during the month, but it was a nice diversion to be away from the cold of Wenatchee.

March: Not a terribly eventful month, but arrived back home from California and back into the groove of "real life".

April: Besides celebrating Carol's 55th birthday, a trip to Memphis for some training with Shelley was the most exciting thing to happen this month. After two days of meetings, we managed to sneak away for a tour of Graceland.

May: Apple Blossom in Wenatchee, a new patio set for Mother's day and a nice trip to Wapato Point compliments of our friends Wayne and Susan Gerald.

June: Too much work kept Carol off the golf course most of the year, but she snuck in a rare came occasionally. Max didn't golf at all this year.

July: A 4th of July week-end four generation gathering when we met Max Jr, Jeremiah and his kids at the local park where they were camping for the week-end.

August: We celebrated Max's 77th birthday and spent an afternoon at the Waterville rodeo. Carol broke her left arm in a silly fall when she tripped over the lawn mower. That put an end to her run at another Club Championship. After much ado, very negligent treatment from my regular doctor... and a miracle meeting with a local chiropractor, Dr. Wayne Latimer, the arm seems to be doing well now. Seems odd that a chriopractor could be my hero, but he was able to guide me to full use of my arm again.

September: We celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary with a rare visit from cousin, Shirley St. Clair from Eugene, Oregon. We also enjoyed a quick trip to Montana to meet up with Max's sister, Connie, and her husband who had been RVing for several months.

October: We enjoyed one of the longest, most fabulous fall foliage seasons ever in Wenatchee. I revisited my sewing roots by helping Shelley make her Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz) dress as her Halloween costume. Shelley did ALL of the sewing but we cut it out together and I sewed on a couple buttons and helped with the finishing touches... and took their picture as they left for the party.

November: JR brought his grandson Calvin up and Jeff came over for Thanksgiving. It was a small, but grateful group who enjoyed my traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.
December: Chronic should problems have flared up and Carol is awaiting the prognosis and whether shoulder surger will be required BEFORE our annual trip to California. It will be a sad event if that does happen because it will mean NO golf during our escape to the sun. Too much work (which is a good thing) has kept Carol from getting any Christmas cards out to family and friends!

December: The cold weather has us staying inside as much as possible... and looking forward to getting away to some warmer climates next month.

We are most grateful for all our wonderful friends and family and send everyone our very best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Traditional Recipe: Fudge

I posted this story for the last two years, so in setting a tradition, I'm posting again this Christmas Season. It's such a good (and funny) story, I wanted to bring it forward and post again. Enjoy!

We received this box of fudge from Amy & Troy two Christmases ago. This is the story of Amy's efforts to get the fudge just the way her Grandma used to make it. The note enclosed with the gift box of fudge read:

"Dear Carol and Max,
Here is some FUDGE I made from the heart. I was thinking about my Grandma and some of her Christmas cooking. I remember her making holiday cookies, popcorn balls, and fudge. A few years back I helped her make fudge for the family.

So… my infinite wisdom, I thought it would be a good idea to make fudge and put it in small tins as a part of gift baskets for both sides of the family and close friends. It was a well thought out plan with good intentions.

So here is the FUDGE STORY: (I am now convinced that FUDGE is a very bad word)I dug through many boxes to hunt down Grandma’s recipe book. Found the fudge recipe and scurried down to the store and bought all the ingredients. Everything was going as planned until the actual fudge making process began.

The instructions said to boil until it forms a soft ball and folds. So I kept boiling and boiling until the crap started to crystallize! I took it off the burner and as it started to cool it turned into one massive concrete ball! I ended up with this rock hard blob that adhered itself to the bottom of the pot. It was stuck in there so bad I literally had to throw the pot away. Somehow I missed the “soft” ball stage!

Round Two: I dug up an older pot to cook with just in case round one was repeated. This time I cooked the liquid until it started to fold and then I took it off the heat and stirred it for awhile until I realized it was getting very hard in a hurry. This batch did make it to the cooling pyrex but after it was completely cool it was hard enough to break every tooth in my mouth. I think we could use this batch as additional blocks for the retaining wall.

Round Three: I felt I was getting closer to making edible fudge. All I had to do is pour myself another drink and cook the liquid for a shorter amount of time. That should do it right? Mmmm…..well, I stuck to my plan of more drinking and less boiling. I took the liquid fudge substance off the fire much earlier this time. As it cooled I stirred, and stirred, and stirred. I was so confident that this batch was going to be perfect I added a bunch of expensive walnuts to it. I poured the warm fudge into the pyrex and waited for it to cool. As it cooled it was supposed to harden. I waited, and waited, and waited. It did harden some but not to the classic fudge consistency that I had expected. The fudge looks more like a soft brownie but it is edible and does taste good. I cut it up and individually wrapped the pieces just like Grandma used to do (which was an ordeal in itself that I will not go into).

Round Four: After a semi-successful batch, I got the urge to make one final attempt at the perfect fudge. I scraped the bottom of the butter barrel and used every last teaspoon of sugar in the house. This was it, there were no more ingredients to do another batch after this. It had to be done right. I thought about this “soft ball” thing and realized what that means. You drop some boiling liquid onto a plate and when it cools it should form a soft ball. That is the point when you take the fudge off the burner and start beating it until it “folds”. Brilliant! So, I boiled the liquid for awhile and then started making splatters onto a plate. They were not making soft balls, but they sure did taste good. I think my theory was correct with the soft ball idea, but I kept eating all the drippings before they became totally cool enough to make a ball, oops. At this point I was totally “FUDGED up” and just wanted to eat a piece of my creation and be done with the project. I got nervous that the substance would crystallize again so I took the last batch off the burner and started to beat it. I had used all the walnuts in the previous batch so this round would be nut free. I poured the last of the fudge into the cooling pyrex for the final attempt. This might have been it? Well, as close to “good” as it is going to get. It is still a bit soft but at least you won’t break any teeth!

Final Conclusion: I now know why Grandma always had drinks while making fudge. I learned that making fudge is no easy project but love my family and friends enough to attempt making gifts that are truly from the heart.


Merry Christmas!

The Greenhalghs "

P.S.: Amy, are you out there? Are you still perfecting the recipe... or are you too busy preparing for baby Shelby Lee's first Christmas? Here are Amy and Troy fitting baby Shelby to her first motorcycle. Click on the image to enlarge and you'll see a full head of black hair!