Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas With The Rogers ~ By Martha Rogers

Christmas at the Rogers’ Home
By Martha Rogers

Hosting a holiday party can be fun or a dreaded chore. We may cringe and immediately worry that we can’t pull it all together and be a gracious hostess.  The secret is a loving heart and hands.

Whether hosting a luncheon, family dinner, or an open house, have a plan. Three things must be considered. First consider the date and number of guests, then plan the menu and third the decorations. 

After deciding these three things, work out your schedule so as much as possible can be done before the day of the event. Most of us have our homes decorated for Christmas, so we don’t have to go to extra trouble for that. The Dollar Store can be your best friend for paper goods and table decorations, or use your best China and silver for a more festive time if you have the time for the extra clean-up. 

A home doesn’t have to elaborate, expensive, or professionally decorated to be warm and inviting for guests. Let the things you enjoy express the warmth of your heart. Leave family photos on display as well as your favorite accessories. Your friends will be relaxed and in good spirits in a home that expresses the personality of its owner. Here’s an example of one of my tables at a Christmas at my annual Christmas luncheon for friends from church.

Here are a few pictures of our home at Christmas. 

The dinner table is always festive

 I have a Nutcracker collection that began when 
I bought one in Germany about twenty years ago. 

 The music box collection began when my husband gave me one for Christmas when we were first married. Our tree is an eclectic collection of ornaments from all the years we’ve been married and include many from our grandchildren.

The music box on the far left end with the little Christmas tree is the first one my husband bought me on our first Christmas after the birth of our son.

I enjoy giving food such as Cranberry Nut Bread, Pralines, and Chocolate Pecan Clusters as gifts each year. I’ve included the recipes for the Pralines and Pecan Clusters. (Martha tells me these aren't recipes she normally shares, but has decided she wants to see the tradition of these live on through others - I personally can hardly wait to try them tomorrow - Monday - as I bake for our own Christmas celebrations.)

Hope you find time to try them out and enjoy them.

Creamy Pecan Pralines
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1 ½ cups pecans

Combine sugars and milk in saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and heat to 232’ on a candy thermometer or until a small amount forms a soft ball in ice water.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and pecans. Beat until smooth slightly cooled and thickened. Be careful not to let it get too thick. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. If mixture does begin to get thick, add a bit of HOT water and stir into mixture then continue dropping onto
waxed paper. If it doesn’t thicken, return to heat and cook a few more minutes, checking temperature carefully. (I’ve never had to do this, but I’ve had to add hot water lots of times.)

Chocolate Pecan Clusters
1 12 oz bag dark chocolate chips
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
1 ½ to 2 cups pecan halves

Melt chocolate chips in microwave or in top of double boiler. Stir in the Eagle Brand milk until mixture smooth and creamy. Stir in pecans.
Drop by spoonfuls into mini-muffin liners and refrigerate to harden. Makes 75 or so candies.

Thank you for joining Martha and me this week for her Book Review and Author Feature.


 Leave a comment about your favorite Christmas memory - with your email address. . .Drawing is MONDAY NIGHT!



Caryl McAdoo said...

What a great and easy candy recipe! Do all the children in your neighborhood love Mr. ogers? I suppose the children who remembered that dear man would be much older these days! Time passes so swiftly. Thank you for sharing! Blessings from Texas! said...

Thanks for stopping by. What IS your favorite Christmas memory?

Tonight is the drawing for the winner of book 3 - LOVE NEVER FAILS!

Martha W. Rogers said...

Thanks, Caryl. I really do love Christmas. Thanks for stopping by.