Getting the Noche Buena going

ATC: Christmas Ornament no. 6 - Red and GreenThe leche flan is done, the bolognese is simmering on the stove.  It’s an almost tomato-less recipe except for the two tablespoons of tomato paste, and no garlic.  It does use a cup and a half of whole milk and around 2 hours of simmering.  I wanted to get this done for tomorrow’s lasagna.  The chateaubriand should be a breeze (I hope..) and there’s a roast chicken to complete the meal.  I think I’ve got a good headstart.

Angelo and I wrapped the gifts just before dinner and we’re all set.  Tomorrow, I’ll help him tape the holiday cards we got along with the Artist Trading Cards I received in the swaps (around 30 more or less) on the upstairs landing like we always do.  It’s so heartening to see my 8-year-old all excited about the holidays.  He had made a gift for me which he has been prodding me to open since yesterday, but which I told him I’d like to save for when we actually open the gifts.  I told him that is my favorite gift of all.

It’s been a busy, busy day for me.  I have an inch-long burn on the backside of my right hand as it hit the “roof” of the oven when I took the llaneras of leche flan out.   It still stings a bit but I simply put some toothpaste to help “cool” the surface immediately after, and now I’m good even if I feel a tenderness and sensitivity around the area.  Hazards of cooking.

One more hour of simmering and a quarter of a cup of milk more to go, and I can start cooling the bolognese.  It’s a little bland for even my bland preference, but I’d rather wait until the end to adjust the taste with seasoning because I’m skimming the fat off of the top before I add the milk two to three tablespoons at a time.

It’s noon in Manila right now, Christmas eve.  I miss Mom and the siblings who must all be busy getting the noche buena ready.  We’ll probably talk later, closer to their midnight.  It would’ve been nice to spend Christmas in Manila — but I’m not complaining.  It’s nice to be spending Christmas in New York again, more so since Angelo has grown so much and is now actually participating in preparing for the holiday.

He’s promised to get me a sketch book for my next Art Journal. =)  That’ll be a trip to Barnes and Noble sometime during the holiday.  My boy is telling me to pick something I want and he’ll pay for it.   So I turned to him and asked if he would still do that — take me shopping and pay for it when I’m older.  Yes, he said he would — as long as I show him what I’m getting before he pays.  (Makes sense if he’s picking the tab..)

I have my tiny queso de bola (but the original “Pato” brand) and some sliced ham.  We’re not really big on that, but I will cook up some tsokolate tomorrow for breakfast on Christmas day itself.  I’m tired but very happy I accomplished what I have on the day I planned it.  It lessens the stress of tomorrow considerably.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Feeling All Christmassy

So I changed my theme yet again. =)

Makes up for not posting, even if I have a ton of things to post.  I had a good pre-holiday Friday yesterday, cleaning up at work as I got ready for the week and a half break.  (Don’t you hate how your last day at work before a long holiday always turns out to be a never-ending clean up?)  Mine was relatively lighter than usual with the boss away a day ahead of our mutual break.  Still, I found myself wishing I didn’t have a hair appointment at 4.  I managed to pry myself away from the office in time to catch the subway (1 to Houston) to get to Arrojo Studio.  With time to kill, I was pleasantly surprised to find the Wafel & Dinges truck parked right outside my subway exit across the street from the salon, and it was simply irresistible.  I had a mini wafelini dipped in chocolate (or was it topped with chocolate?) which, thanks to the almost freezing and windy temps, I think, was one crispy chocolaty taste of heaven.

Alas, my hair appointment was fast approaching and we couldn’t afford to miss Michelle.  This is just my second appointment with her but she does such a lovely job of it that I don’t mind the commute down to Varick and back to Midtown.  I actually enjoy exploring new or unfamiliar routes on the Subway.  This was an uneventful trip on the 1 train which gave me the idea of trying to do an end-to-end subway ride one of these days on an unfamiliar route (so no 7-line for me).

I had planned to do an errand or two before meeting up with Alan for the ride home, and I finally got to do something I had planned to do Christmases ago: photograph the store displays of Bergdorf-Goodman, Tiffany’s and a few other interesting storefronts along Fifth Avenue.  Here’s a teaser:

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Display 2012

Gorgeous, gorgeous layouts!  The theme this year is BG Folies of 2012.  The photo above is just one of a set I had taken showcasing such glamour and painstaking detail

Tiffany’s was equally impressive with miniature showcases like this:

Tiffany's Holiday Display 2012

Here’s a close up shot of the chair to the right of the door:

Tiffany's Holiday DIsplay 2012