We put the fun in dysfunctional!

Yule Log Throwdown

My dear son had to make a “Bûche de Noël” for his French class Monday night. (That’s a Yule Log in English.) The teacher told him that she would be judging best looking and best tasting among the entries.

“Game On!” My son  and I said to each other. “Yule log throw down!”

I read through several recipes on the internet. Some were way too complicated and time consuming. Some called for ingredients that I couldn’t find (who sells “chestnut paste?!”).  Some he nixed because he doesn’t like nuts or strong coffee flavor (tiramisu).

In the end I made an executive decision: we were going to make a yule log that:

  1. called for ingredients we had on hand and
  2.  looked easy.

I still had to make a run to the store midway through, and the so-called “easy” recipe took FOUR HOURS!

We used a Better Homes and Gardens recipe for Mocha Buche de Noel. Then he wanted to make meringue mushrooms and a meringue snowman, (that’s why I had to go to the store-for more powdered sugar) so we made those, too. We were in it to win it!

I have to admit, the cake looked awesome. I tossed a handful of dried cranberries in sugar and scattered them around, then cut a few sprigs of rosemary off my bush and we leaned them up against the log.

photo copy 4

(The photo is fuzzy because I started drinking wine early on.)

It really was worth all the work…. he won best looking! And we had a lot of fun making it. I suggested we make it a holiday tradition to make yule logs and he agreed.

I cut off a small piece for us to try, and G and I ate it last night. I don’t know if it was because it sat uncovered in the fridge for several hours, but it didn’t taste very good. It was kind of chewy.

On second thought, we’re not going to make it a holiday tradition.

Categories: Family, Holidailies | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Jenga – It’s Not Just for Kids

Jenga Machine Gun

Jenga Machine Gun (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a doubles match in tennis, our friends came over for dinner tonight. (We would have played a second match, only the lights went out during our fifth game, leaving us all scrambling for our iPhones and flashlight apps.)

They brought clam dip and wine, which we dug into enthusiastically while skewering beef kebabs and veggies to put on the grill.

After dinner, the kids all scattered, leaving us adults at the dinner table, talking and nursing our wine. I looked over to see the three little ones (ages 9, 9, and 11) sprawled on the couch. playing games on their iPods.

“It’s time for a game!” I said. I went into the office and fetched Jenga.

“Noooo,” the kids all said in unison. “We don’t want to play!”

“Yeeeesssss,” we parents insisted. “Put the iPods away.”

The kids came to the table reluctantly. Before long, we had an exciting game of Jenga under way. The engineer in the group – who gave lots of strategic advice – somehow ended up toppling the tower, to the delight (and relief) of the children. They made their escape back to the couch and their iPods.

Meanwhile, we adults decided to play another round. (We had learned some good tips from the engineer.) So we cracked open another bottle of wine and carried on. Jenga is actually a very fun game … without kids!

photo copy 5


Categories: Family, Fun Stuff, Wine, Thou Art My Red Muse | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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