it has a name for a reason. let’s keep it that way, m’kay?

Warning:
Below is a rant I cannot keep to myself anymore.
If you’d prefer to skip straight to the cookie recipe, please feel free to do so.

Now Precious Readers, I really hope after this post we remain friends. However, I do have an extremely serious pet peeve that must be shared.

There’s a reason it’s called “Christmas” and not “the Holiday Season.”

I know, I know. There are those who celebrate Chanukah, and Kwanza. Which is fine, I have no problems wishing someone a Happy Chanukah or Happy Kwanza. It’s those who celebrate nothing and have to make a big fuss about it that bother me.

In my place of work during my Daily Life, there are very few people who are Christians. Again, which is fine. I’m not going to shove “You should believe in Christianity” down someone’s throat. I, myself, did not become a Christian until I was 16 years old.

The problem I have is with people who are extreme to point out there is nothing. You know what? I say, let those who believe in a higher power, do so in peace. I don’t go around shoving Christianity down your throats, so please don’t Bi

If I’m wrong, or other religions, faiths, spiritualities are incorrect and there is absolutely no afterlife, reincarnation, or dispersion through the universe, then… What?  Nothing will happen when we die?

So what’s the big deal?

If we’re wrong, we’re wrong. There won’t be anything to change it and we’re all dust in the ground. Don’t go shoving your non-belief down my throat.  Honestly, what’s the harm? If it makes people act morally and humanely towards others and our environment, how is tis a bad thing? Yes, there are people who choose to use their faith as a method of hate-

which I 100% disagree with

-but 95% of believers in something tend to be more along the lines of peace towards her/his fellow man. Real Christianity specifically is of the belief that God is a God of LOVE and loves everyone, and we should treat others with love, no matter their background, sexual preference, previous sins, etc.

Now, I am definitely not saying I’m perfect.

Far from it, as you may have read in earlier posts.

I am the last person who would say I was a good person, a moral person or least of all a perfect person. However, I make choices every moment of every day to try and do my best to help others.

However, one thing I will not stand, are those who shove the idea that there is no afterlife, reincarnation, dispersion into the universe, or whatever, only to then turn around and tell me about their “Christmas” plans. Non-believers of anything should not be celebrating “Christmas.” This pet peeve irritates me to no bounds.

They should be celebrating: Winter. Or Winter Vacation. Or Snowfall. Or that crappy holiday, Seinfeld talks about: Festivus.

Christmas is a holiday specifically focused on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

This is so important, I will repeat myself:

Christmas is a holiday specifically focused on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

No, according to the Jewish calendar, Dec. 25th is not His actual birthday, but it is the day our country recognizes as His birthday.

I wish I did not have listen to others who do not believe in Christianity use the term so casually to define their Winter Vacation plans. There is a reason it’s called CHRISTmas, and not ATHIEST-mas. Now, Jewish, Agnostics, Buddhists, etc., at least you believe in something to celebrate during the winter season, so please go and celebrate the Winter Solstice, Chanukah, Kwanza, etc. in peace. At least you are recognizing something and calling it by its seasonal name appropriately.

For those who do not believe in anything, please leave me to celebrate CHRISTmas on my own in peace, while you celebrate your Winter Vacation.

Katie’s “Christmas Rant” – out.

To perk up this blog a wee bit, since it’s a rough way to end the Christmas Season, I am sharing a Cranberry Pecan Biscotti recipe with you. Alas, it is not my own personal recipe, I found it through a co-worker. However, since Pilot and I are wickedly poor, I tend to make Christmas Cookies each year for my family. This year I tried biscotti and they were a huge hit. I have some tips below, along with a fun article that was written about biscotti.

Enjoy!

Pecan Cranberry Biscotti

Makes approximately 24 logs, or rounds

INGREDIENTS:

½ C. pecan halves, toasted (other nuts can be substituted)

1 tsp. baking powder

2 ½ C. flour

1 ¼ C. sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

3 large eggs

2 large egg yolk

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 C. dried cranberries

Zest of 1 lemon and/or orange

1.  Heat oven 350°.  Toast pecans in oven.  After cooled, finely chop half the pecans, and leave remaining ones in halves; set aside.

2.  In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine baking powder, flour, sugar, and salt. In a bowl, beat eggs, yolks, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients; mix on medium low until sticky dough is formed. Add in pecans, cranberries, and zest.

3.  Turn dough out onto well-floured board; sprinkle with flour, and knead slightly. Shape into 9-by-3 1/2-inch logs. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 275°.

4.  Let cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. On a cutting board, you can choose to:

a.  Cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices; or

b.  Cut logs into small,1/2 inch thick rounds

Then, place flat on baking sheet; place in oven 20 minutes each side. Cool completely and place in air tight container.

Some tips:

A reminder to allow yourself plenty of time. This is a slow-baked cookie, and will need to be baked TWICE. Once for the original dough logs, and a second time to crisp up the cut sides.

For my biscotti, I only used orange zest and a little orange juice to add to the flavor of the dough.

Before kneading dough, flour your working area and your hands thoroughly. It’s a very sticky dough.  If it’s crumbly, persevere and keep working it. If it’s absolutely too dry, add a little bit of water and work the dough thoroughly before deciding to add more. IT’s supposed to be a drier dough.

When cutting the dough, I highly recommend a bread knife. If you do not own a bread knife, a serrated blade is the next best thing.

Check out this great article from Susan Russo, featured from NPR. It has some great additional tips and a little bit of history about biscotti.

Final Season’s Greetings before the New Year approaches!

Holy cow, the New Year is approaching quickly!

What are your favorite Christmas (or Chanukah, Kwanza, etc.) recipes? Please share!

the story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye… until we meet again

Here it is!  Day 25!

Ahh, Jimi Hendrix. You were The Man.

We did it, precious readers! We did it! With your encouragement, I actually made it to Day 25!  From now on, it’s going to be weekly or bi-weekly posts.  Hope you’re looking forward to more concise, well-thought-out and (hopefully) error-free postings!

I’m not even sure if this deserves a separate post. Perhaps we should just live in “The Now” and enjoy 25/25 Daily Writing Challenges.

Yes. Yes, I think so!

Thank you, Precious Readers! I love you all!
Here’s to the dawn of a new day!

LAST (!!!) Daily Writing Challenge

Day 25: Today, your character is saying goodbye to someone. Who are they saying goodbye to? Why? Are they emotional? Are they going away or is the other person? Write the scene.

Today’s post is about goodbyes. I’m not saying goodbye to you readers, but since today is a momentous day, we’re using today’s DWC to say goodbye to someone who deeply inspired me to continue writing.

Erma
Aug. 19th, 1907 – Mar. 15, 2007

Grandma went to college to study journalism in a time when college wasn’t necessarily a common thing for women. She is one of the many voices in my head (one of the good voices) who continues to support me in spirit.

The nurse handed us papers and we blindly signed them. For all we knew we could have been signing over our spleens for the next transplant scheduled.  Or signing off our firstborns for an ice cream cone.  To this day, we don’t know what the papers said, only that we had to sign them.

I watched life leave your body.  In a single moment you went from a living, breathing human being to nothingness.  Standing over you in the hospital I looked at this lifeless shell.

We stood in the hallway, not more than a foot from each other. As if the fear of being separated beyond that, would separate us entirely for the rest of our lives. The hospital staff forced us out to sign papers.  Those stupid papers.

You were left in the room.  Someone will come get her.

After a few minutes, no one was coming. People were supposed to be coming.

Where the hell was everyone?

Is this really what happens when you die?  You’re left in a cold, stark, sterile room with no one watching over you?  A crew comes to sweep up your body, making room for the next tragic victim?

No. No, it’s wrong.  IT’S WRONG!  No one deserves this.  THIS IS NOT OK!

I couldn’t bear the fact you were alone.

Each time I saw her, there had never been any hesitation to hug.  A kiss on the cheek.  A grasp of the hand in support.  Never had there been a moment’s hesitation to show affection love.

Separating from my parents I quietly walked back into the room.  I’d never been more afraid to move in my life.  I had never been so scared to go near her.  When she needed us the most.

Shaming myself for my lack of courage, I stepped over, wiped some stray hair from your face.  I gave you kiss on the forehead and held your hand.

We were told she was brain dead.  All three days you were gone, making it a three-day waiting game for your body to shut down.  It was as if your own body rejected the idea that you were gone.  Your soul, spirit, essence, whatever you want to call it, was no longer with us.

“We love you. You will be missed. I hope you’re ok now.”

You were placed next to your husband. I could rest easy because you will never be alone again.

I love you. I miss you. Wherever you are, I hope you’re ok.