Thursday, December 3, 2015

The 3rd Day

I was going to take a picture of one of my favorite houses in the neighborhood, but as I was driving home after a Christmas luncheon things changed and I was forced to take the quickest route home. Tomorrow will be the photo op day now, so you are stuck with another decoration photo from my house.
I always loved music boxes when I was a kid. I had several and even had the innards from a couple of broken ones I inherited from a teenage neighbor who had over wound hers. I was never above dismantling them to retrieve the cylinder and the little toothed comb that created the music. Even though they would no longer wind I could coax music if I maneuvered it manually.  Childhood left and I grew up, but my fondness for the sound of music boxes never did.

Years ago I started collecting Christmas music boxes.  I wanted only whimsical ones and my only stipulation was they must be porcelain or ceramic (no metal, plastic, or resin for me) and they had to play different tunes. After accumulating 9 variations on a theme of Santa, 2 angels and 1 creche I decided enough was enough. I place the Santas on the den mantle which acts as a nice sounding board and increases the volume of the music. When I am here alone I wind them up, let them go and enjoy the sweet sounds.

 I have yet to search the yard for pinecones and I haven't yet cut greenery to go between the music boxes.  It was entirely too early when I set this up. Now I can cut some pine and maybe it will last until Christmas.  This might happen tomorrow or maybe it won't but hope springs eternal right. (After seeing how dark this picture is I realize the importance of daylight when taking a photo. Edit: Daytime  and a little pine made a world of difference!)

I also have not put the lights in the fake greenery yet, mainly because I can't find my command adhesive strips. I know where the actual hooks are, just not the sticky stuff and I refuse to buy something I know I have here__somewhere.

The Santa picture in the middle was once a painted canvas I bought at a garage sale for 50 cents.  I can't buy canvases nearly that cheap, so with a little gesso, a little paint and a little effort I had a Santa picture. Since I already had the gesso and paint I was only out half a buck and an hour or so of time.

The recipe for tonight is an emergency meal thrown together with pre-browned, frozen ground beef, canned veggies, an onion and a cornbread mix.  It is a tasty fast meal for the busy holiday times but does not really taste what I consider Christmasy.

2 cups browned ground beef, drained well
1 onion diced
1 can seasoned pinto beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can hominy or whole kernel corn, drained (yes I used hominy because I had no corn.  No clue why I had hominy though)
1 medium can whole chilis, cut in slices
1 tablespoon chili powder (I used half regular and 1/2 chipotle because we like heat)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 package corn bread mix, prepared according to package directions.
Grated Cheese for the topping (I used about 2 ounces because that is all I had in an opened package)

In a large oven safe bowl mix all the ingredients except for the cornbread mixture and the cheese.  Blend it well then smooth the top to make a relatively even surface.  Spread the cornbread mix over the top of the beef/vegetable mixture and smooth with a knife so it is a uniform thickness.  Pop in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes, until the inside is bubbling and the cornbread is fully cooked.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle the cheese on top of the cornbread.  Serve it piping hot.  It would have been great with a salad, but I have not been to the grocery store since we returned from Oregon, so the cupboard is kind of bare.

This is tasty, filling and best of all it can be thrown together in 5 minutes  and bakes unattended while you finish wrapping presents, decorating, or just sitting and listening to music boxes.

Only Eartha can do justice to this song  Enjoy!


  1. I'm always hungry after I visit your blog.


  2. Did you put the dry mix on top? Or did you put the mixed and wet mix?

    1. I prepared it like the package said, then spread it wet on the meat mixture

  3. OH COME ON, YOU CAN COOK AND PAINT!?!?!? I mean I'm not jealous or anything, well maybe a bit but at least tell me that you fart a little when you walk. No one can be this perfect. LOL

  4. I can do a lot of things a little bit, but with the exception of cooking I do none well. After Son3 was born I had to wear protection from sneeze accidents, and have seriously thin hair, plus I am a crappy housekeeper. Feeling better?

  5. I love music boxes, too, but I don't have any. I'm not a collector of much and I hate to get started, but there's always the storage issue.

  6. I am a collector by nature but I have learned to have limits and to have somewhere for these collections to go someday.