we amtrak-ed to seattle on monday before xmas to spend a few days with the northern branch of the family. this is the first year we've gone there for xmas, as they usually come to dome central either 25th or 26th, but the gkids really like to be at their home which is totally understandable.
i'd love to do it this way again... next year. it was the most relaxed xmas i've had in many years and i enjoyed not having to prepare for the family feast here! ahhh..
the fence around the tree and gifts was necessary because of the new puppy, Ky (Kyrick) who is 5 months old and all puppy.
Santa left an obscene amount of candy and sweets. there was another bowl-full this size. i'm not complaining and heard no complaints!
Alex's wish list had a bundle of stuff from thinkgeek.com
and this shirt was one of the items.
Jim seems to be advising Alex on opening this gift or trying to get a closer look.
Chris received this piece of art from Kate. no one knew what to call it exactly......
the morning sky from the deck. it was a lovely morning.
Zylie with gifts.... wearing and holding.
Alex gave me a Yoda backpack, which i adore and can't wait to use!
Chris cooked the turkey in his Traeger smoker, after he had brined it overnight. it was by far the tastiest and moistest turkey i've ever had the pleasure of feasting upon. equally as good the next day in a sandwich! i'm planning to brine the next one i cook, but doubt i'll have a trager to smoke it in. he made a brine in a big cooking pot.... water, 2 cups kosher salt, 2 cups of sugar, couple of apples, an orange, spices. simmered it for awhile, cooled it, then put the turkey in a 5-gallon bucket, poured in the brine and added water to cover. weighted it down with a bag of ice and chilled in the refrig over night. when it went into the smoker, he laid strips of bacon over it. this technique makes basting unnecessary and adds to the flavor of the turkey and the gravy. the bacon gets crumbled into the gravy. so tasty!!
the chef and his assistant at work in the kitchen. this was actually prep for xmas eve dinner of corned beef and cabbage... another delicious meal.
we returned home on thursday, happy, smiling and still full of good food... and candy. it was a really special and fabulous holiday with the kids and grands... and the dogs.