Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve Eve

Yesterday just after sunset, 4 deer walked through my back yard. Deer around here are fairly common but it is unusual to actually see them in the yard. My neighborhood is composed of houses with lots around 1/3 to 1/2 acre, but there are lots of trees and we're not far from a heavily wooded area and some parkland. A lot of people consider deer to be pests because they eat the shrubbery and destroy a lot of landscaping, but they don't do that in my yard, so I can enjoy seeing them. Some other wildlife that I've seen around my house are red foxes and barred owls and hummingbirds; some wildlife that has invited itself into my house include mice and squirrels.

Last night for dinner we had Malnotti's Deep Dish Chicago pizza. This is a special treat since it has to be shipped from Chicago packed in dry ice via next day air. I think the shipping costs more than the pizza. Before my husband and I were married and we lived near Chicago, we would go to Pizzeria Uno's for their deep dish pizza. This was long before Uno's became a national chain; the restaurant was a cramped little bar/restaurant where patrons could write on the walls. But I digress. Lou Malnotti was a chef at Uno's who left and started his own place and somewhere along the line figured out that displaced Chicagoans would pay dearly to have their favorite pizza shipped to them. He was right.

We also have been known to bring back pizza in our suitcases when we visit family in Chicago. We actually have a special soft sided suitcase that can be folded up empty, stuffed into another suitcase, and then filled with pizza to take home.

So last night we ate two of the pizzas, and there are two more in the freezer waiting for a special moment.

All my shopping is complete so I don't have to go anywhere today and I will be making bread pudding with caramel sauce. The bread pudding is good, but the caramel sauce is fabulous. It could make cardboard taste good. Tomorrow I'll be making turkey with stuffing, cranberry-orange relish, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a token green vegetable which nobody but me will eat. Just the basics, no fancy stuff. And no deviations from the standard menu either.

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