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12 Days of Xmas in ’12! Day 12!

31 Dec

OK, yeah, I’m still doing the 12 days of Xmas.  What of it?  I didn’t do the 12 days of xmas all traditional like.  No french hens or leaping lords, just random days of xmas music, posted when I had the feeling.  You probably thought I would have dropped this whole thing after day 11 on Xmas eve.  Come on, friends, why do you think so lowly of me?


And this has not been a traditional xmas for us here at ohbriggsy either.  I went to visit the fam’ before xmas, then got back and worked during the week that I had always heretofore said it was anathema to work.  Christmas week!  Do not work on Xmas week!  Well, sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do, dear readers.  But now, it is New Year’s Eve and I will be reveling further with Double S.  New Years Eve has always been our traditional big holiday.  Probably because when we first met it in early October of many moons ago (read: 2005), it would have been weird to celebrate xmas together.  Too Soon, everyone would have said!  Them’s the holiday dating rules, folks.  I don’t make them, but I do mindlessly follow them!  So when we both got back to NYC in late December 2005, we celebrated on New Years Eve.  It involved tents being pitched indoors, the NY/MA/CT border, homemade spanakopita, sleeping bags, childhood home sewn dolls, Double S falling asleep before 9pm then re-invigorating, and lots of presents.  This year we’re continuing the tradition, but we’re also really mixing it up.  More about that later.


I hope you have a fun New Year’s Eve planned.  Do you have a playlist made?  You gotta make a playlist!  I always like to add a New Year’s Eye typea song at the end of my xmas mixtapes.  This year I added two.

The first song is one I love, “New Year’s Resolution,” from Otis Redding and Carla Thomas.

This one came from their joint 1967 release, King & Queen.


I just discovered Carla Thomas a few years back.  Check out her song “Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas,” truly one of my favorite xmas songs.

So, New Year’s resolutions.  What’s up with them, amirite?  Regardless, I have some!

I have some I know I’ll do, like read and cook from a lot of new cookbooks in 2013.  And tell you about it!  You’ve heard, right?  Join us!


Oh, I want to make a lightbox for my food photos, finally.  No more pictures of food that look like they were taken in a badly lit pron den!  And I want to try to make my own butcherblock cutting board.  And I want to learn to smoke meat!  I’m really gonna try to do these!

I run!  I want to keep doing that!  How else would I watch The Mindy Project and Jimmy Fallon if it weren’t for my treadmill running?

For some reason, I’d love to learn chainsaw carving.  But I don’t have a chainsaw or ready access to wood, soooooooooo…that probably won’t be happening.  But if I made one for my yard it’d totally be a bear that I’d put Hawaiaan shirts and sunglasses on in the summer, and a scarf and santa’s cap in the winter.  I’d call him Norman and everything would be different, okay?

Come on, you have to admit that this is awesome.  I think Double S will be fine with having this bad boy set up shop on our deck.

Come on, you have to admit that this is awesome. I think Double S will be fine with having this bad boy set up shop on our deck.

I know it makes me sound like a lazy idiot, but I usually have teevee resolutions as well.  Shows I need to watch to be…nay, STAY! cool, but have been putting off.  I’m looking at you Battlestar Gallactica and The Sopranos, the rest of Girls and season two of Game of Thrones.  Wait, Battlestar Gallactica?  What exactly is my definition of cool? I do know that the following skit starts off as a pretty good replication of a Friday night here at the homestead.

And yeah, The Sopranos is a pretty large hole in my teevee resume.  I know.

OK, so it IS New Year’s Eve and I gots to go.  But I can’t quit you without giving you a good version of “Auld Lang Syne.”  Some people just have to listen to “Auld Lang Syne” on New Year’s, and I’m one of them, so check out this version by Joel Rakes.  Dude has come out with a lot of xmas songs on his website, all downloadable for free.  Here’s his version from this year.

Ok, friends, it’s been real and it’s been fun.  Has it been really fun?  I’ll leave that up to you to answer.  See you in 2013 with cookbooks and teevee talk and maybe some more forgotten songs (by popular demand) and definitely probably more pictures of animals wearing wacky clothes and/or with funny captions.  Happy New Year!

New Year’s Resolution…Otis Redding & Carla Thomas

Auld Lang Syne (Happy)…Joel Rakes


12 Days of Xmas in ’12! Day Eleven!

24 Dec

Happy Christmas Eve, friends!  What are you up to today?  Me?  Well, thanks for asking!  Double S and I are reunited.


We went to see the lights at Tilles Park last night.  Good stuff! There were Christmas unicorns!


And the 12 Days of Christmas!  The leapin’ lords were my fave.

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I’m helping my dad smoke a turkey today, as getting a smoker and learning to smoke meat is on my 2013 agenda.  More about my 2013 agenda on my last of these 12 days of xmas posts.  He has an electric smoker.  I’m leaning toward a charcoal smoker, ya know so I can stand around the yard this summer dutifully watching and tending to charcoal whilst I drink beer.  In other words, for the street cred and mainly to say I did I guess.  Anyone have any thoughts about charcoal versus electric smokers?  And have you heard about our Cook the Books Challenge that my homey Meg and I are leading in 2013?  It is gonna be fun!  Send us an email and join us:  Later in the Spring, we’ll be cooking from the Mile End Cookbook, which is a lot about smoked meat.  There’s the act of smoking meat, like smoking a turkey or a chicken.  Then there is “smoked meat,” which is a Montreal Jewish specialty.  I’m excited to try my hand at both this spring.  So meanwhile today, I’m learning a bit more about smoking.

I won't be making this model!  Double S would say Don't Give Ohbriggsy Any Ideas!

I won’t be making this model! Double S would say Don’t Give Ohbriggsy Any Ideas!

What else?  Well, tonight there’s xmas eve with the extended ohbriggsy family.  I already told you about our dips.  There will also be wreaths and other desserts.  There will be a ham.  And there will be bourbon slush!  Have you had bourbon slush?  Oh, you are gonna want this.  Maybe, just maybe, if you make this now and have a good freezer, you can be sippin’ on this by Christmas afternoon.

Here’s what you do:

Turn 4 cups of boiling or very hot water into tea by adding 4 regular tea bags.  Add about 1 cup of sugar to this so it dissolves.  Add more or less sugar depending on how sweet you like your drinks.  I added a little less than 1 cup.    Let steep for five minutes or so.  I like to make this tea early so I can add it to the rest of the mixture when its cooled down.


Get a large container that you will freeze this mixture in.  Add 2 large cans of lemonade concentrate, 1 large can of orange juice concentrate, and 10 cups of water.

That blue paper is the tatterted recipe, dug out of the Garfiled folder I showed you the other day!

That blue paper is the tattered recipe, dug out of the Garfield folder I showed you the other day!

Finally add 4 1/2 cups of bourbon of your choice.  Add more to taste!

Add the chilled tea mixture.  Stir well.

Put in the freezer.  This usually takes about 24 hours to freeze thoroughly.

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This makes a lot, definitely enough for a party.  If you just want a bit, half the recipe, it’s fine!

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For today’s xmas tune, here’s The Decemberists with “Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas.” This is a cover of the John Denver original.  The Decemberists were recently on the Simpsons.  But at this point, who hasn’t been on the Simpsons?


 But you can go ahead and get drunk.  It’s xmas eve!  Big whoop!

Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk (This Christmas)…The Decemberists