Monday, December 20, 2021

T Stands for Ranch Dressing

Hi everyone.

Happy first day of winter (or if you're down south of the equator happy first day of summer) to you.  I'm never excited about the length of winter here in New Hampshire, but after today, at least the days start to slowly get longer. 

Can you believe that Christmas is just a few days away? 

I need to do some meal planning this week for the holiday, wrap a few last gifts due to a change in the holiday situation (more about that in a minute), and I have a bit of holiday baking I want to finish. Writing it here it doesn't sound like much, but I feel like I have a busy schedule this week.

I'm hoping I can finish knitting this hufflepuff Harry Potter hat for my daughter by Christmas, but I'm not certain that will happen.

I've been knitting every night for the last few weeks, but this hat is made on really small needles (US size 2, UK size 12 and European size 2.75 mm) so several rows of knitting only amounts to a small amount of hat increase.  The checkerboard part is easy because it is a pattern, but the hufflepuff insignia is not a pattern and takes more concentration as every row is different. Plus, it has to be perfect in order for the insignia to look like it is supposed to look.  I'm having fun knitting it though, and I'm really happy how its coming along. 

And if I don't finish it, then she'll just get it after Christmas.

During our Saturday snow event I did bake a few more cookies:
sugar cookies for my husband and

gingerbread cookies for my daughter and myself.

I also tried these chocolate crinkles just because I've seen photos of them, and they look so yummy. (They taste it too.)

I wish cookies didn't have any calories or sugar so I just keep baking and eating them. Smile.

For T this week, I have this photo and a little story behind it.

For Christmas our daughter was supposed to be coming home. Well she still is, but her fiance is most likely coming also. I feel bad for him because he planned to be with his immediate family for Christmas, but at the end of last week his sister was diagnosed with covid. He wants to postpone his family Christmas get together until after his sister is past her quarantine period, which makes sense, but his Mom sounds like she doesn't want to do that. 

Luckily last I heard his sister isn't very sick, but his mom is not vaccinated ( as his sister wasn't either), and his mom doesn't seem to understand that just because his sister is only mildly ill, she could catch covid and get very ill. Of course there's no way of knowing that, but the situation is causing all kinds of issues for his family. My daughter's fiance's dad is vaccinated, and he wants to postpone their Christmas celebration also. 

I don't know what will happen yet, but right now we have to plan that her fiance will be joining us. That is not a problem at all for us. The only thing we want to do is to be sure he feels included. That means we want him to have a Christmas stocking on Christmas morning as we still do stockings with little gifts for each other (like candy, chapstick/lip balm and and maybe a new toothbrush), and we want him to have a couple more gifts under the tree to open as we open ours.  

This put us into last minute shopping mode. We already had him a big gift, but we needed small things. We know him pretty well, but not well enough to know, for example, what kind of socks he likes or what little Lego set (he and my daughter are huge Lego fans) he might like.

My daughter is taking care of some of the shopping, but one thing she told us he loves is Chick-Fil-A ranch dressing, which he's had trouble finding. One place she knew we could buy it was at the Chick-Fil-A food truck. As we don't have any Chick-Fil-A's fast food restaurants around us, there is a food truck that comes to various shopping areas and has a limited menu.

Anyhow, to shorten this novel, this past Saturday the food truck was in Kittery, Maine. Since the hubby and I didn't have a lot we needed to do, we decided to drive down and get the fiance some sauce for Christmas.

Kittery isn't too far away, and as you can see, we were successful getting him his sauce. 

We also grabbed sandwiches for lunch, which we can see in my photo still in its wrapper with the Diet Coke I brought from home.  That's my photo for T this week.
Don't forget to stop by Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog for this week's T.

Now I just need to wrap his few gifts, but I'm waiting a few days so that if he doesn't come with my daughter on the 24th, we can  put aside his small gifts until his birthday or do something else with them.  Except the Ranch dressing, which we will give him anyhow.

Thanks to all of you who sent me a Christmas card too. I still need to photograph and post those, but I was out all day today and didn't get a chance to do that.

 For those of you I only "see" on Tuesdays, I wish you a wonderful Christmas and week ahead. And of course that goes for everyone who stops by also.

Happy Holidays! 


Mae Travels said...

You sound busy busy busy! I hope your Christmas celebration turns out to be wonderful. Unvaccinated people are causing tragedies right and left.

best... mae at

Carola Bartz said...

You are so sweet to do so much for your future son-in-law to make him feel included. What a dilemma in his family - I have a hard time understanding the refusal of getting vaccinated (except for medical reasons). His mom also doesn't seem to understand how infectious the virus is and that it has nothing to do with the severity of the disease in someone else (I hope my sentence makes sense...). Anyway, a lot of stress for everybody. I hope you all can find a good solution and wish you and your family a peaceful Christmas.

Sharon Madson said...

Your cookies look amazing! You did a great job with the gingerbread ones. I feel for you with all these situations and hope they all work out for you. That is great you were able to find the sauce for the fiancé. I wonder how close you are to Skowhegan, Maine? Our son lives near there. Have a Merry Christmas!

Angie's Recipes said...

Those cookies are looking good :-)) I like ranch dressing, but don't know the brand. Continue to enjoy your holiday season, Erika.

kathyinozarks said...

Good evening Erika, The knitted hat you are making is beautiful, your daughter will love it for sure.
I can understand if someone is going through an illness that could be contagious it would not be a good idea to invite people over even though it is Christmas Better to be safe.
I loved seeing your cookies, festive and beautiful-I really love all the different kinds of Christmas cookies-I am going to bake up a batch of the gingerbread cut outs tomorrow morning, and then maybe mix up the sugar cut outs not sure yet.
Happy T and Merry Christmas to you and your family hugs Kathy

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

How wonderful to make all those incredible cookies. Now I'm hungry for cookies. Wonder why.

I have never watched a Harry Potter film OR read a HP book, so have no idea what a hufflepuff insignia is. It sure looks intense, though. The hat, not just the insignia.

How sad for your fiance's family. It sounds like they must be antivaxers on his mother's side of the family. It must put him in a bad position. I love how you are trying to plan ahead and think of him being there for Christmas. It was good you found the ranch dressing he likes. I also like to open stockings on Christmas morning. I always give my boys a new collar in their stockings and a Greenie treat.

Thanks for sharing your hat, your cookies, your hunt for the ranch dressing, and your sandwich and diet Coke with us for T this Tuesday, dear Erika.

Iris Flavia said...

You made my day, yippeeeee.... days are getting longer! It´s a start, if slowly, but a start!
Oh, Christmas, yes.... time so runs.
Over 30 years ago I knittted too. Did I meantion time runs?

I baked, too. No sugar at all. But... don´t get jealous - LOADS of cheese instead, LOL.

Sad about the covid case in the family.
But, ohhh, nice with the stocking idea! So sad we don´t have that here in Germany.
Cute sauce bottles.

Happy T-Day and Merry Christmas, hope you have loads of fun time together.

Valerie-Jael said...

Your cookies all look fabulous, yummy. Hope you get things sorted for the holidays if your daughter's beau comes. Have a great week, take care, hugs, Valerie

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Happy Winter Solstice, Erika. Better get out your suntan lotion to enjoy those extra two minutes of sun tomorrow! The situation with your daughter's fiancé is probably not unusual in a polarized climate where some people adamantly refuse to be vaccinated. It is pretty sad when it causes family divisions such as this. I am sure he will have a great time at your house anyway. Big hugs. David

Linda Kunsman said...

Like Elizabeth, I have not read or seen any HP , but I must say that your knitting looks superb and your daughter will love her hat!
A shame about her fiance's issues over Covid. It's most important to keep safe and not risk possibly infecting another person even though it is Christmas and everyone wants to be together. A really loving gesture you are doing to make her fiance feel like part of the family traditions at your place.
You have been baking up a storm- look at all those festive and delicious looking cookies!! I have made very few this year.
Happy T day, and best wishes to all for a Merry Christmas!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Just looking at those cookies, Erika, made me want to get a big glass of milk and come right over (yes I would share). Unfortunate about the fiancé's family situation and "C" and more so reading that folks were unvaccinated (sorry I really don't understand the rationale there). So nice of you and your family to include him in your festivities and gift exchanges. Hope all works out well for everyone and sending Merry Christmas wishes to you and your family.

Divers and Sundry said...

Happy (Astronomical) Winter! ;)

Your cookies look too good to eat -well, almost... It's a joy when the kids' families feel truly included. I think my Mother liked my sweetheart/fiance/husband better than she liked me lol, but she always made him feel right at home. Such a cozy, welcoming feeling :)

Happy T Tuesday!

CJ Kennedy said...

Family drama! I think the Fiancé will have a better time with you than his family. You're so thoughtful to think of him. I did some shopping at Target for stocking stuffers and bought the chapstick, toothbrushes, candy, and a Starbuck's gift card for the girlies. There isn't a Starbuck's where the Eldest lives and since she's coming to spend Christmas here, there's a STarbuck's at the grocery store. Green beans should have lots of calories. Not cookies. Enjoy the warmup today. Happy T Day

Jackie McGuinness said...

We have cancelled our Christmas plans due to the abundance of Omicron spreading around here.
I agree, he would have a better time at your place!

Lisca said...

Oh dear what a palaver! I hope fiancé doesn't get ill himself although I assume he is vaccinated. It's so good of you to pull out all the stops to include him in the family festivities. Great that you got him his favorite sauce. (That made me smile)
Your cookies look delicious. I made some meringue cookies today and i keep walking past the tray and swiping one into my mouth! I wish they had no calories either.
Oh that hat is so beautiful! I hope you het it finished. The rows should get shorter towards the top.
Greetings from sunny Spain,
Merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy 2022 to you and yours.

DVArtist said...

Your cookies look so good. I have to say your knitting is magnificent. Yes, those small needles makes it feel like you are not getting much done. The patter is beautiful. I am not even going to comment on family members not being vaccinated. Mine and yours. :) Have a wonderful Christmas no matter who shows up.

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nwilliams6 said...

Erika, I started a comment last night late and literally fell asleep with your blog post in my lap - no reflection on your post (lol) but on my exhausting day and desire to still check in and see what you were doing! Chic-fil-a is one of our favorite places and what a fun gift idea. You are so thoughtful and he will feel included and loved. Not to mention all the fun baked goods and yummy food I know you will have. The cookies look great.

I am most intrigued by your Harry Potter creation - makes me want to take up knitting. Wow - so beautiful and so fun.

Merry Christmas and happy late T-day. Thanks for all your inspiration and all your sweet comments and encouragement. I feel blessed to have met you!

Lowcarb team member said...

Those cookies look very good :)
Enjoy the holiday season.

All the best Jan

Empire of the Cat said...

You are a good future MIL Erika, and all those cookies look so delicious - I love that reindeer cookie. I hope you finish your Hufflepuff hat in time, that's a lot of work and concentration doing that pattern for sure. Festive Wishes and Happy T Day Elle/EOTC xx

Jeanie said...

Covid is wreaking holiday with a lot of people's Christmas plans and I'm sorry about your future SIL's family dilemma. I agree with him and his dad that it would be best to postpone their holiday and have him with you and I hope he doesn't cave into pressure from Mom. She's very vulnerable. Our Molly has it now -- caught it from the toddlers who got it in daycare and we're just waiting for it to hit Kevin. The adults had been vaxxed and the cases not bad -- but yes, it can spread. The extra gifts are a wonderful idea and the dressing idea is brilliant! (I've been to Kittery -- it's a great name!).

Your cookies look great. I think I'll do cut outs today. Can't believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Just Rick and me and hopefully he will have a negative test. We're still planning for "like normal" but don't know if it will be!

Merriest, my friend! All good wishes!

craftytrog said...

The hat looks amazing Erika! I crocheted a last minute gift this morning, a bow tie collar with a jingle bell for my friend's poodle, as I'm walking with them tomorrow. It matches the elf hat I crocheted for myself last year, and of course I'll be wearing that.
Happy Christmas Eve eve,

Anne (cornucopia) said...

The cookies look delicious. Merry Christmas!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Blogger allowing me in here today, but not the post after this!! Love all that baking - I have got back into baking again - might try those chocolate biscuits. Hugs, Chriosx