View from the Kitchen

I’ve sat down several times to write this, but true to form I ended up in some far away land via the proverbial rabbit trail.  So without further ado….fresh seafood, there, I said it!

I feel myself slipping into a rippled vision day-dream right now, thoughts of freshly harvested bounties from unbridled water ways, unmolested and free from human manipulation really gets the ol’gastronomy juices flowing.

Like anything else there is a good and a bad side to everything, but left alone, fish that is caught in its natural environment, packed in ice and flown directly to you doesn’t really have a “bad” side.  And if you’re worth your salt it stays that way.  Or better yet, if I’m worth my salt it stays that way!

When it comes to fresh seafood, simple techniques will always reign supreme. This is the philosophy the culinary team uses here at the P&P.  We feel that God has already done enough, we’ll just make sure that we don’t do too much more.

Spring is fast approaching, so be on the lookout for some fantastic fish specials coming soon! This weekend we’re featuring wild-caught Scottish salmon and our signature crab cakes.

Eat well,

Chef Aaron
The Partridge & Pear Restaurant at Christmas Place

Elf of the Month

This being Santa’s southern home, all our associates are, quite naturally, elves.. what, you thought we were humans??  Silly you!

Anyway, each month, we recognize an elf for his or her outstanding elfish efforts here at Christmas Place – for having an extra helping of fun and thinking outside the workshop – our Elf of the Month.  For January, we picked Rhonda Curl, the lead of our design & decor team.  Well, Rhonda just would not let me take her picture alone – she insisted that all the elves on her team join her, saying she’s only as good as they all are together.  And that’s why we picked Rhonda!

Here’s the whole team, including the table top crew, our floral designers, and their stock experts.  Every member of the team helps make our store more beautiful every season.

So, that’s Wendy, Betsy, Dori, Prissy, Whitney, Jennifer, Rhonda, Beth, John, Misty, and Ginger.  Here’s a big shout-out to the team!  Keep up the elf work!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

I Mulched!

Longtime readers know that I was not one born to a life of yard work, and have only come lately to the management of the green green grass of home.  With winter ending rather early here in the south, I’m actually going to have to mow the lawn before the end of March this year.  Crazy, I know!

I have some cleaning to do first – my maple trees tend to shed limbs every time the boy down the street whistles a happy tune .. thankfully, they don’t fall on the roof .. and don’t get me started on the Magnolia.  I would like to find the person who thought the lowest branches should be severely pruned, exposing all the fallen seed heads.  I really want to thank that person for leaving me with the task of picking them all up.

Dogwood Bloom

Look how close we are to dogwood blooms in my valley ~ this little guy must have popped open just hours before I got home yesterday.  We’re having a beautiful spring.

But the thing that is making me the most potentially-less-stressed (can’t bring myself to quite say ‘happy’) about yard work this summer is that I finally realized – – – MULCH.  Why didn’t you ever tell me to try mulch before?  I’m prepared to forgive, but really, I could have been mulching two years ago and saving myself so much time.

I have mulched!

There’s a large-ish patch at the end of the front porch that was at one time covered with black plastic, with a couple of bushes coming up through and a line of decorative grass along the edge.  Til yesterday, it was a battleground where dandelions, strawberry vines, and assorted flowering weeds struggled to maintain an encampment,against my random, periodic attacks of pulling everything up.  Mostly, I just tried to keep everything short enough that the neighbors below could not see the jungle.  This morning, it is a tranquil oasis of mulch.   Victory for me!

Similar enclaves scattered around the yard have no doubt heard about my triumph by now, and are trembling in anticipation of their own impending annihilation.  I have more bags of mulch, and I am not afraid to use them! 

My plan is to mulch everything I can’t reach with the mower.  I’m sure I’ll still have to deploy the weed whacker in a few areas, but ultimate yard domination is now within my grasp.  I have even earned the right to hang this ornament on my Christmas tree this year, as I posses and have used at least three of the items it includes – I bought new, BIGGER pruning shears this month.  Watch out, forsythia, I’m coming for you next.

Now let’s talk about the goats for the grass……

~Janet @ The Christmas Place


March Madness

I know for some people that means basketball, and you know who you are, and you know the tournaments are waaaaay toooooo loooooong.  Seriously.  Even if we do carry an ornament of Santa playing basketball.  And we need college football tournaments!

For the rest of us, it means spring is coming, and daffodils are blooming (even as the snow is falling!), and we’re dreaming of Spring Break, wherein we take our sad, pale selves to places where the sun is shining all day long and there might even be occasions to break a little sweat while sitting perfectly still for long periods of time.

Today, it also means going after a little bit of Irish fun!  Wait, I have to say “a little bit o’ Irish fun”, don’t I?  We’ve just added a new theme to our site, and you’ll enjoy checking it out. 

That really is the cutest little Charming Tails mouse!  And I love all that fresh green stuff – it just perks up the whole day.  And just this morning, in a pure coincidence of the most unvarnished kind, I heard the Celtic Yuletide cd playing in the store, and even though it is March I hunted it down and am purchasing a copy for myself.  So this is a really good theme, I tell ya.  And I’m Irish.  I should know.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

P.S. I also know that we need a national collegiate football playoff.