Friday, December 25, 2015

When they Saw the Star They Rejoiced With Exceeding Great Joy

"and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, until it stood over where the young child was."

"When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."  Matthew Chapter 2
"Joy to the world, the Lord has come;

 Let earth receive her King!"  Let every heart prepare him room.

And Saints and angels sing, and Saints and angels sing, and Saints and Saints and angels sing."

There is joy at Christmas because He lives!
Merry Christmas from our Red Couch Home to you!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Gingerbread Movie-Themed Houses at the Grand

Welcome to Red Couch Recipes.  Every year in our community, there is a gingerbread contest held around Christmastime.  This year, there were a couple of entrants I had to share with you because they were so wonderful! 
For the past several years, it was held in the Davenport Hotel, which is a treasure to our community.  (Photo Credit:  Jacqueline Williamson). 
This year the build-off was held at the Grand Hotel, which is a sister hotel to the Davenport Hotel.   As you can see. the Grand is very modern.  For whatever reason, not many seemed to visit these wonderful creations.  Maybe it is the new location, maybe it was not advertised well.
One of our favorites, was the "Charlie Brown Christmas."  The attention to detail was amazing.  The figures were large gingerbread cookies.  As far as I could tell, this entry was made by an online bakery in the area.
Music from the movie was piped in.
The figures were placed in an old-fashioned television set, with a Christmas tree and wrapped presents on the side.

The Red Baron's plane went around in circles.  We absolutely loved this entrant.

The "Rudolph" entrant was also one of our favorites.  This entry was done by the Hall family, a family in our community who love making gingerbread every year. 
We were stunned by the detail, and their ability to craft gingerbread and candy likenesses of the characters in the movie.  Rudolph does look like Rudolph.  Yes, his nose did shine.

Herbie and Yukon Cornelius are so fabulous.  Look at the detail on his beard.  Even the way they have positioned the bodies, is similar to how the characters would appear in the movies.


Of course there was Santa.
The Polar Express entry was made by our favorite cupcake shop, Sweet Frostings.  Their gingerbread houses were so fabulous.  The big tree rotated.  The building to the right has their name, "Sweet Frostings" on it, with little cupcakes in the window.
They threw an Olaf, along with the conductor, just for fun.
We loved the detail work on the buildings. 
We also loved the "Grinch" entry.  The mountain was impressive, as well as the cookie Christmas tree.

The little building were shaped so cutely, and they were lit.

This was a darling entry.

The "Nightmare Before Christmas" was made by a cake supply store that we frequent. 
We thought they did a good job on the buildings.
Thanks for dropping by and viewing these "houses."

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Twas the Night Before Christmas Tablescape

Dear Red Couch Readers, Merry Christmas to all of you!  "Twas the Night Before Christmas" is the quintessential Christmas poem.  It was written in 1823 by Clement C. Moore.  These Johnson Brother's dishes, "Twas the Night," take the name of the poem and provide a delightful scene on each dish, with verses of the beloved poem.  I am enchanted with them.  Not surprisingly, we will be using these dishes on Christmas Eve. 
Of course, no Christmas Eve dinner would be complete without the red King's Crown glasses that my wonderful Aunt Ionia used to set her "adult" table every year on Christmas Eve.  These glasses were given to me by my sister Jacqueline.  I love the little wine charms on the clear bubble glasses.
The adult table at my Aunt Ionia's, many moons ago., with the King's Crown glasses.

The dinner plate begins the poem, "Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house...."

I bought these salad plates last year, and I did not realize that each one was different, with a different scene and verse.  Look how delightful this St. Nick is.  "He was chubby and plump a right jolly old elf.  And I laughed when I saw him in spire of myself."

"His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow.  And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow."
"The lump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth.  And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath."

"A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, soon gave me to know that I had nothing to dread."

The napkin view.

A key to let Santa in the door is awaiting the night.

I do believe in Santa.  Even as a toddler my mother said I loved Santa.  Other girls liked dolls, I carried around a stuffed Santa with black rubber boots all the year round.  When I could first speak, my mother said I went around saying "Ho, Ho, Ho!"  I called him "Causie" and thought he was my special friend.

Santa's bells are awaiting to herald in Christmas Eve.  These Santa Hat Hershey kisses are just adorable.  They are exclusive to Target.

We brought out the silver, Damask Rose, and yes, I might be counting it after dinner.  One Christmas Eve, not too long ago, our friend Leroy thought it was so funny that I counted our silver after dinner, as if we suspected him or something....WELL.....We explained to him that spoons sometimes ended up in the trash. 

A full view of the table.

A side view. The little berry bowls have the verse, "And mama and her kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled in for a long winter's nap."  There are other dishes available with other verses of the poem on them. 

I adore these huge jingle bells. 

May you have the merriest of Christmases.  From our Red Couch to yours.  Thanks for dropping by, hopefully you are not droopy with all the rush of Christmas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Nativity Display Tour

Welcome to Red Couch Recipes.  As the gingerbread for our gingerbread house is being cooked in the oven, I decided to show you some pictures of a wonderful Nativity display that we went to recently.  All of the nativities on display are from the personal collection of a Catholic Priest, Father John Connolly, in the Spokane area.  In all, including Nativity pictures, he has over 1,000 items.  It was truly a treat  to see.
There were traditional Nativities with many pieces.

There were Nativities for kids.  This one is the extremely popular Fisher-Price one.
Ones made out of fabric.

Nativities that were dolls.
This is a cardboard set that is very similar to one that we used to have when we were children.
This Nativity looked like it was made from pieces of rolled paper. 
Some of the components of this Nativity set were made from candy and gum wrappers.
I believe this was made from concrete.
Of course, there was the stain glass variety.
There was also the plump variety, which was really one of my favorites.
On display were two different Eskimo Nativities
Many of these Nativities were given to him by friends, family, and parishioners.

 This one looks like it is straight out of Santa Fe, but it was bought in Colorado. 

Of course he had many from different countries.  These are typical of traditional Mexican Nativities.

A Nativity from India.

I love this one from Guatemala.

A box Nativity from Bolivia.

An adorable Japanese one.

A mother and child from Kenya.

 I am not sure where this one is from.

The fairy one was very unusual.

On display were several nutcracker ones.
Because of its sweetness, this was one of my favorite on display.
Look how sweet this little shepherd boy is.
This Nativity was also high on the sweetness factor for me.
I loved this one with the scriptures written on it.
I hope you enjoyed this tour of these Nativities.  Wherever people live, we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Remember to keep Christ in Christmas. 
Thanks for dropping by the Couch.