Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Gift giving

My family (in-law) has started doing things (gift giving in particular) differently these last few years.

For such a long time we would exchange gifts at Christmas and it was lots of fun, but really, how do you shop for family members you only see a few times a year??? It had gotten really hard (and somewhat expensive as my husband has 5 brothers and 2 sisters plus spouses and children, and grand children (now)).
But these last few years (as we "mature"??) we have started giving homemade gifts. One year I crocheted all the sisters scarves. They were lovely (if I do say so myself...). I have also made salsa, soaps, cookies, crocheted pot holders, beef jerky ( a real hit with the brothers!!), lotion bars and other things which I cannot remember ("maturity"?? Maybe...) .

The homemade gifts I have received have given me as much pleasure as a well thought out purchased gift. I love the fact that someone spent time and effort on a gift. And I have very talented sister-in-laws!!! =)    I can't wait to see the loot from this year!!!!

Army Man and I are always thinking on what to make for Christmas. We try to keep it real and interesting. This year Army Man was promoted to E-6 and at his promotion "gathering" a co-worker/friend of his had brought some dip his wife made for the occasion. As soon as Army Man dipped his chip and tasted that dip he knew this was what we were doing for family this year. He has some kind of sixth sense like that. Very intriguing.....  but I digress (as usual...).

This year we are  giving "Texas Caviar"  to everyone for Christmas.  I am from the south. I have lived in the south my entire life. Well, except for those 3 years we lived in Wisconsin!! I had never seen or heard of this stuff, but Army Man was smitten with it so we will share it with the family!!

The recipe is as follows.

2 cans black-eyed peas
1 can each-- shoepeg corn, black beans
2 (2.5 oz) cans sliced black olives (opt.)
2 (4 oz) cans chopped green chili peppers
1 bunch green onion, finely chopped
3 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 large bell pepper, finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 (16 oz) bottle Robusto or Zesty Italian Dressing
Drain all canned stuff well. The drier, the better.
Mix fresh and chopped veggies together.
Pour dressing over the mixture.
Refrigerate over night for best flavor!
Serve with tortilla or corn chips.

*Great for a party or pot luck!!*
Enjoy!! =)

I do not know how many words that was. I'm sure there is some way to count them....not really interested. My point is I have written out that recipe eight times. My hand has begun to cramp today. It was much easier and quicker to type it out. And I'm sure there was a  way I could have printed off the recipe on these pretty cards, but I like the thought of having hand written recipe cards.
One day my great nieces and nephews can ponder the handwriting of their crazy "Bretta the Great" (which is what the "Greats" call me!!).
Or not.
I really just didn't have the time (or ability) to figure out how to print off the recipe on the cards I had already purchased!!
That was the last part of the family Christmas gifts! I had already made the dip, put it in mason jars with a burlap square and tied raffia around the jar and bought tortilla chips to include in the bag!!
If my camera was working I would take a picture....
I am now all done with our extended family gift giving!!!

Now to get started shopping for my kids!!!! Nothing like waiting 'till the very last minute to shop!!! =)


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