Hi, my name is Carmen. Welcome to Beyond The Fringe!
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Dec 22, 2017
Well, Christmas is almost here and I am looking forward to the excitement in the children's eyes as they open their presents, as well as time with the family and the great food. It's going to be a fun time!
My Christmas tree is slightly lacking this year, by some people's standards (lights and a few candy canes the local realtor dropped by), and there aren't a ton of decorations in my home, but I'm happy with that. Maybe next year I'll decorate like I used to, but for this year, it's enough.
So I am going to share a few things today, notwithstanding the Bacon Jam, but first--
Do you remember my Mini Muffin Tin Advent Calendar? I was at my DIL's place this week and her mom had made a different kind of Advent Calendar for the grandkids. I thought it was ingenious, and so I asked if I could share it here. Now she doesn't have a blog, so I can't link to anything, but I can tell you that Cathy Moore is multi-talented. That sweet lady crochets, sews, makes crafts, and on and on. She makes the most beautiful blankets for the kids and lines them.
Also, her husband is the REAL Santa Claus (Boompa Claus to the informed). If you don't believe me ask my grandkids! They'll tell you! Anyway, before I gush all over you (too late), here is her calendar. I posted it extra large so you could see it clearly.
I asked her how she put it together. Apparently she got a mitten garland from the dollar store. I believe the clothes pegs were already attached to them. She took these and glued them down. Then added little baggies that had a piece of paper inside with portions of the Christmas story written on each one to be read each day, along with a couple of tic tacs.
My DIL has been reading these to the grandkids every day and said she was surprised how many questions the kids had. Their youngest one didn't know what a Shepherd actually was. We take so much for granted, don't we?
Here's some close ups to give you a better idea in case you'd like to make one yourself one day.
Cathy said she just used white glue to adhere the clothes pegs to the board. It seems like such an effective, fun calendar and I love that it teaches children the Christmas Story.
Thank you so much Cathy for allowing me to feature this awesome calendar on my blog! Merry Christmas to you, my friend!
Now, onto the Bacon Jam.
This was a Pinterest find, originally posted by Kristen at The Endless Meal. Bacon Jam is meant to be used as an appetizer on a cracker with cream cheese (or Boursin cheese for the finicky palate). I thought it would be a nice alternative to the Red Pepper Jelly, so decided to try making it.
It was easy and you will probably have most of the ingredients on hand, including my personal favorite - coffee!
Yes, me and coffee, we have a bit of a love affair going on. Anyhooo---
BUT, let's not forget the bacon! I knew this whole thing couldn't go too far wrong.
That's the star ingredient sizzling delightfully in my sauce pan. Yum, bacon -- mmmmm
Then the onions had their turn. Two big ones, quartered and sliced fairly thick.
Well, why not throw them together and add coffee, sugar and some water. Patience my pretty.
Add some balsamic vinegar and -- WALLA, Bacon Jam!
I have to admit, I overcooked it a little when I got distracted, but honestly, it's still pretty amazing. I will definitely be making this again next year.
The recipe made about two cups, which filled these two small jars perfectly. I couldn't find my lids though, so aluminum foil worked in a pinch. I think the lids are downstairs hangin' with the big jars.
Well, that's about all except that I'll leave you with a painting I did last week. This is similar to one I did last year, only this one is larger and turned out a bit better. I am taking online lessons from a world renowned artist whose work I admire. It is done with a palette knife and in oils.
Well, Merry Christmas everyone! I hope it's a happy one for each and every one of you. Enjoy your special friends and family members! Lots of love from my house to yours!