Advent Day 2 Christmas Balls (Big Ones)

So today, the Wife and I ran 9 miles, just because we could.  We ran along the river and the trail was in places covered in a thin layer of slippery, icy mud.  It snowed a bit here both this morning and yesterday morning, thus proving that winter is definitely here in our part of the world.  The fact that it gets dark at around 4:30 in the afternoon is the other big clue.  I completely failed to finish (or really even start) the big schedule of all the triathlon training I need to do in the next seven months.  I’ve got 3 or 4 different training plans and I just need to cobble them together correctly.  I did make our hotel reservations for the Shamrock Half Marathon this spring in Virginia Beach.  We’re planning to spend race weekend at the hotel (which is at the start of the race for us, handy that), but we’re hoping to spend a few days before or after staying with friends in the area (Hi Frank!). I already can’t wait for the big tent full of beer and Irish stew!

OK, so on with Advent.  After our run, we opened up our calendars for our well-earned rewards. The (relatively normal) Lindt one had a lovely quote for us and a really tasty, high quality chocolate (as expected).

This says, "There's no day more lost than the day you don't laugh." I think it's the German way of saying, "Don't worry, be happy, or else!" (or else, we'll produce more heavy metal Advent calendars for you to mock. I sincerely hope so.

This says, “There’s no day more wasted than the day you don’t laugh.” I think it’s the German way of saying, “Don’t worry, be happy, or else!” (or else, we’ll produce more heavy metal Advent calendars for you to mock.) I sincerely hope so.

For those about to eat chocolate, we salute you

AC/DC, on the other hand, goes with the simple, and timeless message of cheap chocolate stamped with the band’s name. Just in case we forgot whose Advent calendar this was.

But this got me thinking, it’s the start of advent, the smell of evergreens is wafting from the florists and from the random Christmas tree lots that have sprung up in various parking lots around town, including the one at the start of today’s run.  Soon, we’ll have to figure out this year’s cat-appropriate tree and I realized that our favorite band at Christmas time helps us with decorating hints for the holidays as well.

It took me forever to find a version  that people in Germany would be allowed to see (damn you gema and sme!) so you get two.

And here’s Phish covering the same song. I think I like the original better.

So with the run and the laugh out of the way, it was time for more important things.  Namely, introducing the Wife to Elmo and Patsy and their timeless tale of tragedy and loss during the holiday season

(sorry, I couldn’t find a version of this one that plays in Germany :-()   and baking pie so as to increase the number of pies in Germany.  Little known fact:  Germans do not make pie.  It is impossible to find a proper pie plate over here (and you can forget about frozen, ready-made pie crusts).  My solution was to use an “auflauf” pan (auflauf is anything you bake like a casserole, generally involving cheese of some sort and a bunch of carbs).  As you can see, the straight sides of the pan caused some slumping and associated structural loss of the crust.  The pie still tastes like pie, though and really, that’s what counts.

Auflauf-pie! Because pie is important to a healthy and balanced diet.

Auflauf-pie! Because pie is important to a healthy and balanced diet. You can see the problems caused by the straight sides at the top of the image.  A proper pie plate with 45 ° sloping sides would alleviate this and also make serving somewhat easier.

If you’re interested, we got the pie recipe from Runner’s World here. If you want the pie crust recipe, send me a comment, and I’ll send it to you. I have to say, apples and cranberries are an excellent combination, even if I did make a huge mess of it upon serving.

I’ll try to be more witty and clever tomorrow.  For now, I’ll leave you with an image of our feline overlords surveying the calendar opening and subsequent pie eating.

Devil-cat and his brother Dukie looking decorative.

Devil-cat and his brother Dukie looking decorative.

2 thoughts on “Advent Day 2 Christmas Balls (Big Ones)

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