Cozy and warm Saturdays are becoming my thing. This is thanks to Matt, who after a long, hard week at work, prefers to relax and unwind. Now that I am busy every day with either Suas or Women’s Club activities, I’ve joined him in his desire to recuperate. Even more so, the weather has really taken a turn for winter, so our warm apartment set at the bottom of foggy mountains, keeping me safe from the rain, becomes more and more appealing with each day. Yesterday, warm and cozy took on a whole new meaning, as Matt and I celebrated our very first Christmas tree unveiling as roomies!
Like most days this month, Matt and I awoke to very cold, very rainy weather. I wanted to stay huddled under the warm comforter all day, but I had plans to make one of my favorite meals, courtesy of my favorite cook – my mom. The closest grocery store is part of a major department store in the mall – Marks and Spencer – so to the mall we went in search of ingredients. I’ve mentioned prior that Christmas season is in full swing here, so when we took the escalator down towards the grocery store, we were bombarded with lights, decorations, and seasonal deals. I could literally feel Matt’s irritation rise, since the area was packed with people and noise. Realizing that it would be next to impossible to drag Matt back to mall again before Christmas, we decided to purchase our Christmas tree early. Add the fact that we will be back in Texas for awhile in December, shortening our time to enjoy our own decorations, and it was a no-brainer to get Christmas started early.
Thus began our cozy and warm Saturday. Once back at home with groceries, a Christmas tree, lights, and ornaments, we put college football on the television, changed into our college jerseys, and popped open a couple of beers. The Christmas tree was first, and actually didn’t take us too long. We purchased a green and bushy artificial tree and got to work spreading the branches so as to make it look fuller. Matt strung the lights and I started placing our silver ornaments in just the right places. One thing I learned from my mom is that you can’t just put an ornament on a tree; it takes care to make sure they are spread out evenly and hanging just right. Once finished, we admired our handiwork in the darkness of the apartment.
I then went to work making a hearty and heart-warming dinner. My mother’s chicken and rice recipe is so easy and I’ve been craving a bit of home lately, so that landed on the Saturday evening menu. It’s a simple combination of butter, celery, carrots, onion, flour, chicken broth, rice, diced chicken, and a dash of cream to make a stew that really sticks to your ribs. The smells emanating from the kitchen while I sauteed the vegetables and added the chicken stock was enough to make my stomach grumble. The best part was that the final product tasted exactly like my mom’s, making me feel like I was having a meal in Texas.
Dinner followed with football and red wine, a win for both the Sooners and the Trojans, and a beautifully lit Christmas tree in the corner. Matt really liked the meal, adding a successful tick on my cooking resume. Like I said, I’m getting used to these comfy and cozy Saturdays. I have a feeling next weekend will be no exception.