Christmas weekend open thread

Merry Christmas to those in the Bleeding Heartland community celebrating the holiday. Hope you have a joyful day with friends and family. To everyone else, I hope you enjoy some peaceful downtime this weekend. Yesterday our family finished a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle and went out sledding twice before enjoying Chinese food and a movie with a bunch of other Des Moines area Jews.

Today more sledding is on the agenda, and probably a new jigsaw puzzle. My boys received several new games for Chanukah, so we’ve been playing them a lot, especially “Sorry” and the Lego Harry Potter board game. For dinner, it will be my variation on my mother’s noodle kugel, which has become a sort of Christmas tradition for Mr. desmoinesdem. I’ve posted the recipe after the jump. It’s a lot less work than the traditional Christmas dinner Patric Juillet grew up with in Provence. Patric used to blog as Asinus Asinum Fricat. I am going to try some of his sweet potato recipes soon.

We received a card this week from a friend who usually bakes up a storm for Christmas. This year she got behind on her holiday baking, so instead of bringing over a package of goodies she made a donation in our name to Central Iowa Shelter and Services. That was a nice surprise. Food banks and shelters need cash donations now, and we don’t need any extra calories around our house. If you prefer to support charity working globally to reduce hunger, kestrel9000 suggests making a gift to Oxfam.

I didn’t notice too much “war on Christmas” silliness this year, but The Daily Show had a funny go at this American staple: “The holiday season wouldn’t feel the same without people going out of their way to be offended by nothing.” Locally, Gary Barrett tried to stir up some outrage over the demise of a “winter tree” at Ames High School. I felt my children’s public school did a good job of exposing the kids to different holiday traditions. Many children talked about their family’s rituals (religious or not) in class, and a display case had holiday decorations representing Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and Devali.

The U.S. Census Bureau delivered Christmas cheer to some states this week, including our neighbor to the north, but as we all expected, Iowa will lose a Congressional district.

This is an open thread for anything on your mind this weekend.  

desmoinesdem’s noodle kugel

Cook 12 ounces noodles of your choice. Egg noodles are traditional, but I often use whole wheat fusilli.

In a large bowl, combine

7-9 eggs (7 if jumbo, 9 if large)

1 16-oz tub cottage cheese

1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened yogurt (I use full-fat)

1/4 cup sugar (can be increased to 1/3 cup)

1-2 tsp cinnamon

1 apple, chopped (tart varieties are good)

1 cup raisins

2 Tbsp melted butter (more if you used low-fat or non-fat yogurt)

When noodles are cooked, drain and stir into bowl with other ingredients. Pour into 9 x 13 pan, spread out evenly, cover with foil and bake at 350 F for about 35-40 minutes. Remove foil and bake at 350 F for another 20-25 minutes.

Keeps well for a day or two–can be reheated or served cold. If you reheat in the oven, cover with foil (you may also want to sprinkle a little water on the kugel before covering).

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