Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Christmas in July Part 2

For over twelve years now we've been having "Christmas in July" at our house. It began as just a fun way to pass the time when my youngest son was just a little guy and we wanted ways to keep busy during the long hot summers. Each year is different. There are no set rules. We make up the rules as we go along......sometimes its only for a day or two, sometimes for as much as a week. It all depends on what we all have going on in July. Now that Christopher is college age there's certainly no reason for us all to be looking for things to do to keep busy during the summer......but still we keep on doing this crazy little thing every year. There are a couple of reasons I think. Number one is that it is a deeply ingrained family tradition by now, and number two is that it is still just plain fun. I'm pretty sure Jim and I will still be doing this when we're empty-nesters!

Part of the tradition is to have a few favorite dinners that remind us of Christmas. This morning I made Navy Bean Soup in the Slow Cooker. When everyone got home this evening it was ready to eat with the little mini-cornbread muffins I had baked a couple of weeks ago and put in the freezer. No dessert tonight because I plan to make a couple of our Christmas favorites over the next couple of days .........we're going to have way too much dessert over the weekend! Well, after all, it is Christmas around here.
Slow Cooker Navy Bean Soup
2 cups of Navy Beans or White Northerns
2 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion, diced
2 or 3 medium carrots, diced
3 ribs of celery, diced
2 Bay leaves
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Place beans in crock pot and cover generously with cold water. Add the rest of the ingredients then set the temperature on your slowcooker according to your manufacturers recommendations. I cooked mine most of the day, 6 hours on high. Obviously this meal makes itself and then looks so deliciously cozy when poured into a beautiful soup tureen.
Over the course of the next few days we'll be watching a handful of our favorite Christmas movies. Because of this our meals are going to be eaten in front of the television.......our nod to summer casual even though, like I said, it's Christmas around here. Of course, instead of eating around a roaring fire we'll be cozied up to our fans instead.
My tablescape tonight was set on our familyroom coffee table. I simply used a folded snowflake patterned table runner as my table covering. The white soup tureen was a birthday gift from my Mom .

I love the ladle that matches the tureen.

Basket of cornbread muffins............

I bought these little Christmas themed spreaders at a kitchen shop a few years back. They make perfect utensils for putting butter on hot cornbread muffins.

Sometimes at Christmas I use my "Love, Joy, Peace" tray as kitchen decoration along with the small canisters that make up the set. Here I thought it worked well to put the white ironstone bowls and soup spoons on. Every so often we like to set up our meals in here instead of at the kitchen table. Tonight it worked really well......we had everythng we needed to enjoy our meal while we watched our dvd. And as it turned out......when we sat down to eat it started to kidding! Around here that's a big thing! :) We were able to open the windows and enjoy the showers as we ate. Christmas cozy!
As always, enjoying myself............
Tomorrow I'll be sharing a couple of favorite Christmas Season desserts!

I'm participating in Tablescape Thursday today with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. You really need to go over to her lovely blog and see the beautiful tablescapes there.

Also Sandra is hosting Slow Cooking Thursday at her great blog Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. Be sure to drop by for some slow cooker recipes for these hot summer days.


Mary @Boogieboard Cottage said...

I love your Christmas in July table. I was going to participate, but I was too busy (lazy)to dig out my Christmas goodies out of the garage. :O) I'm going to make your soup recipe, it looks and sounds delicious!

Eileen said...

Everything looks great! And that soup sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing it!

Morning T said...

Very cute and clever and your food looks SO yummy!

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

What a fun family tradition. A great way to make memories. Your table is great and your soup sounds delicious!


Fifi Flowers said...

LOVE bean soup! NOT ready for Christmas!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I've heard of Christmas in July all of my life I think, Elaine, but I don't think I have ever known anyone who celebrates is for the entire month. That is just SO neat---and what a great tradition.

Do you go all out with your decorations---or just keep it simple??? Do you put a tree up????

Love your bean recipe. I fix pinto beans and cornbread on occasion. I usually use a ham bone for seasoning, and sometimes bacon and onion.

Have a great "Christmas"...

Jessica said...

What a fun way to spend a few days in July! I know my kids would really love that! Cute table. I like to set up little tablescapes in different places in the house too.

Ginny said...

Yum! Your soup looks so good. I think its a great idea to take a break from July stuff to do Christmas. Love your little tablescape too!

Debbie said...

You are so fun! This is a fabulous idea!
Dropped by from SITS.

Bill said...

Hi Elaine,
Your soup sounds (and looks) delicious! Your setting looked friendly and festive, and it's great that you've created such a special family tradition -- the warmth and sharing of the holidays, without the pressure --the rushing around and the shopping!

It must have been a nice moment when the rain began when you sat down to eat and enjoy the movie!

Thank you for stopping by and leaving the nice comment. Hope our paths will cross again soon.

Best regards,

Renee said...

What a great tradition and your soup looks so tasty!

Micha said...

Those beans look great. I love bean soups so do the other family members who still live at home. This recipe is a bit different than how I mke it and I think it would be an interesting twist.

Michele said...

yum yum beans and cornbread now thats country cooking at its best.We usally have this in the winter months, but thinking may have to make it sooner :)

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