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Christmas in Florida


Christmas in Florida

December tenth today and I swam my thirty laps in the pool. It’s pretty chilly, but I don’t really feel it after the second lap. I am so grateful that I am able to keep swimming this late into the season. My body responds much better to swimming than it does to running, and I still get a great cardio work out.

This is our seventh or eighth Christmas in Florida now. To be honest, it wasn’t much of an adjustment for me. I have lived in climates where we got tons of snow. I even graduated from high school in Northern Michigan, but I really don’t miss it. I am a worrier, so snow just makes me think of bad roads and car accidents. I think snow is absolutely gorgeous, but I don’t like the cold. I would be perfectly happy if snow stayed on mountains. I would visit it to ski.

I finally convinced my husband for the first time this year that we really did not need a tree. He is partial to real ones, and I have no real love for artificial trees. Not once in all of the years that we have lived here have we had a tree that didn’t die two weeks before Christmas. I do all of the things I should; the fresh cut, the tree preservative, I keep the water reservoir full. Still every year, by the week of Christmas, I am picking ornaments up off of the floor because the droopy branches cannot support their weight anymore. I think that it is because the trees are trucked here from so far away, and it’s just too warm for them. Anyhow, it seems like a waste. This year I went with a lighted arch for our presents to go under. It has an evergreen garland and ornaments hanging from it. It is very festive, and the whole household is perfectly happy with it. Maybe one of these days we will adopt a potted Christmas Palm.

I really do prefer this climate, and not in a “ha, ha,” way.  There are plenty of trade offs. I have had to get used to the transitional populations of the state, and all of the gobs and gobs of bugs, but I suppose for me the benefits tip the balance. Especially when I know that even in California they are freezing their buns off this week. I have see yard displays with Santa’s sleigh being pulled by eight flamingos from time to time. That is something that I would really like to do one day. I think that it totally Florida.

For this one month, I actually go without my flip-flops, not because it is too cold to wear them, but because I have Christmas shoes that are candy cane colored. I think that we may actually even put a little more effort into the holiday down here. Many of our northern transfers are missing their snow, so they push a little harder to find their Christmas spirit. I see people wearing far more clothing than necessary. I see Santa hats and red and green scarves on people who are sweating beneath them. And even though it was eighty-five degrees today there were people out there in boots and sweaters, because it is December, and because we don’t want to miss out on an excuse to wear them; it may be the only chance we get all year.



 

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Crustless Pumpkin Pie

This sophisticated version of pumpkin pie is amazingly smooth & rich. It is also Gluten-Free & free of Refined Sugar. 


Ingredients:

29oz pumpkin puree - 1 lg. can
1 stick unsalted butter - softened
8oz cream cheese - softened
5 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. honey
1 c. GF flour 






Whipped cream:

1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract




Honey to drizzle on top.





Making it Happen:

Combine all of the ingredients for the pie in a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until well combined. When the batter is smooth, pour it into a greased 9x13 baking pan and bake in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees for one hour.





Allow the pie to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.




To make the whipped cream, blend the chilled heavy cream in a chilled bowl on high speed until it begins to thicken, add the vanilla and continue blending until the cream is thick. 





Plate pie with whipped cream & drizzle with honey. Enjoy!