The decorated tree needed presents underneath to look really finished. For the first time in many years, I may not be wrapping gifts after the children are all snuggled in their beds!! Yesterday, I settled myself in the all-purpose room with the gifts, paper, ribbons, tape and scissors and got to work. Memories of past Christmases flooded over me--especially those of gathering at the dining room table with my sisters and competing to see who could wrap the most clever and beautiful package. The scissors would keep disappearing and the blame would be passed around. Mother would say she'd purchase another pair before next Christmas but she never got around to it.
Once we'd found mother's gift-hiding place, my sisters and I became quite adept at opening them and wrapping them back neatly. Along the years, mother found out what we were doing and adopted a code to use on the packages instead of our name. It didn't stop us. It just kept us guessing who was getting what. One year mother forgot the code which made for interesting gift opening. At a recent Christmas gathering, our older son mentioned that he and his younger brother had done the same thing. I had no idea!!
Lowcountry Shrimp Pate
1 pound shrimp, boiled in salted water only--no spices
6 scallions, white part only, finely chopped
2 Tbsp chopped chives
1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped, or 1 tsp dried
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Dash of Tabasco
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp dry sherry
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Serve with a simple cracker.