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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

A Lovely Version of Chaos

December 26, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. After a few days of baking up a storm I took Saturday off from the kitchen and listened from the tub. It was peaceful and lovely and the window above me was open and every now and then a dusting of snow would flutter down to the water.

Since then it's been a lovely version of chaos. There was the Festival of Carols on Sunday morning, the continuation of BakeFest 2007 on Sunday afternoon, the 3:00 p.m. Christmas Eve service on Monday, The Ham Dinner, gifts, the candlelight service at 11 p.m. (Mr. Sundberg went while I stayed home to bake), and Christmas Day with Mr. Sundberg's parents in St. Paul.

Now we're in the In-between Days between Christmas and New Year's Eve. It's a weird place to be. Free time, yet we've a few parties this week, so busy time, too. It's a thinking time, during which I'll come up with a few thoughts for the coming year. Hopes and dreams. No resolutions, but words to live by. That kind of thing. And BakeFest 2007 will continue. Still haven't gotten to a few recipes. The kids will be trying out their new sleds and reading their new books, and Mr. Sundberg will be working on a new project in the basement, details to come. He's keeping it a secret. Lord only knows.

Not much unusual about this Christmas. I never could hold in the tears during "Silent Night," the kids got pretty much all they wished for for Christmas, and The Ham turned out especially well. Two things do stand out, though. The short walk I took on Christmas Eve, while Mr. Sundberg was at church. The moon was out, there was snow everywhere, and the night was lit a bright, bright blue. I walked out into it in my jacket and boots, into the woods and through a field, just past midnight, and came back in half an hour later. In those 30 minutes, well, let's just say whatever that beautiful, unspeakable feeling is that finds you on Christmas Eve found me.

The second thing I will take with me is a word on a refrigerator magnet one of the kids gave me for a gift. "I'm not sure what it means," she said, "but it reminded me of you." I had asked for refrigerator magnets, and I got 'em. But this one stands out. "Strive," it reads. And I do. Always will.

If you're looking for something unforgettable to whip up for New Year's Eve, here you go. It's a tasty appetizer that will go nicely with whatever else you've got going. If you're serving it up to guests, have some copies of the recipe on hand. Trust me on this one.

Antipasto Bread

6 1/2 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained

1/3 cup sliced deli hard salami, chopped

1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1/4 cup melted butter

4 oz grated parmesan (1 cup)

2 pkg. refrigerated dinner rolls (11.3 oz each)

Cut dinner rolls into quarters. Roll in melted butter,

then roll in parmesan. Arrange in greased Bundt or fluted pan.

Chop artichokes, salami and pepper.

Place in a bowl with olive and garlic. Mix.

Sprinkle half the mixture over half the bread.

Put more bread over, and add remaining mixture.

Sprinkle remaining cheese over. Bake 27-30 min. at 375.

Cool on rack.


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