Showing posts with label arts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label arts. Show all posts

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Romancing The Chocolate: New Orleans Chef Competition Winner: Macadamia Nut Pineapple Up-Side Down Cake, New Orleans Restaurant Links


Photo by Cynthia Campbell  --  Macadamia Nut Pineapple Up-Side Down Cake by Restaurant R'evolution pastry chef Erin Swanson is the silver-medal dessert at the 2014 New Orleans Wine & Food Experience's Grand Tastings.
       Photo: Cynthia Campbell
                                                              
Romancing The Chocolate: New Orleans Chef Competition Winner: Macadamia Nut Pineapple Up-Side Down Cake, New Orleans Restaurant Links: From Denny:  Louisiana is fond of food competitions and New Orleans attracts the top chefs who are willing to compete for charity events and industry competition too.  This tasty recipe competed in a New Orleans Wine and Food Experience competition, developed by Pastry Chef Erin Swanson, Restaurant R’evolution, located in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was the 2014 desserts category silver medal winner.  All those lucky tasters were found returning for seconds of this delicious simple cake!...

... To satisfy your foodie curiosity here's what the other medal winners were cooking and the New Orleans restaurants from which they hail are linked so you can go visit and check out their stellar menus: ...
                                                              
Romancing The Chocolate: New Orleans Chef Competition Winner: Macadamia Nut Pineapple Up-Side Down Cake, New Orleans Restaurant Links



Sleep Majesty King Duvet

Sleep Majesty King Duvet


Sleep Majesty: Restful, blissful, restorative sleep reigns supreme to pump up our attitude to take on a new day!  Easy to coordinate with other patterns!


Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  Also note that I leave up all my designs from year to year so you have the security knowing that you can purchase as your budget permits to coordinate a room.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Dennys Food and Recipes: Labor Day, Football Tailgating: Check Out Some New Drinks, Appetizer Cheesy Zucchini No-Fry Fries with Smoked Paprika Dip Sauce


Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Cutting a zucchini into frylike sticks then cooking them delivers a signature crunch without the deep-frying.
Photo:  Matthew Mead/AP

Dennys Food and Recipes: Labor Day, Football Tailgating: Check Out Some New Drinks, Appetizer Cheesy Zucchini No-Fry Fries with Smoked Paprika Dip Sauce: From Denny:  Ready to try something new for the Labor Day weekend and tailgating season?  Audition it on Labor Day and check out your reviews, and, if all goes well, you have some winners for the tailgating season.  I know.  I know.  The conventional wisdom is that you are not supposed to audition something new on your guests but my crowd likes to review.  Come on; put a little risk into your life!

I usually cook up standards I know most people enjoy and then introduce a couple of new things for review and comment.  It's a conversation starter and since my friends tend to be as opinionated as myself, well, they enjoy weighing in.  They even make suggestions to kick it up, tone it down or variations that I might not have considered.  Since I value their input it's all done in good fun.  For my guests to take home I also make copies of the new recipes with space for them to make notes while we discuss the food.

The first two drinks up for consideration are old standards with new twists:  a Planter's Punch and a Bloody Mary.  The new twist for the Planter's Punch is that it has some added Camus Cognac with the apple cider, apple juice and pineapple juice.  The new twist for the Bloody Mary is the addition of Lucid Absinthe with the spicy bloody mary mix, worchestershire sauce, horseradish, black pepper, celery salt and garlic salt.  These two drinks come from  Niccole Trzaska at The Liberty Bar in New York City.

This appetizer recipe is from Chef Sara Moulton, one of the busiest TV chefs.  Check out this link to her site for online cooking classes, links to her TV shows and awesome easy recipes.  Sara has enjoyed a long career:  a 25-year stint at Gourmet magazine (which had a run from 1941 - 2009), hosted several Food Network shows for a decade, hosts public TV's "Sara's Weeknight Meals" and has written three cookbooks, one of which is "Sara Moulton's Everyday Family Dinners."  Whew! All while raising her own family.  It's no wonder she specializes in quick and easy food...


Dennys Food and Recipes: Labor Day, Football Tailgating: Check Out Some New Drinks, Appetizer Cheesy Zucchini No-Fry Fries with Smoked Paprika Dip Sauce



Louisiana Seafood Reusable Shopping Bag


Louisiana Seafood Reusable Shopping Bag

Check out awesome Louisiana eating: oysters, shrimp, crawfish, gumbo, jambalaya
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new! 




Summer Food:  Deliciously Easy Small Blueberry Cake

Summer Food: Cream Cheese Pastry Blueberry-Apple Cobbler and Traditional Blueberry Cobbler


Summer Food: Blueberry Yum Yum Cake Says It All


Summer Food: Raspberry Almond Cheesecake Tartlets

Breakfast: Easy Simple French Toast Casserole



Funny Coffee Cats Shower Curtain


Not ready for the world before your cup of joe? Quit hissing, COFFEE's brewing!
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  

Monday, August 31, 2015

Dennys Food and Recipes: Super Simple Breakfast: Texas Hash, Sausage and Egg Casserole, More Casserole Links


Sausage Egg Casserole

                                                    Photo: Sausage Egg Casserole from AllRecipes.com


Dennys Food and Recipes: Super Simple Breakfast: Texas Hash, Sausage and Egg Casserole, More Casserole Links: From Denny:  Going to the beach for Labor Day?  Company coming and you are wondering what is easy to cook up for a hungry crowd?  Here are a couple of easy recipes for breakfast any time of the day.  They are also the kind of flexible recipes that you can add some of your favorite ingredients or seasonings to your taste...



Summer Food:  Deliciously Easy Small Blueberry Cake

Summer Food: Cream Cheese Pastry Blueberry-Apple Cobbler and Traditional Blueberry Cobbler




Summer Food: Blueberry Yum Yum Cake Says It All


Summer Food: Raspberry Almond Cheesecake Tartlets


Breakfast: Easy Simple French Toast Casserole



Funny Coffee Cats Shower Curtain

Not ready for the world before your cup of joe? Quit hissing, COFFEE's brewing!
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  

Monday, August 24, 2015

Dennys Food and Recipes: Summer Food: Blueberry Yum Yum Cake Says It All





Dennys Food and Recipes: Summer Food: Blueberry Yum Yum Cake Says It All: From Denny:  This sheet pan cake of creamy goodness only requires two cups of fresh blueberries.  First you make a simple syrup of water and sugar, add cornstarch to thicken, then add the blueberries.  Set the blueberry topping aside to cool while you create the crust.

The crust is a yummy combination of finely chopped pecans, butter and flour that you pat into the sheet pan and bake for about 10 to 20 minutes to make your tasty crust.  Set aside to cool.

To make your filling you combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar together and when that is well combined you add in the whipped topping, pouring it into the cooled crust.

After the blueberry topping has cooled then pour over the cream cheese-powdered sugar-whipping topping mixture.  Now set the sheet pan of blueberry goodness into the fridge to chill well.  Serve to screams of total delight!...


Dennys Food and Recipes: Summer Food: Blueberry Yum Yum Cake Says It All


Recent related articles:










Cooper Name Mug





Shooting star Cooper says, "I'm the man!" What confidence! Who doesn't want to drink coffee every morning with him?  More products available in this name design for your pet or your man! 
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Dennys World of Quotes: Christmas: Funny and Thoughtful Christmas Quotes and Short Poems





Dennys World of Quotes: Christmas: Funny and Thoughtful Christmas Quotes and Short Poems: From Denny:  Well, now that we have finished Christmas breakfast at our house it's time to roll out these fun Christmas quotes and Christmas poems for you and yours to enjoy!

Oh, how rude of me not to give you the Christmas breakfast menu:  a Dutch Baby Oven Pancake with spiced cooked apples and a side of Honeysuckle Italian style ground Turkey made into a sausage which I spiced up extra with some seasoned brown rice, smokey paprika, garlic and extra virgin olive oil before shaping into small patties and cooking on the stovetop.  Yeah, it's a tough day at our house all right. :)

And, yes, I made the roast turkey yesterday since we like to celebrate Christmas Eve as well so that pressure is non-existent.  Made a wonderful wet rub for the turkey that sat a day uncovered in the fridge to marinate:  rubbed under the skin and on top with a mixture of red moscato wine, extra virgin oil, and lovely spices and herbs like marjoram, rosemary, sage, ginger, sea salt, black pepper, smokey paprika, garlic powder, a touch of lite soy sauce and more.  Blanched the green beans earlier in the week so all that needs to be done today is to heat them up in clarified butter and some spices as a side dish.  All the cooking left is to bake the Louisiana sweet potatoes which are a divine dish in themselves they are so sweet! .... Click on the title link above to view the funny quotes at my quotes blog...

For plenty of holiday recipes and recipes for the entire year you can check out my four food blogs where I collect the best of our local cooks, my own recipes and variations, as well as the news and food networks:







Joyful X 2 Rectangular Canvas Pillow

Inspire: Keep your Joy up and flowing to attract order and harmony into your life all year long!  Available in t-shirts for men, women, kids and baby along with bedding, pillows, dining, entertaining and technology like for your latest phone case!  Phone cases listed here.

Oh, and the ads are for my Cafe Press store, Denny Lyon Gifts, where the proceeds go to the local food bank, Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank - and to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Romancing The Chocolate: Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread


Photo provided by King Arthur Flour  --  No one will ever guess there's zucchni in this Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread.
Photo: King Arthur Flour

Romancing The Chocolate: Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread: From Denny:  Summer time and the zucchini are multiplying like rabbits in our gardens!  Zucchini bread is always welcome just plain but how about "gilding the lily"?  Add some cocoa, chocolate chips and espresso powder to put it over the top.

Quick breads like this recipe are always welcome for the holidays or when you want something special - but not complicated or too demanding of your time and effort.  Like most quick breads this one is an easy recipe to make.  While this delicious bread bakes just sit down, relax and tour through your favorite collected old cookbooks or breeze through some interesting online recipe databases.  Works for me!


Celebrate Chocolate King Duvet


Celebrate Chocolate every day as a holiday!
Design available in 3 color palettes:  additional bedding sizes, t-shirts, blankets, 
pillows, jewelry, stuffed animals, mugs, ornaments, 3 sizes of laptop sleeves, shower curtains
From Louisiana artist Denny Lyon
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dennys Food and Recipes: Summer Recipe: Cool Fake Watermelon Cheesecake


Photo provided by Family Features --  Serve up a hot Fourth of July with fun treats, clockwise, from left, Cool Watermelon Cheesecake; Red, White and Blue Treat Pops and Sweet Sliders.
Photo: Family Features 

Dennys Food and Recipes: Summer Recipe: Cool Fake Watermelon Cheesecake: From Denny:  This is such a fun colorful cheesecake to make that is sure to impress for any special holiday or occasion!  While it looks like watermelon it's really a strawberry flavored cheesecake supported by a delicious coconut and pistachio crumble crust that imitates the watermelon rind.  How clever is that?  And you know it sure tastes better than the rind. :) To imitate the look of the watermelon seeds you garnish the cheesecake with mini chocolate chips.

The beauty of this cheesecake is that you don't have to bake it.  Everything is done on the stove top and then chilled.  Well, I'm sold; ready to start cooking?  ...


Magic Coffee Fonts Woven Throw Pillow


Magic Coffee Fonts Woven Throw Pillow

Magic Coffee Fonts celebrate our morning cup of joe! This fun design available on many more products from bedding to t-shirts to mugs and more!  From Louisiana artist Denny Lyon

Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  


Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Truth Journal: 10 Funny New Years Posts: Trivia, Quotes, Recipes, Poetry, Animated Clip Art






A Truth Journal: 10 Funny New Years Posts: Trivia, Quotes, Recipes, Poetry, Animated Clip Art: From Denny:  Start your New Year off right with lots of laughter and some smart advice on meeting those New Year resolutions.  And, hey, thanks for visiting all these blogs this past year, much appreciated! ...


Let Good Times Roll Large Mug


Let Good Times Roll Large Mug - Mardi Gras celebration


* * *  Please support Warriors Pearl Foundation - contributing to fund efforts to help homeless female military veterans come home.  Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  And a special thanks to those of you supporting this effort!  You rock!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Best Spiritual Posts: Christmas Music: Susan Boyle Sings "Miracle Hymn" From Movie "The Christmas Candle"






Best Spiritual Posts: Christmas Music: Susan Boyle Sings "Miracle Hymn" From Movie "The Christmas Candle": From Denny:  The Christmas season is a time for reflection upon what we thought was the impossible to even dare to dream entering the realm of the possible and becoming our new reality.  We call that a miracle because it is so very rare!  If ever there was a story to illustrate the impossible becoming the possible it's the story of singer Susan Boyle's meteoric rise to fame.  She has recently been diagnosed with autism as an adult.  While it's been a rocky road for her she has been creating her life balance and is doing well.


RISE to the Situation Men's Hooded Sweatshirt

RISE to the Situation Men's Hooded Sweatshirt


* * *  Support Warriors Pearl Foundation - contributing to fund efforts to help homeless female military veterans come home.  Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  



Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Music: Check Out This 2 Hour Jazz and Classical Mashup For Holidays

English: Fireplace made entirely of living pla...
English: Fireplace made entirely of living plants at the Centennial Park Christmas Show 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)






From Denny:  Looking for the perfect Christmas music for background during your holiday gatherings?  This music video is great for setting a comfortable and relaxed mood while everyone gathers to visit.  Listed below is the song list from the author tonyclem too.  Enjoy and Merry Christmas to All!




Joy LOVE Peace Woven Throw Pillow

Spread some happiness all during the holiday season and beyond!

* * *  Please support Warriors Pearl Foundation - contributing to fund efforts to help homeless female military veterans come home.  Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  Thank you to all those who are supporting this cause.  You rock!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Funny Charlie Brown Christmas Flash Mob: NYC Snoopy Boogie

Snoopy hit the streets of New York in this flash mob.
Snoopy hit the streets of New York in this flash mob.  Photo: YouTube

From Denny:  Ready for some holiday fun?  Nothing like a Christmas themed flash mob to make you smile.  Dancing to the famous Peanuts comic strip tune, "It's A Charlie Brown Christmas" a flash mob entertained New York City this week, recreating the animated original.  Schroeder banged away on his famous piano.  Linus danced with his security blanket.  Snoopy was truly larger than life and danced his doggy boogie, stealing the show.  Get a grin and enjoy this cute video, guaranteed to melt away all that holiday shopping stress!



Joy LOVE Peace Journal




Spread some happiness all during the holiday season and beyond!



Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Story: A Christmas Tree by Charles Dickens

English: A Christmas Tree at Home
English: A Christmas Tree at Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)








From Denny:  Check out a Christmas story written by Charles Dickens over a century ago.  Here, in this story, the author gives us a glimpse of the age of early technology of mechanical toys and the increasing consumerism at Christmas.

Dickens recalls his own childhood Christmas time.  This memoir is an intriguing romp through the mind of a child as he perceives the Christmas magic and contemplates the holiday season.  He likes to relate a ghost story along the way too!

You can find "A Christmas Tree" at Amazon here.


Writers Thank You Greeting Cards (Pk of 10)


Elegant lady writer ponders what to write on her scroll. Remember to send your thank you notes for gifts received this holiday season!  More designs available; come see!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Story: Christmas Day in the Morning





*** A story about how Love alone could awaken Love. And he could give the gift again and again...




From Denny: As an American high school kid living in Taiwan I was introduced to the author Pearl S. Buck. She grew up as a Christian missionary kid in mainland China during the 1930's and was one of the very first Westerners to bridge the cultural gap between China and the West in understanding. Buck wrote a lot of stories, recommended by both the local Taiwanese and the Christian missionaries, and I read them all back then since there was no TV in English. I read a lot of books, even took to reading the Encyclopedias when I ran out of material! :)

While this author may be considered simplistic and out of fashion at the moment, she still deserves a read in my mind. Why? One of the subtle cultural nuances that crept into her writing was the Chinese sentence structure: extreme sheer simplicity. Sometimes, later generations who have not lived abroad fail to pick up those intense subtleties and so write off her writing, failing to realize they are missing an opportunity to get inside the head of Chinese culture by reading about the smallest things in Life written in a simple way.  Parents with teenagers will definitely appreciate this story.

Pearl Buck wrote a lot on women's rights as well as mixed race adoption long before anyone thought about multi-culturalism.  Definitely she was ahead of her time.  She was fluent in Chinese and fought against racist attitudes long before that was popular as well.  This writer was definitely a class act!

This story was originally published in 1955, available here at AmazonChristmas Day in the Morning

Love Light Silver Oval Necklace

Let your love light shine!

* * *  Please support Warriors Pearl Foundation - contributing to fund efforts to help homeless female military veterans come home.  Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  Thank you to all those who are supporting this cause.  You rock!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Funny Christmas Poem: Santas Curmudgeon Version of The Christmas Story










From Denny:  OK, for the naughty folks out there who enjoy some holiday sarcasm comes this silly poem sure to make you grin - or wince.

Just when everyone is tired of making nice to the relatives just read this one aloud to the gathering to cut the grumbling.  Sure to make some folks howl with delight or indignation!  Oh, look, yet another family fight during the holiday season. :)


Santa Jingle Dog Tags

Make some merry this holiday season! Jingle Jingle!



Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dennys Food and Recipes: Turkey Cooking Tips: How Good Is Your Holiday Roast Turkey?



U.S. President Barack Obama pardons "Popcorn" with his daughters Sasha and Malia at the White House, Nov. 27, 2013.
Dennys Food and Recipes: Turkey Cooking Tips: How Good Is Your Holiday Roast Turkey?:
From Denny:  Roasted my Thanksgiving turkey a day early.  Sure beats stressing on the Big Day.  Also, my husband, affectionately known as "Satan" misses out on trying to micro-manage the cooking, driving me absolutely crazy.  He never did learn to cook but thinks he knows how to tell you all about how to do it anyway.  Getting the Big Bird done a day early is a win-win for everyone as he was less stressed just as much as me!

Though he did try only twice this season to be ever so irritating:  once, when taste testing the fabulous gravy he made The Yuck! Face but could not keep his composure for long, laughed, and then raved about it as one of the best yet.  Later he decided he just had to tell me how to cut the French bread for sandwiches his way rather than the normal slices I was doing for hot garlic bread, his favorite.  Since I'm basically The Spatial Engineer in this house (just ask me to pack a car for travel and I am The Expert on finding every nook and cranny to fill) I explained to him how his way made no sense but cut a few slices for him anyway.  He was so disappointed to realize I was right after all.  "Satan" lost that round.  Never a dull moment at our house, that's for sure!

Hey, we should all be challenging the White House chef to a Roast Turkey Cook Off.  Bet mine is one of  The Best!  We love spices at our house and every year I create something different.  This year's wet rub spices were swimming in clarified butter:  sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smokey paprika, cumin, curry powder, marjoram leaves, lite sodium soy sauce, Moscato wine and Remy Martin cognac...

Santa Jingle Kid's All Over Print T-Shirt

Make some merry this holiday season! Jingle Jingle!


14 AWESOME COFFEE & TEA TIME DESIGNS - teapots, serving trays, cocktail plates and platters, mugs!

Inside the White House Holidays - great video and the White House Gingerbread House too!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Christmas Story: The Gift of the Magi



From Denny: This is another Christmas classic, such a wonderful story by a revered writer!


The Gift of the Magi

By O. Henry

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. James Dillingham Young."

The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.



Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling--something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.



Where she stopped the sign read: "Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds." One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie."

"Will you buy my hair?" asked Della.

"I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it."

Down rippled the brown cascade.

"Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.

"Give it to me quick," said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation--as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness and value--the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends--a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

"If Jim doesn't kill me," she said to herself, "before he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do--oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?"



At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please God, make him think I am still pretty."

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two--and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

"Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again--you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a nice-- what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you."

"You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

"Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?"

Jim looked about the room curiously.

"You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

"You needn't look for it," said Della. "It's sold, I tell you--sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?"

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year--what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

"Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first."

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.



For there lay The Combs--the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims--just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: "My hair grows so fast, Jim!"

And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, "Oh, oh!"

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

"Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it."

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

"Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on."

The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Oh all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.





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