Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Most Wonderful Christmasy Evening

Kansas City opened a beautiful new complex in October--the Sprint Center. It will be host to sporting events, concerts, and other extravaganzas. It is a wonderful facility right in the heart of downtown KC. I lovingly refer to it as "the big squatty thing" LOL! But it is definitely a feat of futuristic architecture and mindful of Kansas City's efforts to revitalize downtown. I have so many memories from childhood of riding the bus downtown to see the fabulous window displays at Macy's, having a hotdog and chocolate malt at Kresge's, meeting girlfriends under the big clock at Jones, having lunch on the mezzanines of some of the big department stores lining the blocks. And the amazing decorations hung on street corners and across the avenues for the holidays made the trip even more exciting. All that came to an abrupt end with the advent of suburban malls in the 60s---enclosed shopping, free parking, what was not to like? But I do miss my downtown and am hopeful that the revitalization efforts will pay off.

My birthday present this year from "the guys" was tickets to the Mannheim Steamroller concert which was held last night at the Sprint Center. Could not have been a more perfect evening. Pleasant weather, a parking pass, $9 margaritas (well, the $9 part wasn't so great!!!) and fantastic seats. I have been a fan of Mannheim Steamroller for about 20 years, have most of their CDs which play pretty much nonstop in my car during December, and anticipate their PBS specials with great fervor! Well, let's just say, nothing can come close to hearing them live and in person. What a glorious show. What creativity. What soul-reaching music. Creativity is a subject that I love to explore and I have to wonder what creative driving force inspired Chip Davis to bring together all those unusual instruments to make his most harmonious sound. I am so glad I got to hear them in person. I understand that Chip Davis will be retiring soon. Hopefully the Steamrollers will continue on.

I had a request for a couple of the cookie recipes mentioned in my last post--the Cranberry Walnut Bars and the Orange Vanilla Wafer Balls. Well, for some reason I have not been able to put my finger on the Cranberry Walnut Bar recipe--grrrr. It was a recipe given to me several years ago by my hairdresser. It called for raisins and all I had on hand were the cranberry raisins. That made them even yummier!!! I will keep searching..... Here's the most yummy Orange Vanilla Wafer Balls recipe (and a bonus--it's a no-bake!)

Twelve-ounce box vanilla wafers, crushed fine (I use my food processor.)
One stick softened butter or margarine
One pound powdered sugar
One six-ounce can frozen orange juice
Small bag flaked coconut

Mix the crushed vanilla wafers, margarine, powdered sugar, and orange juice. Roll into small balls, then roll in the flaked coconut. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. These may be stored in a covered container in the fridge or freezer. Yummo!

Have fun with these, Susan!


Quilting Cindy said...

My husband's job took us to KCKS one Christmas, while we were there we went down on the Plaza to look at lights and eat chocolate covered apples. Both were fantastic.

teodo said...

HAPPY 2008 - FELICE 2008

ciao ciao

Susan said...

Thank you, thank you! These look yummy and not beyond our kitchen space. =)

I could relate to your downtown story, and I've missed it, too. That's something I like now about living in small town America during the summer - Main Street is where everything happens!

You are so lucky to go to a MS concert! I play my CDs a lot, sometimes not even in December. =)

Ali Honey said...

That looks like a fabulous arena Vera.Sounds like the guys knew the right gift to give you.

Season's Greetings to you from New Zealand.

Becky said...

The concert was great. This was our family Christmas adventure. Had I know you were going to be there, I would have been on the look out. Love the blog and the inspiration.

Patti said...

Oh, I am green with envy! I absolutely adore Mannheim Steamroller! Their first Fresh Aire albums were my introduction to new age music years ago. My sister and her husband came to visit for Christmas - something that happened very rarely - and they brought us a CD player for our gift. That was when most everyone had not discovered CD's yet. In addition they gave us the first four Fresh Aire albums - perfect, because they'd made a tape for us which I'd been playing in the car. And as they say "the rest is history". My husband never really caught on to New Age but I have many albums by different groups. I think the music is too emotional for him - but that's what really makes it for me!

Tamara said...

I was kicking myself for scheduling a concert the day after Christmas to see Mannheim Steamroller but now that I hear Chip is retiring I am so glad that I did it. Now if Omaha and mid-NE does not get snow to keep me away.

Merry Christmas