Day 338: Chicken Sandwich with Cranberry Sauce


Question: How does one explain to a dog that no, he can’t pee on the tree in the middle of the living room, only on those out of doors? He gave us the most grateful look as we hauled it inside and straightened it into the tree stand, like ‘gosh thanks, you guys… this is so thoughtful of you, especially now that it’s so cold outisde. Oh no really, you don’t have to decorate it with dangly chew toys for me too… wow, what have I done to deserve this?’

(I still remember our family dog peeing all over and then chewing up -or maybe vice versa, I hope- the Herman Treasury my Mom had wrapped up under the tree for my Dad.)

I have a bad case of the warm & fuzzies today, in part because we put up the tree, and dug out all the Christmas CDs, and W finally gets it (kind of), and my hands are permeated with molasses-ginger cookie dough, and I’ve had this constant trickle of love notes from you guys. I know how Lou feels – you are the magnificent, happy, sparkling Christmas tree in my living room.

How could I ditch this blog?

As promised last night (I actually went on this morning to see what I wrote, as if I was drunk, I was that tired) I have come to the following conclusions:

1) I really love writing here. When I come across new things or have ideas, I can hardly wait to tell you guys about it. So,

2) I couldn’t possibly bring myself to stop at day 366. Because although I could have accomplished a great many other things in the time I spent on this blog, possibly money-making things, that’s not really the point. I like it, and it makes me happy. It appears to make a lot of you happy, too.


3) Will the blog lose its lustre if it’s no longer a year-long nightly project? Will it still have the same appeal if I’m not posting every single day, in real time?

4) And will I keep up with it if I allow myself to slide for a day or two or a week? I already know how this policy works when applied to the gym.

4A) Because if that policy was in place right now and I didn’t really have to post tonight, you can bet I’d be in bed. (One of these days I swear I’m going to make it in there before 11.) Not only is this real-time thing a novelty, it’s actually really good writing exercise for me; I can’t just leave it for when I’m in the mood. Or inspired. (A lot of things don’t get done when those are the parameters.)

So my point is – I’m not going anywhere. Thank you so much for all your pats on the back. Really, I wouldn’t be here if you weren’t. Give yourselves a hand. But I’m still undecided about timing – Mike suggested a weekly synopsis, or I could do every second day. I like the synopsis idea, but it seems extreme to cut back to once a week. I could keep doing the every day thing, but wow, it’s every day. Then again, I have managed it for the past 337.

The site will stay up regardless, so long as I keep paying my web hosting bill. I did pitch the idea of a book to Whitecap Books, and they said they’d talk about it later. (I suspect they are tired of me being chronically behind on everything I do. Fair enough.) I could self-publish again, but that would require me to get around to reading my new camera manual and buying a new computer.

But: dinner. Leftover chicken sandwiches with quick cranberry sauce (I couldn’t do without) quickly mixed up with half a bag of frozen cranberries and the last squished half of a pint of raspberries, sugar and water. I was working in the kitchen all afternoon but there was not an extra inch for dinner – I’ve been prepping for our Upscale Bake Sale tomorrow from 12-1 in the lobby of the Petro-Canada building to benefit the Calgary Inter-faith Food Bank. So by dinnertime I was full of cookie pieces and biscotti ends anyway. The very best Calgary bakeries are coming to play: Rebekah from Nectar, Jen from Brulee Patisserie, Tanya from Urban Baker, Pam from Decadent Desserts and Kari from Buttercream Bakeshoppeare donating some of their best seasonal wares, and as it’s part of the CBC Petro-Canada Food Bank Drive, every bit of the money raised goes to the Food Bank. (A good investment: for every $1 they raise, they can distribute $4 worth’ of food.) If you’re in the area (or if you don’t mind spending the money to park downtown) come down and have a visit and a coffee… there`s a Starbucks and Tim Hortons right there too.

I’ve decided that as a wee holiday treat I’ll post either a recipe for or a link to a fabulous cookie for every day of December. Rather than attempt a 12 days of cookies, which would require attention to dates, I’ll just come up with a daily cookie – how’s that? Some I’ve made, others I see potential in. Today’s cookie offering is a Brown Butter Brown Sugar Shortbread from Smitten Kitchen. No I haven’t made them – but I trust that they are fantastic and will be very soon.


About Julie

You May Also Like

38 comments on “Day 338: Chicken Sandwich with Cranberry Sauce

  1. Avery
    December 3, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    I for one would be willing to subscribe (read: yes I would pay!) for the privledge of reading your blog, but that’s just me! (Or is it…??)

  2. Erica Bell
    December 3, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Yay! So glad you’ve decided to stay on. T & the kids would agree our own dinners have gotten more interesting because of inspiration from your blog. I agree that weekly is probably more managable than daily… 🙂

    I volunteer Monday nights for the Food Bank, having it scheduled, same night, once a week works for T&I… Thank you for baking for what will certainly be a fabulous bake sale tomorrow! I’ve seen the lineups at the Food Bank first hand, and noticed a longer line than usual over the past few month. I just finished reading a cifb email and numbers are up 30% over this time last year.

  3. Donna
    December 3, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Thank you Julie.
    Once a week blogging would keep us happy and
    not be too unmanageable
    Must get more sleep – me too.

  4. Joy T.
    December 4, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Coming out of lurk mode once more to say I’m thrilled you have decided to continue with your blog. I’ve been reading you for a few months now and just love it.

  5. Carol
    December 4, 2008 at 4:01 am

    Of all the blogs I subscribe to, yours is the only one that I read every posting – maybe not every day but I do catch up. And since I only found it a few months ago (somewhere around day 234 I think), I have a whole lot of catching up to do. That will fill the gaps if you take a well deserved break.

  6. Elsbeth
    December 4, 2008 at 4:24 am

    i once heard that Lennon and McCartney, in the height of Beatles fame, still made a point of sitting across from one another with a guitar and a notebook for at least an hour, everyday. At the end of that time, everyday, they had a song. Some never went anywhere but, it’s testament to how prolific they were and a compelling anecdote about creativity. It’s a discipline.
    You certainly do a whole lot of creating each day beyond blogging about dinner but i know that my discipline is fleeting once I break the habit.

  7. supersu
    December 4, 2008 at 4:51 am


    i think i was a christmas tree in my grade 1 christmas play too!

    your writing is wonderful..i actually laugh out loud here by myself at the computer….look forward to more in the new year.

    thanks again
    su 🙂

  8. Jan
    December 4, 2008 at 6:05 am

    I’m so glad. Enjoy your blog and I’m grateful for your help in improving family dinners (the family is grateful too)

  9. Fiona
    December 4, 2008 at 6:12 am

    I’m so glad you aren’t quitting on day 366. Reading your blog is one of the highlights of my day. Last night I had a Dinner with Julie Dinner – lentil daal and samosas. I’m pretty sure the lentil daal is one of my favorite foods ever, and I never would have found it if you hadn’t posted it here.

    Also, it’s not always just about the recipes. I love hearing about the things that inspire you, or events you’re going to be attending (like the bake sale – I didn’t know!). So keep it up, even if it’s MWF or something.

    And if Whitecap Books isn’t interested in Dinner with Julie, you should self-publish it (I’ve heard fabulous things about Lulu). A computer is a great write-off!

  10. Kathy
    December 4, 2008 at 6:43 am

    Yippee!!!! Glad you’ve decided to continue, in whatever fashion suits you the best.

    I’ve often wondered if a blog would make a good book! Go for it!

  11. AnotherDeb
    December 4, 2008 at 6:54 am

    Wonderful news — it would have been losing an old friend!

  12. Tagyn
    December 4, 2008 at 7:16 am

    I too am so happy that you have decided to continue- makes my day!!!

  13. Corine
    December 4, 2008 at 7:23 am

    I’m so happy to hear you’re going to continue. I was already figuring out my post for the end of the year to tell how sad I was that I wouldn’t be able to read new posts every day.
    I agree, I get so much information from your site about events, restaurants, and such, things and places I never new existed.
    And the recipes…I spent all this past weekend making dishes from the recipes you posted, to stash in the freezer for the lazy days of winter. My freezer is full!
    Might I suggest breakfast with Julie, or posting the following day so help you recoup some of those lost hours of sleep?

  14. Anna
    December 4, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Hurray for continuing! Honestly Julie, I learned to cook from you – I even bought an ice-cream maker to make pumpkin ice cream. I eat out so much less than I used to because your recipes are easy to follow – both in your books and on your blog. If you decide to cut back some posts maybe you could invite “guest bloggers” from your fans, colleagues and friends and hubby.

    Sleep well, spread joy and go forth and do good things!

  15. Andrea
    December 4, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Phew – that’s a relief, you would have been sorely missed in our house! Your dedication to blogging every single day this year has been inspiring!!! Thanks for the recipes and the comic relief as well!
    I would still love to get your stroopwafels recipe – i have a press and currently only make knijpertjes (sp?)(flat dutch cookies) with it, so i would love to try stroopwafels – the ones they sell at superstore leave me wanting more!

  16. sue d.
    December 4, 2008 at 7:49 am

    It’s a fabulous day! So glad dinnerwithjulie will still be here.

    I second the notion of donating to view…instead of listener supported radio, it could be viewer supported blogging. I know that earning copious sums of money is not your motivation, but maybe if you had a voluntary membership you’d come out even on hosting costs, and postage for the free stuff fridays.

    I hasten to add that you, of anyone I know really deserve copious sums of money for your work! You work insanely hard, and with such passion and kindness.

  17. Theresa
    December 4, 2008 at 8:01 am

    I’m along with the gang that says a subscription would be an excellent idea!

    I will never get your voice out of my head that says “cooking is REAL fast food, you spend longer in a drive thru than it takes to make supper at home”. Because of you my pizza budget is almost zero! Really! Maybe 5 times this whole year we ordered it!

  18. Suzanne
    December 4, 2008 at 8:45 am


  19. Cheryl
    December 4, 2008 at 9:16 am

    You do whatever you need to do, I’ll be there.
    Have a good weekend in Montreal and let’s make plans for pierogies in the New Year.

  20. Colleen
    December 4, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I am ever so grateful you’ll be continuing. In whatever format/timing you choose. I just love your recipies and style!

    ps I got my Dad all of those Herman Treasuries, too!

  21. Lana
    December 4, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Love your recipes and am so happy that you will keep this up in some form or another. The first thing my co-worker and I do in the morning, is check out whatyou made for dinner last night…

  22. Anita
    December 4, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Woohoo! Good to hear that your blog is going to continue…Thanks for all the posts – inspirational for sure.

  23. Cathy
    December 4, 2008 at 10:11 am

    I read every day – I would really miss you! But I know how exhausting it must be some nights.

    Oh, and those molasses ginger cookies are my absolute favorite! I don’t bake often, but last Christmas I made those cookies and had to make a second batch the very next day!

  24. Sue
    December 4, 2008 at 10:21 am

    YAY JULIE! I knew you wouldn’t leave us!! I’m happy to have you in whatever capacity is easiest for you. Love the daily cookie suggestions for December too. THANKS JULIE!

  25. glenda
    December 4, 2008 at 10:22 am

    So glad you have decided to continue on. The recipes are great and an inspiration – I have used some successfully! But I also love the down to earth insights into the life of a real household with a busy mom. It helps us to see our lives as normal!! Thanks Julie.

  26. Claire
    December 4, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    This is the best early Christmas present ever 🙂 Your blog is getting me through exams with dreams of all the lovely recipes I can make over the holidays. Thanks!!

  27. Kristen
    December 4, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    So happy that you have decided to keep writing. Otherwise, I might have to do something productive while my kids were napping!:)

  28. Barb
    December 4, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Yippee! WooHoo! Great news! (For us that is!) However you decide to manage it is just fine with me. I love the blog, love the recipes, love your humor and super ideas. I learn something new almost every day.

  29. Pauline
    December 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Yessssssssssssssssssssssss Julie is stayingggggggggggggggggggg doing a little happy dance.

  30. elektra
    December 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    julie, i think you’ve gained your writing voice by blogging all year. just my opinion. take a look back to the first entries and compare with the last couple of weeks and you’ll see it!

  31. Christina
    December 4, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Julie I am SOOO happy you’ll keep blogging!! I’m embarrased to say but I’m so happy I’m a little teary (Come on now, I’m still hormonal from having a baby 3 weeks ago … it doesn’t take too much to get me going). Like others this has become a part of my everyday life and you’re an inspiration! I hope to one day (when my kids are older) do something with cooking/baking and although I haven’t figured out that is yet, you and this blog has inspired me greatly! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! And as for the cookie of the day idea … well you’ve answered my prayer … seriously!! I was hoping you’d do something along these lines! Looking forward to the posts to come!! 🙂

  32. Betty Conklin
    December 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Merry Christmas Julie and Family
    Yahoo! That was the best news of a not so stellar day fighting with computers, you are not quitting! For the past week I have been trying to figure out what website I would go to as soon as I turn my computer on when I get home from work. Every second day, once a week, whatever, just glad you are sticking with us.

  33. Natalie
    December 4, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    YEAH!!!!!!! I was just thinking about how I was going to be sad to end this “eating relationship.” You are a great writer and inspirational. It is fun to hear about how food impacts your family instead of just a list of recipes. I really do think you have a “dinner with Julie” book in the making.

  34. Dana mccauley
    December 4, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Well, you know how I feel about your blog and it’s value for both you and people like me who pop in to read so I hope you keep up your pressence here on the interweb. : )

  35. Lisa
    December 4, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Julie, I’m soooooooo glad to read that you are going to be keeping up the blog in a form that is manageable for you (and will satisfy your rabid fans!!). I have no idea how you do all the things that you do. You are inspirational to me as a mom, a chef and a woman. Your blog is the first thing I read everyday and when I’m stuck for something for dinner, I always turn to your blog first.

    I look forward to seeing how the blog will change and evolve in the coming year (years?).

    You rock, Julie!! 😉

  36. Anonymous
    December 4, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    YES, YES, STAY – I was not looking forward to 366 days cause hey where is Julie. Even if I don’t make what you post – at least it makes my day to read about what others are doing and what you’re doing. So, while I’m being selfish about all this, I’m truly glad, appreciative, happy, looking forward to day 366. Post when and if you like, but keep posting please.

  37. Tina
    December 4, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Hooray. I’d miss you too. I think I could manage once a week. I’d guess that M & W would enjoy some more evening time with you. We can share!

    I hope you keep pitching the book idea to them or elsewhere. You’ve done a lot of legwork on this blog that would weave it’s way into a great book on everyday meals. Cheers to you Julie for sticking with it. You’ve done a great job. Thanks

  38. Colleen
    December 6, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Hurray! So happy to hear the news. As so many others have already said, I love your blog and it is the only one I visit on a regular basis. I appreciate your straightforward food style for real people! I have tried so many of your recipes and can’t wait to try many more. I am a true fan, Julie!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.