Where's Ernest Now?? - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at Allrecipes.com - 290546

Put the Kettle on....

Where's Ernest Now?? 
Nov. 25, 2012 7:18 am 
Updated: Dec. 6, 2012 5:47 am
Back in the day when my kids were very small, a man at work brought the cutest elf in to show everyone. His wife was very crafty and was making these elves for Christmas.  I had to have one - I knew my kids would love it!  So I placed my order and couldn't wait the 2 weeks he said it would take her to make it.  I waited patiently as Christmas break neared and I still did not have my elf.  But as promised, he brought my elf the last day of school before break.

He was so darn cute!  My kids fell in love with him and named him Ernest the Magical Elf.  They played with him until bedtime, then sat him on the arm of the couch and went off to bed.  Little did they (or me for that matter) know that the game of magic had begun!  As Jon and I got ready for bed, I saw Ernest resting on the couch and had a thought, "Oh my gosh! We can't leave Ernest sitting there - one of the dogs would be sure to get ahold of him and chew him to pieces while we slept!"   I picked Ernest up and sat him on the edge of the mantel. 

The next morning the kids ran into the livingroom to get Ernest, but he wasn't where they had left him!  They started searching and finally Steve found him sitting on the mantel.  It was fun watching them search and call out for Ernest.  So much fun I decided it would become a game.  I told them that Ernest was indeed magical and he could move throughout the house, keeping an eye on them to be sure they behaved.  He was Santa's Spy. 

Every year when we would drag out the Christmas decorations - the kids would wait anxiously for that box that contained Ernest! We had great fun moving him around the house and placing him in different spots. As the kids got older they joined in the fun of finding the best place for Ernest. 

Yesterday, I thought of Ernest.  We had not yet done any decorating so he was still resting in his box from last year.  But - when Jon got home from hunting he asked me to go along with him to a store in Hartville - a town about 30 minutes from us that has a few of my favorite places to shop. Jon was planning on going to the Hardware store to pick up a new key for the tractor and just wanted me to go along for company.  Ha! Did he really think that would be the only stop?  It was so close to dinner and since he had asked me to come along - I didn't get to make the soup I had planned to make.  Hmmm..... the Hartville Kitchen was just sitting there with an empty parking space just for us.  It is a great restaurant, Amish cooking, and fairly inexpensive as well.  We both had fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, sweet potato casserole and rolled out of there and into the Hardware store.  This is not any old hardware store - it is THE HARDWARE STORE.  There is an actual "Idea" House built right in the middle of the store.  Aisles upon aisles of things a woman can enjoy perusing.  The "quick" trip to the hardware store lasted over an hour.  From there we headed to the Hartville Chocolate Factory.  Who can resist driving by that place??!!  A pound and a half of chocolate later - we were heading home.

But wait!!  That's when I chuckled and asked Jon if he was beginning to feel like Ernest the Magical Elf.  What??  He wasn't sure what I meant, so I reminded him how Ernest would get pulled from his year-long resting place amongst all the other Christmas decorations and how the game would begin.  Ernest would be moved from room to room and place to place.  Nobody ever really knew just where Ernest would turn up!  Jon's trip to Hartville was sort of like that; though he should have known better asking me to go there if he were truly in a hurry. 

As we left the town of Hartville and were driving down the road toward home, Jon suddenly put on his turn signal and made a left turn ---- into the Maize Valley Winery parking lot.  He smiled and said that he could play that game, too! I didn't know I was going to get to stop there!  We sampled a few different wines and walked out of there with 6 bottles; all snug in a cool black reuseable cloth wine bag.  At many Ohio wineries, if you purchase 6 bottles of wine they give you one of these bags.  I already have one of them, but had not brought it with me on this trip - I didn't know I was going to a winery!  One of my favorite bottles we bought was a cranberry wine.  It is a sweet wine and tastes much like Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice. But better!

This morning I pulled Ernest from his box and placed him on a shelf.  There he will sit until someone moves him; you never know where he'll end up! 
Ernest the Magical Elf
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Nov. 25, 2012 8:40 am
Great read and a fun tradition!
Nov. 25, 2012 9:14 am
Cute story . . . how many times did the kids, when young, hide Ernest to see how long it took before someone declared him MIA?
Nov. 25, 2012 11:09 am
Thanks! My son would move Ernest all the time. Some evenings that poor Elf was moved around a dozen times or so!
Nov. 25, 2012 1:41 pm
In the same way, I bought a Christmas elf for my kids. I put it into the Christmas tree and it seemed quite content there. One day my wife asked where it was. We never saw it again and tend to believe the attic ghost took it for herself.
Nov. 25, 2012 6:35 pm
Good Blog Mother Ann. Ernest might just have magical powers and move himself.
Nov. 26, 2012 3:24 am
Mike, Are you insinuating that maybe your elf left Michigan to come to Ohio?? ;) Our attic ghost has taken a thing or two also.
Nov. 26, 2012 3:25 am
Hi Lela! We had our daughter convinced of that. He moved yesterday and I almost thought that. Turned out it was just my husband - getting into the game...
Nov. 26, 2012 6:24 am
Cute blog Mother Ann. Don't you love those spontaneous adventures? I think I could have spent more than an hour in that hardware store. I love the story of Ernest and am glad he has lasted the test of time. Those little traditions are the best.
Nov. 26, 2012 7:16 am
Not implying, insinuating nor suggesting, Mother Ann, because such a thing never crossed my mind. Now that you have mentioned it ...
Nov. 26, 2012 8:38 am
Wonderful read Mother Ann,keep your eye on Ernest,you never know.
Nov. 26, 2012 12:08 pm
Great blog, love traditions like this, the stories of old famliy traditions seem to get told over and over.
Nov. 26, 2012 12:53 pm
Wow! Ernest the Elf caught my eye immediately. I have an elf just like him that I made when my daughter was small. We called our elf "Melf the Elf". Melf is a tradition with us, too. It wouldn't be Christmas without Melf. Melf, of course, has not been quite as adventurous, being more of a static elf, the kind that picks a spot and stays put until it's time to rest until next year. Still, everyone who comes to our house during the holidays looks for him. Great Story, Mother Ann.
Nov. 27, 2012 3:20 am
Baking Nana, I could spend way more than hour there, too, but I was worried the Chocolate Factory would close and when there's chocolate involved that's far more important! LOL
Nov. 27, 2012 3:22 am
Mike, hehehe! I recall from an old blog of mine that you accused us of possibly roasting your hog as he had turned up missing, so..... ;) If this is the case this time, at least I can report that Ernest is doing just fine!
Nov. 27, 2012 3:23 am
RNG: I, too, love tradition. I love to read of other's traditions. You never know when you might hear of something you can start as a new tradition in your own family.
Nov. 27, 2012 3:24 am
Hi Rach! Melf and Ernest are probably long-lost cousins. ;) I used to wish that Ernest was a little more static. I always worried my adventurous son would move him somewhere and nobody would ever see Ernest again.
Nov. 30, 2012 6:08 pm
Ah what a sweet story! We don't have an elf, we have a gingerbread man. Years ago my dad helped me make gingerbread men. Being new to the cooking world, they weren't as edible as they were decorative. One remained and became a decoration. My son never met my dad but he sure loved seeing that gingerbread man come out of the freezer every year after he heard the story about him. He just came out of the freezer today. He is sitting on the Christmas tree right now.
Dec. 1, 2012 4:54 am
Hi Cat! Love the story of the gingerbread man! Love your avatar, too!
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Mother Ann

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About Me
I've been married for 33 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have two black labs that get to go duck hunting with dad and two cats. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
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