Through the years I’ve mentioned what the Purtan Family has for our traditional Christmas dinner and have had many requests for the recipe.  Since this is the season for sharing… here it is!  

Gail’s Chicken Strudel


3 Tbls. Butter

3 Tbls. Flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Pepper

1 Cup Chicken Broth

1 Cup Light Cream (Coffee Cream)

3 Egg Yolks

2 Cups Diced Chicken Breasts


Phyllo dough (available at your grocery store or specialty markets)

Melt butter, add flour, seasonings and broth.  Cook 5 minutes.  Stir in cream and beaten egg yolks.  Add chicken; heat but DO NOT BOIL.  

It is best to make this mixture the day before you make the strudels, as it is easier to roll in the dough when it is cold.

Use 3 layers of strudel dough. On a flat surface, brush the first layer of strudel with melted butter.  Carefully lay a second layer of strudel dough on top of the first; brush the second layer with melted butter.  Add a third layer of strudel dough and brush with butter.  Next, spoon some of the chicken filling across the bottom third of the strudel dough, stopping approximately one inch from each side of the strudel dough.  Fold the bottom of the strudel dough up onto  the mixture, then fold the sides of the strudel dough in toward the center of the strudel.  Finally, carefully roll the layers of strudel dough and the mixture away from you until the strudel is fully rolled.  Place the strudel on a non-stick cookie sheet. Repeat until the filling mixture is gone.

Brown at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes 2-3 strudels.  Double or triple the recipe if you are feeding more guests.  In our family, each of us eats approximately 1/2 strudel.

Hot Fruit Compote

12 dried Macaroons, crumbled

4 cups canned fruits, drained and mixed (including peaches pears, apricots, & pineapple)

1/2 cup almonds, slivered and toasted

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup Sherry (optional)

1/4 cup melted butter

Butter a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.  Cover bottom with macaroon crumbs.  Then alternate fruit and macaroons in layers, finishing with macaroons.  Sprinkle with almonds, brown sugar, and Sherry (if you choose to use it).  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Drizzle with melted butter.  Serve hot.  Serves 8.

Bon Appetit! And now… on with the news! 

Hide and Sneak!

If you want to keep your Christmas presents secret, you’d better hide them really well.  A recent poll found that one in three adults already know what they’re getting because they searched for and found their gifts.  One in five pull back the wrapping paper enough to figure out what’s inside, while 1 in 20 just rip the paper off completely.  BTW… women are the bigger snoopers; 30% of men admit to searching for their gifts compared to 40% of women.

- See ladies… this is why men shop at midnight on Christmas Eve! They don’t want you to know what they’re getting you!

- TIP: If you don’t want your husband to find his gift, hide it in the laundry room.  He’ll never go in there! 

Ham on Rye, Hold The Teacher

Veteran teacher Jose Reyes Fernandes of Cadiz, Spain was subjected to an investigation by the cops after a Muslim student claimed that Fernandez offended his religion in class.  His crime?  He mentioned ham!  He told his class that the cold mountain climate of a nearby Spanish town was ideal for curing hams.  The student’s parents filed formal charges including “psychological ill-treatment due to xenophobia and racism”.  The charges have been dropped! 

- Okay, raise your hand if you had to stop for a minute and google the word “xenophobia”? 

- And the teacher had been so sensitive he’d even read the students the Dr. Seuss classic, “Green Eggs & Lamb”.

- Let’s just hope nobody ever tells the kid what’s in the “Mystery Meat” they serve in the cafeteria.

- In a related story, the parents of a vegetarian student have filed charges against the city of Bologna, Italy. 

Boldly Going Where No Theater Group Has Gone Before…

Charles Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol” has been translated into many languages, and now, a Chicago theater company is presenting a version entirely in Klingon – the made-up language from “Star Trek”.  In this version, a miserly Klingon named SQuja (Klingon for Scrooge) is visited by three ghosts on the planet Kronos during the Feast of the Long Night.  They inspire him to become a “true warrior” and save the sickly “Tiny Tim”.  The play includes three battle scenes and English subtitles.

- At the end of the play, “Tiny Tim” says, “God bless us, everyone… Tim, out”.

- William Shatner in encouraging people to save money by buying their tickets on

- After the first act, you’re gonna wish there was a teleporter to get you the hell out of the theater.

That’ll Keep ‘Em Guessing!

Tuesday, Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano said the U.S. government is working “24/7, 364 days a year” to keep America safe.

- But just to throw terrorists off, she didn’t say which day of the year they weren’t working to keep America safe!

Today’s Almanac

On this day in 1882, Thomas Edison created the first string of Christmas lights. 

- Thus becoming the “Clark Griswald” of the 19th Century

- HISTORIC NOTE:  The string of lights is still up today after Edison told his wife, “If you think I’m taking that string down every year just to turn around and put it back up again next year, you’re crazy!”  


If you decide to make the strudel we hope you enjoy it!  (If you’ve already got your Christmas dinner planned… there’s always New Year’s Eve!) Have a great day and I’ll see you back here tomorrow!

- Dick