When it comes to Christmas, there are many associations people develop - good and bad. Family, food, fun. It's all there. Since I'm in Pang this year instead of in the warm pocket of Nova Scotia where I grew up, family is something that alters. Sure, you make your phone/skype calls, but who's going to share your turkey?
Although I know chocolate chip cookies aren't really holiday traditional fare, I found a fantastic recipe that makes your teeth rot just reading the ingredients. Sugar, sugar, sugar, chocolate, sugar.
So, once the house smelled all nice and cozy, it was time to start with the Christmas foods. My cranberry sauce is where it started. It ended up perfect for today's feast...
Now, there is one holiday tradition that I remember from the time I was a wee one. Every year, my mom would make some fantastic home-made gingerbread to put on the tree. Not like the puffy ones you buy in a store, but the kind that starts with a tablespoon of ginger and a tablespoon of ground cloves. Mix that with some sugar (yes, more of that), butter, flour...knead it, roll it, cut it, cook it, frost it, hang it. Yum.
Now, I know the frosting on those is pretty butchered, but I was not able to copy mom's delicate hand...I ended up cutting a hole that was just a bit too big on the end. Oops!
Sarah to lend a hand decorating the tree a bit more. There she is...Gryphon to her left, Scarlett to her right, and Sophie (my dog-sitting charge for the holidays) in front of her. Thanks for the help Newbie!
It may seem like a weird tradition - a lot of work - but it's something that is completes Christmas in my world. When I was growing up, our tree would generally go up a bit later than those that crammed the corners of our neighbors. In that same vein, ours was still proudly standing till January 5th while most people dumped a forest of icicle adorned trees before December 30th.
Now the question is 'why'...why would the Muise Tree stand in all its quirky glory until January 5th? Well, my birthday is on the 4th. My mom would always frost up a new batch of gingerbread to refill the tree before I had my party and, before everyone left, a cookie and a candy cane is the best addition to a treat bag.
You see? Home-made gingerbread cookies are very important to me.
As for the dinner itself, Sarah used her super-duper camera to take some good shots...I'll get them up as soon as I'm able - they should be really cool.
1. hot chocolate with eggnog
3. icing sugar
5. Christmas carols