Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Christmas has come and gone, and now it’s only one more day until 2010! My Christmas was a really wonderful one, one of my favorites so far. Mom and Dad and Tighe arrived from Spokane late afternoon on Christmas Eve, and I made Brazilian black bean soup, fried plantains, and salad for our supper. We attended the Christmas Eve candlelight service at First Unitarian Church downtown, and it was beautiful, 1,000 people and wonderful music. We stayed up late, hung stockings from my mantelpiece, and woke up to a clear blue sky and a gorgeous, sunny Christmas Day. We drank tea, dug into our stockings, ate grapefruit and cinnamon bread per tradition, listened to Neville Marriner and the Choir and Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields (also per tradition), and opened our presents.

I got a number of wonderful, useful things. My family knows I like practical gifts- I received The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery, a set of glass Tupperware, tea and dried fruit, a really cool guitar strap from Tighe, and a gorgeous basketry-style trivet/centerpiece handmade in Senegal. Matt gave me an insulated thermos and a nifty potholder that fits around the handle of my cast iron skillet and lives there so I don’t have to reach for a potholder every time I need to lift the skillet. Mom and Dad also took me shopping on Boxing Day and got me a 12-quart stainless steel stockpot. We couldn’t find one with the blancher insert that I wanted, but we did find a stainless steel colander that fits in perfectly and will serve the purpose just fine. They also got me jar lifters/canning tongs, so all I need now is a small canning rack to keep the jars off the bottom of the kettle, and I’m set!

For Christmas dinner I roasted a local pastured chicken and made a green salad, and we roasted pans of veggies including potatoes and carrots from Mom & Dad’s. It was simple, but delicious. I had made a squash pie on Christmas Eve, but we didn’t eat that till late Christmas night because we were so stuffed! Matt joined us for Christmas dinner which was a nice addition, and we spent an hour or so with one or more of us on guitar, playing and singing Christmas carols and folk songs. Before dinner my family and I went walking for an hour or so through Washington Park, enjoying the clear blue skies, if not the freezing cold wind. On Christmas night we walked through Peacock Lane to see the light displays, but didn’t stay long as it was very cold and windy. I really couldn’t have asked for a nicer Christmas. We all went out for a fun Thai dinner on Boxing Day with relatives who were passing through, and spent the evening with my cousin and her partner, so we got in lots of good social time. Mom and Dad and Tighe headed back to Spokane after breakfast on Sunday, leaving behind lots of good memories. I just enjoyed myself so much and give so many thanks for wonderful family, good food, and beautiful weather. This was my first Christmas without snow, but I hardly noticed, thanks to the sunshine and smiles!

I hope you all had a blessed holiday and that your 2010 will be filled with fun, friends, family, and music!

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