Christmas Eating

For a variety of reasons, there has been little holiday spirit in my house since Sunday. I'd rather not mention why for a few days as it's sad news.

For Xmas Eve, the TL kid and I made a great lasagna from scratch, which we drank first with gin and tonics, followed by a red Shiraz, as we watched Outsourced. He liked "Burn after Reading" much more than I did, but he also liked "Outsourced" (which I really liked.) It was midnight by the time we finished, and we called it a night. We also made a lot of bacon and egg sandwiches. And put out fancy cheeses and flatbread. For desert: Home baked chocolate chip cookies with Pistachio Gelato.

Now that it's late and time for bed, I'm going to mix up one of Hunter Thompson and Anita's favorite drinks, "the bif", a shot of Chivas Scotch filled partially with Bailey's Irish Cream. No sleeping pill needed after that.

Am I the only one glad this holiday is over?

< Christmas at the Movies | CIA Plays Candy Man to Afghans >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I'm sorry to read that all is not well Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 01:05:17 AM EST
    For what it's worth, I'll send good thoughts your way.

    Dinner with friends here, although our family isn't Christmasy by nature. I'm back to New York tomorrow, then to Florida after New Years.  

    Awww (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 01:14:03 AM EST
    The spirit sometimes has to take a break. It will reappear when the time is right. Sorry to hear something is amiss..

    Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jharp on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 01:59:04 AM EST
    I am very sorry to hear of the sadness.

    I am certain things will cheer up sooner than you expect.

    Peace to you. And to your family.

    "Christmas" here (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 04:27:27 AM EST
    consisted of favorite cheeses on crackers, shrimp cocktail, ginger beer, cake and ice cream and large amounts of patience.

    The real feast is this weekend when we gather for the traditional feast which includes no meat at all!  OTOH, it is a very peasant meal which requires only the things you would have on hand if there was no electricity.  Potatoes, cabbage, sauerkraut, flour, some milk, some eggs, dried mushrooms.  

    And poppy seeds in abundance, which I love.  If there is one thing in my life that would cause me to flunk a drug test, eating Christmas treats is one.  (It won't get you high, but it can cause tests to show positive.)

    It sounds like the perfect (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:15:14 AM EST
    celebration, both of them.

    And representing another side: (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by steviez314 on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 07:08:58 AM EST
    we had Latkes, with cinnamon flavored applesauce.

    For dessert, chocolate babka.

    Today, the treadmill!

    I love latkes!!! (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by befuddledvoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:28:42 AM EST
    We are Italian but mother was a kosher chef for years at the CJP. She used to make great latkes and koogle (sp) and kasha varniskas (also spelling).  Now these are things I CAN eat.  

    I'll never think of latkes again (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:34:30 AM EST
    without thinking of this video:  Can I interest you in Hannakah?  Enjoy!  A tad on the irreverent side, but sweet nonetheless.

    That is funny!!! (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by befuddledvoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:45:06 AM EST
    They are candles!!!! (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 11:08:53 AM EST
    I love it.

    I love the holiday but am glad it is over also (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by befuddledvoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 07:36:44 AM EST
    I was exhausted.  We are in the middle of home improvement project so lots of stuff being stored in outer hall.  Also, all the shovels and ice choppers and sand and salt and electric snow thrower from the 2 storms last week.  I spent literally hours relocating stuff and cleaning outer halls and outer stairs.  

    5 hours later I was too exhausted to eat.  Showered quickly as company was arriving.  Thankfully, they had already eaten at aunt's house so this was the last stop on their trip. It was nice to see everyone come in but also nice to see everyone leave.  

    I was just too tired to enjoy.  

    I love the season but my energy is no longer boundless.  

    was telling one of my adult kids (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 01:41:22 PM EST
    recently how tired I used to be getting everything ready for Christmas.  She sd., don't tell me that; it hurts my feelings!  

    mother did do. She had 4 kids and 3 in 4 years; sick husband most of the years; she worked in the post office all night for the holidays and still managed to do everything for Christmas, including all the cooking!!! I don't have children so now I do for her.  She deserves it.  However, I am really tired this time.  I think it was the two back to back snow storms the week before.  We live on a corner and the side of the house takes up half a city block with 2 car garage and one open parking spot.  I can't tell you how much work it is to clear the house of snow!

    Oh, no snow here. But (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 04:17:13 PM EST
    in charge of Christmas music for church for lots of years, plus two small kids, going to law school.  Makes me tired just thinking about it.  Simple now!

    Doesn't a vacation sound nice? (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by befuddledvoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 05:15:37 PM EST
    Boy, a couple of people keep inviting me down to Florida; of course, they would want to show me the sights and I would just want to vegetate.  

    Gulf coast of FL at this time of (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 06:41:34 PM EST
    year is really pleasant.  

    More on food (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by befuddledvoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 07:40:49 AM EST
    We do the 7-fish celebration for Christmas Eve.  That is traditional Italian.  I have a very bad shellfish allergy.  

    I have to clear out of the kitchen.  Note, I carry two epipens because my allergy is so bad.  Once went into shock in Florida over a crab cake.

    Christmas Day was nice roast beef and cheese raviolis.  Note, I have a lactose intolerance.  

    Needless to say, I did not eat much this holiday.  

    I'm glad it's over (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 08:52:08 AM EST
    My family is just so wild that it can be completely emotionally draining to be around some of them.

    We have a virtually genetic history of intra-family class and ethnic warfare, and it is with great sadness (and exasperation) that I see it continuing. It's been going on for generations, as far as I can tell, and it's just so incredibly stupid and exhausting.

    So, yes, I'm glad Christmas is over.

    I'm sorry for your sadness.

    Well, my family is a bit (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:06:41 AM EST
    different.  The one family quarrel we had vanished after a family patriarch died and we no longer had a reason to visit the troublemakers.

    Then one of my (twice married) aunts started a lesbian relationship.  I should really go visit her.  It's hardly shocking to my family, but I think she might think it is.


    ... complicated by death, unfortunately.

    But I've finally came to the decision that I don't want anything more to do with it, so I'm going to hang out with the un-exasperating (infuriating) family members, and the rest - oh well.

    We have multiple family quarrels and huffs going on, most of them just ... bizarre.


    I'm sorry your family goes through (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:26:25 AM EST
    the fits.  One branch of mine does too and I accept that it will never end.  I'm too far away from home now to know much of anything going on.

    The death (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:39:41 AM EST
    actually clarified things.  I've never understood the fights over dead people's Stuff.  Maybe something of great sentimental value, but not just Stuff.  Well, the family members I wasn't that fond of turned out to be the ones who went after the Stuff.  And yes, this even happened before the funeral.

    That wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back or anything.  It just confirmed who the Nice ones were and who the Naughty ones were.  


    Well, interestingly (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:47:27 AM EST
    Some things were initially clarified for me when my mother died. Someone tried to nab her wedding ring (which was a very unique but simple gold band, not worth any money, but just so incredibly unique that there isn't another like it anywhere, as far as I know), then wrote my father kind of demanding it at the behest of her mother.

    I became further alarmed when I learned that particular family member was told by her mother (again) to just go into my mother''s house and take what she wanted, as it was the only way she was going to get it.

    It's gone downhill since then.


    It's amazing how common this is (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:56:42 AM EST
    A death in the family causing or re-creating rifts....

    When my dad died, he had virtually nothing - a very small amount of money and his household possessions. Yet, I watched on the sidelines as some of my siblings used the occasion to tear each other up over.... nothing?

    So sad. I'll never forget it. I can't imagine what can happen when parents die and they actually have something for the kids to fight over.


    My parents had "stuff" (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:03:29 AM EST
    But little of it was really worth that much. It was mostly things like a pretty carved box my sister and I used to play with when we were kids or the old encyclopedias or the dresses my mother made when she was younger.

    You know - things with sentimental value. That's the point at which it became very strange. We didn't say anything but that entire part of the family did. Very, very strange.


    I'm hoping (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:44:25 AM EST
    things go well for us.  My mother has asked us what we would like of hers, and most of the value is sentimental.  The odds are good that we will divvy Stuff up according to who has the greatest need, greatest use or will be the best custodian.  My one brother does scrapbooking and a little photography, so he may end up with the bulk of the photos.

    When my grandmother passed (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:53:10 AM EST
    and the grandparents estate had to be divided, fights began.  Of all the people to get family counseling from it was the estate lawyer.  There were only two children.  My father lived with them though and we were both with my grandmother daily and I guess we were more prepared for her leaving.  My Aunt and her husband were really on the fight and the lawyer took a deep breath, looked at my Aunt with real empathy and told her that she had not dealt with her mother dying.  My Aunt burst into tears.  Everyone responded accordingly and then the rest of what needed to happen went off without a hitch.  I was there to help my father understand certain things because his hearing is impossible.  I watched the lawyer handle this situation though and was amazed.

    Wow. (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:57:28 AM EST

    As someone who has been working (5.00 / 5) (#56)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 12:47:03 PM EST
    in the area of estates and trusts for 30 years, I have seen instance after instance of death being the trigger event for family upheaval, much of it playing out not over hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, but over the trinkets amd memories of childhood, the  slights and insults and grudges that were lurking just below the surface; more often than not, maturity disappears and people revert to whatever age they were when they were most affected - somewhere between 5 and 15 is my best guess.

    It's heartbreaking that people have to resolve their long-standing issues by fighting over possessions as if ownership of them will prove, once and for all, that mom or dad loved them best.  But what it often symbolizes are the  issues that people never hashed out before it was too late.

    On the other hand, I have seen my share of people attempting to reach out and punish their loved ones from beyond the grave - if they could see how much pain that causes - with no way for it to be resolved - I wonder if they would do it differently if they could.  I had one estate that went to litigation over something like that, and when it all finally settled, there was hardly any estate left - and the surviving family was still ruined, never to be healed.

    I didn't really completely understand this phenomenon, this power that "things" have to make us all children again, until I started experiencing death in my own family.  When my dad died, "he" was in so many things - most of which continued to reside in my parents' house, but there were things my mom gave my brother and me, things that had meaning for us, that allowed us to have him more with us, just for being able to see a desk or a chair he'd made every day.

    Seeing what I've seen, the hours on the phone with people just eaten up with negative feelings - anger, sadness, hurt - puts a lot of things in perspective.  A lot.  Not the least of which is to work on the relationships, focus on the people, and not on what they have.

    I can only hope that over the years of dealing with people grieving over the deaths of their family members, I have occasionally helped them to focus on the things that hold them together as a family, and not on the things that can tear them apart - sometimes forever.


    ... has ended up being really pretty tragic. The side of the family that wanted things - or, i should say, the single person driving that side of the family's "wants" - wasn't even a blood relative, but an in-law. Worse, they lived out of state, and so none of them had the context of daily life and weekly visits that we had.

    The worst of all is that it ended up in the death of one of my brothers. We're just not particularly materialistic people, and we're not terribly aggressive. So the aggressive, more materialistic in-law was mowing us over, or trying to. But we just kept pulling back until the in-law went after ... me? Which resulted in the final rift. I was polite and even made conversation and pretended it never happened, but other things were going on, including the immediate downhill fall of my dad after my mother died.

    The in-law got right in the middle of that, too, and caused huge pain. My brother remained out of state (at her behest) while my dad was dying and, when he finally showed up, my father literally died like two minutes later.

    My brother died a year later. I have no doubt the stress of all of it just did him in. We're just not very good with extremely aggressive materialistic people. My dad's best friend, in fact, called us "gentle people," which we aren't entirely. But we are. And my brother found himself in a hornet's nest in his own home thousands of miles from the epicenter causing the conflict.

    And ultimately for the in-law, it was all about stuff and control.

    I've maintained relations with them since - at an arm's length, but very polite and making attempts to open the door. But there are things going on now which emanate from this and which are affecting another female relative of mine in a very negative way - and all as a result of a weird kind of class warfare.

    In any case, I'm just going to lay it to rest from here on out. I'm not even going to try anymore.


    Everyone has limits, and it sounds to me (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 02:41:52 PM EST
    like you have made herculean efforts to keep doing what you thought was right, even with the tragedy of two family deaths in which this person played a role.  Sometimes even the example of doing the right thing is not enough for others to follow and learn from.

    Often, those people are just toxic and there comes a time when you have to withdraw in order to stay emotionally - and even physically - healthy.  

    Because this is an in-law, obviously there is a blood relative involved, and having to withdraw from that person is no doubt very painful, and hard to understand.

    I'm sure that in the midst of so much pain and loss there is little consolation in knowing
    that whatever your in-law thinks he or she gains by control and material greed, it pales in comparison to the real value of love and compassion and connections that are formed at the heart that you clearly have; in time he or she will still be a bitter and empty person and you will have the only kind of wealth that really matters.


    Sometimes It Is The Reverse (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 01:29:26 PM EST
    One friend of mine had not talked to her brother and sister for twenty years, after the mother died they realized that the mother was, for her own reasons, manipulating hostility between them. Now they are like peas in a pod..

    My mother is giving away a lot of the (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 11:27:15 AM EST
    heirlooms, such as they are, now.  She's given a lot of the silver away..not sure about the china.
    She  just sent me two porcelain figurines that my grandmother bought in 1908.

    Smart moves paving the way to future peace (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 11:29:34 AM EST
    Yes, future peace would be a (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 11:33:15 AM EST
    great contrast with the past.

    Okay, smart moves paving the way (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 11:34:54 AM EST
    to less broken stuff :)

    My mother's thinking about money (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 11:37:05 AM EST
    and valuables has always been sensible.
    Dealing with people? Bizarre.

    Those family 'issues' are difficult and draining (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:51:37 AM EST
    Sorry to hear that yours has these complications.:(

    But remember - probably everyone can relate, as there are always those people in every family that are unhappy unless they are attacking, bickering, tearing down instead of supporting, hating instead of loving, etc. There are always a few whose negativity can spoil it for others if you let them. It seems to be part of the human condition! (It sometimes amuses me to think of blogs as a microcosm of all that human and family angst - every single blog I visit has its typical small percentage of visitors who thrive on stirring up trouble, harassing, attacking others, and just generally being rude. They are unhappy and they just can't relieve their unhappiness unless they are inflicting their unhappiness on others - just like a very small percentage of my extended family. But the vast majority of the commenters are great - just like most of my family.

    The trick is to try to focus on the good ones and ignore the others! Can be really hard, as I know from my own family. Sounds like you're doing just that, though.

    I think most find that the holidays tend to bring everything emotional into sharp relief - both good and bad. That's the only part of holidays I don't like. Can be painful for many people.

    Don't let it bring you down. It's over for another year! :)


    I think the thing that got me this year is I have two female relatives in another city, and one really needs some support right now. But the other wants little to do with her because of class and ethnic issues.

    It's also been a difficult thing for me to accept that I need to just disconnect myself from that part of the family, but I do.

    Doesn't help it's also little more than a replay of things that have gone on in my family for several generations. I'd like to see us get over it, but oh well. I can't force it.


    I know exactly what you're dealing with (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:02:24 AM EST
    Because I've always tried to play the peacemaker role among my sibs. They're often fighting and it bothers me a great deal, so I always try to fix it. But you can only do so much.

    Try to remember - nothing's necessarily permanent. Your disconnection from them may be short-lived, and just something you have to do for right now. You're right - you can't force it.


    I've watched the dynamic (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:47:11 AM EST
    play out.  The best thing to do is to not get drawn into someone else's fight.  The next best thing to do is redirect the conversations to more neutral topics.

    Some people just love to fight or rehash old grudges.


    Sound advice. (none / 0) (#42)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:56:19 AM EST
    Poster, I empathize, Our family dramas (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 02:50:00 PM EST
    that escalated again this Christmas are putting me at the point of disconnecting, too -- the only way that I survived this year in a very political family but with many impolite family members was to actually put some siblings on my spam filter!  

    We were raised dysfunctionally to the max, and some siblings miss the incredible dramas that always arose at the holidays -- so despite my attempts for years to give us the sort of Christmases we missed, some of them still are creating chaos.  This year, the daughter of a somewhat estranged sibling wanted to reconnect with the family for the sake of her own adorable three-year-old daughter, my great-niece.

    But three members of the family -- one sibling and two in-laws -- refused to speak with them.  So the email wars have been revived.  And so I just sent off some family members who stayed with us to another family event . . . and I sent the word that they ought to remember a few things.

    They ought to remember that I had to disconnect from some of the generation ahead of us before, because they loved to mix it up this way.

    And they ought to remember that, after the awful things said to and about me this year because of my preference for a different candidate than that of my siblings, I really didn't even want to host the huge family gathering again this year -- but did so at the request of my daughter.  

    And they ought to remember that she has her own troubles now, laid off just before Christmas, but still she worked so hard to make this gathering happen again.  Now she heads into a difficult week, her heartbreaking last week on the job.

    And they ought to remember . . . well, lots more going on in the lives of my children, my spouse, and me -- and I simply won't put up with the drama creators again.  With this disgraceful behavior of ignoring a three-year-old, I'm done.

    Let's disconnect together, Poster.  Wanna come over for cocoa and cookies next year? :-)


    I don't exactly know (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by marsalt on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 12:36:51 PM EST
       where to put this, but our family had a great reunion. Because of the weather in Seattle, icy roads, didn't know if everyone would get there. My sister and brother-in-law from Scotland, my other sister from Arizona, a nephew from Montana. My very pregnant niece, husband and 2-yr-old. Cousins, kids and boyfriends/ girlfriends....close to twenty people. Traditional ham and roast w/fixings, homemade pies and cookies. No movies. I did start a tradition, since we live far away. I got a bunch of the same blue star cutout xmas candles, and since we are not always together, I said wherever we are, we could all light our candles. I wish everyone's xmas had been as happy.      

    Very heartwarming! (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 12:44:58 PM EST
    The candles are a lovely idea.

    OD'd on sugar (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:07:39 AM EST
    Yes, I am glad it's over too, food wise.  Way too much sugar, which I can't resist, but makes me feel icky.

    My niece and I made lasagna Christmas Eve too, and when I'm done with the leftovers I am cutting way down on carbs for a few weeks. I don't go extreme Atkins, but even periodically cutting down carbs to the minimum I can stand helps a lot.  I just won't buy bread or pasta, and of course no dessert for a couple of months, or however long my will power lasts.

    I just couldn't take it anymore.

    I'm using Fit Day to track my calories and, so far, so good.

    I'm doing a quasi-Atkins, except every evening, I simply HAVE to have a wonderful ear of corn from the freezer. :D Or beets. Or a sweet potato. All of which are Atkins' no-nos (or is that o noes!).

    I managed to make it through Christmas without anything worse than some sweetened whipped cream in my coffee. I simply decided i had to approach it like I did quitting smoking, meaning that I have to accept there is no such thing as "Oh, a little won't hurt."

    We'll see ...


    I keep the corn and other veggies (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:26:08 AM EST
    even the ones Atkins does not approve of.  But no potatoes! I forgot to mention that in my list.

    I read a book called "Protein Power" a few years ago, written by husband and wife doctors,  that helped a lot. It is an alternative Atkins, where instead of 'no carbs, high protein' the rule is 'adequate carbs, adequate fiber, and adequate protein'. It works out that adequate carbs is a lot less carbs than our normal diet. They go into the science of it, which I really appreciated. Now I think of any potato or white bread or pasta as pretty much the equivalent of having a candy bar - it is easier to let it go that way.


    I'm suspicious about higher protein (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:08:31 AM EST
    diets, unless you are weight training.
    I have been cooking some Indian food recently.
    There's an international store near me with an Indian owner who loves to share recipes. There are lots of packets of pre-mixed spices for various dishes too. I discovered that daal is actually pretty easy to make, and I've had it almost every day for a week now. It's very filling. I wonder if the problem with potatoes and pasta is that they are not very filling---not for me, anyway.
    Good luck

    An actual low carb diet (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:32:33 AM EST
    would be an instant fail for me.  

    I usually let my cravings guide me.  This is easier to do when I eat at home.  I get all manner of cravings - greens, veg, fruit, red meat - from time to time.  When my body wants something specific, I can fill up on anything else but it keeps insisting "More." until I give it what it wants.


    ... is part of what got me into this mess in the first place. :D

    Unfortunately, my body has very exotic --- and high calorie --- tastes.

    Although I do know what you mean. Sometimes, my cravings are right on the money, but usually only when I'm severely B vitamin deprived (as happens every time I've tried to go vegetarian) or my blood sugar levels are in the gutter (as happens every afternoon - the saga of the lifelong hypoglycemic).


    Morning for me. (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:51:49 AM EST
    I have no idea where my blood sugar goes during the night, but it's low in the morning.  People who talk about getting up and exercising first thing in the morning blow my mind.  Wouldn't work for me.  

    I have to force myself (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:56:07 AM EST
    then once in the swing of it it comes up decent enough during exercise.  I too start with blood sugar deep in the pit :(  It must be inherited because my kids are the same way.  My adopted mom jumpes out of bed at the crack of dawn and does everything by noon and then hers crashed just as I'm warming up.

    Has anyone looked at "Fat" (none / 0) (#35)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:13:17 AM EST
    , a new cookbook? The subtitle is something like
    "the proper use of a misunderstood ingredient".
    There's a chapter on butter, on lard, etc.. heh
    Sounds wonderful to me.

    Sounds great to me. (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:38:06 AM EST
    I don't need everything drowned in butter or cheese or cream like a couple people I know.  But I do love some quality high fat foods like good cheese or chocolate and some meats.

    The one thing I loathe is when a restaurant takes a perfectly good whatever and then drowns it under a glob of cheese or cream sauce or butter.  Fat should enhance whatever it is paired with, not subdue it!


    But of course. The point is that you (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 11:23:07 AM EST
    don't have to drown things in butter to make them taste good.. but if you don't use any butter, you're not going to enjoy your meal.
    Salt is more problematic, IMO. It's really hard to make good tasting meals without quite a bit of salt, probably more than is healthy.

    I'm sorry this won't go down on the great (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:22:44 AM EST
    Christmas list for you Jeralyn.  Sending healing thoughts your way.  This was my best Christmas in the past five years.  We tried a tradition Christmas goose and it was surprisingly good.  We also had cheeses with crackers (my fave are sesame crackers) and cold shrimp with cocktail sauce as well as a fresh fruit platter.  I made my mother-in-laws rum cake.  I am sad that it is over but hey.....onward to New Year's Eve.

    Sorry you are having a hard time Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:28:59 AM EST
    We're with you in spirit here at my house too. Dog spirit is very strong and I'll tell them you need good vibes.

    Sorry for your sadness, Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:35:47 AM EST

    Feel better soon.

    I'm sorry to hear about your news, whatever (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:03:53 AM EST
    it is.
    I spent Christmas by myself. I watched a bunch of Dr Who episodes, and for lunch, cooked Indian--chicken biriani and daal.

    Great Food, Lousy Otherwise (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by MTSINAIMAMA on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 11:16:32 AM EST
    I'm the baker in the house, and I outdid myself this year. Home made rugelach, coconut blueberry cheesecake bars with an outrageous pecan crust, and other goodies.

    Christmas Eve was a hearty French Onion Soup and Reubens...Christmas Day was marinated roast beef, roasted potataoes and creamed spinach.

    I'm paying for it today.

    Spent the day with (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by Amiss on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 11:32:07 AM EST
    my daughter and grandchildren, all I really wanted really,  I wanted a nap after dinner tho!

    Jeralyn, peace to you and yours through this difficult time.

    Our holiday meals (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 11:37:41 AM EST
    Christmas Eve:  french onion soup, beef wellington, salad, hot veggies, chocolate mousse.

    Christmas Day:  ham, scalloped potatoes, peas and pearl onions, homemade rolls, corn pudding, apple pie, cheesecake.

    Oy. Lots of penance now.

    Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by sarany on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 04:17:00 PM EST
    Sorry to hear of family sadness.  The holidays are so emotionally loaded from our memories, and then of course, there are difficult things that happen in the present day as well. They do seem to collect around the end of the year. Or maybe our increased sensitivity just makes it seem that way.

    My family has some tough stuff too right now, and I'm feeling really burdened by Christmases past as well as being single and feeling, well, lonely...

    I wish you and all of us the best in the new year, enough strength to handle the hard stuff and ample reasons to celebrate.

    And thank you for this site and the effort you put into it.  It's a good place to come to.

    speaking of food (none / 0) (#37)
    by befuddledvoter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:39:33 AM EST
    Just in case someone is not sated, Dean & Deluca's is having a blowout sale right now.  Check it out.  I ordered some very fine cookies and two cakes (Italian) and the shipping and handling is only $8.50 for all three.  Most holiday things are 75% off!  

    There is Hope (none / 0) (#39)
    by mogal on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:45:58 AM EST

      God's favor is for a lifetime.     Weeping may linger for the night,     but joy comes with the morning. Psa 30:5 - 6 (NRSV)

    Or right in the middle of The Book of Lamentations:

      The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,    his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." Lam 3:22 - 24 (NRSV)

    Ah, yes. My favorite psalm (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 02:53:20 PM EST
    has this line that I have repeated to myself many a time:  

    At nightfall, weeping enters in.
    But with the dawn, rejoicing.

    Hope that helps Jeralyn and others here -- as I also am finding myself repeating mantras to make it through some holiday horrors.  


    Good wishes your way (none / 0) (#66)
    by Lora on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 04:24:53 PM EST
    Jeralyn, best wishes for you and yours.

    Christmas is a mixed bag for me.  Not over yet -- the parents have been unable to come yet, but are expected any day now.

    I Heard the Bells
    on Christmas Day Carol

    I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
    Their old familiar carols play,
    And wild and sweet the words repeat
    Of peace on earth, good will to men.

    I thought how, as the day had come,
    The belfries of all Christendom
    Had rolled along the unbroken song
    Of peace on earth, good will to men.

    And in despair I bowed my head:
    "There is no peace on earth," I said,
    "For hate is strong and mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good will to men."

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    "God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
    The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good will to men."

    Till, ringing singing, on its way,
    The world revolved from night to day,
    A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
    Of peace on earth, good will to men!