For me, the holiday season is about two things: food and family. Not necessarily in that order. It's also about snow and giving and carols and memories and traditions, but when I'm thinking Christmas, I'm thinking food and family and the various combinations thereof.
This year, I tried combining those things in a new way. My husband (aka "fishy" here on the blog) and I have owned our house for three, almost four years. For much of that time, being first-time homeowners, we've been grievously under-furnished; but we're getting there, and this year I got the... um, shall we say ambitious? idea to host a cookie bake with my mother's family, as many of them as could join.
When the day arrived, we had representatives of all the six familial contingents (my mother has four siblings, and then there's my grandmother) except the Gatineau group, who were sorely missed but it's understandable that two days' driving for a day of cookie baking is somewhat excessive. They'll be down for Christmas and will possibly be allowed to eat some of the day's spoils.
If there are any left. Just saying.
The spoils of the day included:
- checkerboard cookies from Grandma
- chocolate bark with dried fruit and candycanes from Mom (with Valery and Emily)
- mocha thumbprints and pink peppermint cookies from Aunt Kathy (with Ana)
- Russian tea cookies and shortbread coconut thumbprints from Aunt Sherry (with Emily)
- deadly rich chocolate orange shortbread bars from yours truly
Other random details:
- Valery declared our original Nintendo Entertainment System to be "beast" which I believe is a good thing, and therefore I agree with him. He rocked those 20+ year-old games.
- Our youngest baker was almost 8, and our oldest baker was almost 80.
- I have gained the most excellent pair of socks EVER from this endeavour, provided by my knittingest aunt, Kathy:
All in all, a successful food-and-family holiday combination. Ana announced at dinner (fishy's major contribution to the day aside from the cleaning marathon the day before: a double-batch of delicious chili) that we should do it again next year. I am inclined to agree. At the risk of getting a little sentimental and sappy, I feel so fortunate to have this family with whom to share my holiday food love. They're a big part of the reason why this season is so very precious to me.
To keep this somewhat book-related (this is a book blog, after all) I got my recipe from The Complete Christmas Book by the editors of Canadian Living Magazine. This is an excellent, practical and lovely book full of fun crafts, great decorating tips, and most of all very, very delicious-looking recipes. Mmm, food!
Head over to the Virtual Advent blog to find some other wonderful holiday-themed posts! And I am in wonderful company. Today's participants, other than me, are:
The Zen Leaf
Just One More Thing...