Thursday, December 27, 2007

Post-Boxing Day Report

My personal pendulum has been swinging wildly between manic and exhausted for the past few days. Sisterknits and I did last minute shopping on Sunday afternoon and some wrapping and pre-preparation of food items. Christmas Eve is our big family celebration since my marriage to a Dane 35 years ago. So that day is always pretty hectic. I was not expecting a large group for Christmas Eve dinner (roast pork with apples and prunes, gravy, mashed potatoes, green jello salad with pineapple and cottage cheese, peas and carrots, rolls, sparkling grape juice) and then mid-afternoon it got smaller. Brother #2 was to have joined OHP, Sisterknits and his twin sister for dinner, but sadly, he found his landlady dead on her sofa about 1 pm. She was of the age where this was not a tremendous surprise, but of course an unattended death has to be investigated. However, the bigger problem for him immediately was that she was a dogsitter by trade, with a clientele that has included the rich and famous who summer or live in Maine, and there were 6 dogs (besides his dog and her dog) in residence that he is now caring for until he can track down their owners.

So, we had probably the fewest people at our Christmas Eve table since 1973 when a snowstorm prevented us from joining the family in Minneapolis. Then we went to church -- we only missed the first two of the handbell choir's selections, but the church was already full enough that we had to sit in a very odd location -- I can't really even describe it but getting there was a trip! Beautiful music as usual and a good sermon on the Incarnation, but I still miss the experience of going to church and being surrounded by people I know. I recognized one or two of the ushers but no one else in our vicinity.

We returned to prepare for the arrival of the rest of the family (they are vegetarians so we don't inflict our roast pork on them). This year we did something different -- we saved our ris a l'amande until they arrived so the suspense over who got the nut would be greater. I had made the "old school" version (minus gelatin -- see earlier post for recipes) so I wouldn't have to search for veg. gelatin, and it was good though different. Brother #1 got the nut, and a pen in the shape of a moose was the prize. Then we danced around the tree and sang carols and "Nu har vi Jul igen" and then opened presents. Cookies made by my niece, Danish kringle from Racine, WI provided by Temple Truck Woman, and apricot balls were consumed. I think a good time was had by all.

In the morning there were stockings. A sad accident befell my stocking, a beautiful pale green cable-knit one that Cordeliaknits made for me last year. (It is not a permanent injury.) Santa #1, the less-experienced Santa, had put a jar of jelly in the toe, before Santa #2 (yours truly) had a chance to put the tangerine in. When Santa #2 began her work, nearly all the stockings overbalanced and crashed to the hearth along with their (iron) stocking holders. No problem except for mine. I didn't notice at first and hung it on the flue knob, putting the others' stockings on chairs. While I was waiting for Sisterknits to get up, I noticed Rusty licking the hearth tiles. Uh-oh! Sisterknits and OHP cleaned up the mess and we expect the stocking to make a full recovery. After stockings we opened the rest of our gifts. The original plan had involved aebleskiver and the construction of a buche de noel for SK's birthday. But she went back to sleep and awoke too late for all that! We heated leftovers and had supper, and then two of her friends came up from Portland and we played 25 Words or Less. We made the Buche de Noel yesterday, and we'll have aebleskiver today. When one is entertaining a 20-something who has two jobs and a full-time college schedule, one needs to factor in time for extra sleep.

7 comments:

Cathy said...

what is ris a l'amande?

Auntie Knickers said...

In the previous post "Friday Five" there are two recipes. Briefly, it is a rice pudding folded into a large quantity of whipped cream, slightly almond-flavored, and with a blanched almond hidden in it, the finder of which gets a prize. (Similar to an Epiphany custom with a cake that some cultures do, I think.)

mompriest said...

I am introducing you to the Revgals blog tomorrow, Mon. 12/31. Welcome!

Jan said...

Welcome to RevGals! How nice that you returned to Maine. I'm an exile from WA State and sometimes wonder if I'll ever return to live there. I still own my parents' house there, but have rented it out.

Lorna said...

we celebrate on Christmas Eve too here in Finland and eat (cold) roast ham. it's delicious. (not for vegetarians of course)

welcome to rev gals

glad the stocking made a recovery :)

Betsy Whaley said...

aebleskiver? I'm intrigued. Welcome to Revgals and Happy New Year.

Songbird said...

Hope you had a good New Year's Eve!