Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day: family gathering

Well, we're not the only ones with relatives on the road today, traveling to spend time together over a meal. Or two. Or three. Half of America appears to be on one highway or another. We are lucky in Wisconsin: the day is calm, the roads are clear.

For Ed and myself, the farmette, though removed from the urban and suburban landscape, is nonetheless very close to my older girl's home, where our Christmas celebrations will take place.

We wake up without rush and without the need to attend to anything at all. Oh, I have last minute presents to wrap (those Gran Speciale parmiggiano cheeses I lugged home from Parma? They need to stay cool until the last minute). And I pack numerous shopping bags with foods and utensils needed for tonight's meal. (I've cooked at the homes of family members before -- it's always tricky: you never know what they have or do not have). But we take it easy.

And it's not until 10:30 that I finally drench the brioche in this week's farmette egg mixture and throw it on the griddle for our holiday breakfast of French toast. In France it would be called pain perdu -- "lost bread" -- often stale, often otherwise useless. They fry it, then sprinkle it with sugar and summer berries. We, like most Americans, love to dip it in maple syrup. (Actually, this egg soaked bread is popular in many countries. But I had never tasted it in Poland, where breakfast is never sweet. So to me, it feels quintessentially American.)

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Finally, just afternoon, we all gather at my daughter's house. Few words are needed to describe this most beautiful time.


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With mommy and aunt:

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Great boxes!

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With her grandpa:

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Loving each toy:

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With grandma:

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Aunt and uncle:

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Young parents:

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Looking at cookbooks:

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Resting on her dad's lap:

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An aunt's hug:

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Grandpa Ed shows up:

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A solo moment with a book:

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Yule log:

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Reading a childhood favorite  (Lucy and Tom):

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And to all a good night!