Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas weekend

Our big family gathering falls on these two days: Saturday and Sunday, culminating in a dinner and, of course, a present exchange. I'm planning to do a retro meal: most of the components are stolen from Christmas dinners I prepared way long ago.

The goal in those years had been to not fuss. There were so many meals to work on! So many other things that demanded my attention! Still, the dessert was important. I got in the habit of fashioning a yule log.

And so today, after Ed and I eat a light breakfast...

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... I set in on sculpting the yule log.

For me, the goal is to make it not excessively sweet. Too, I am doing it a day in advance and so I have to keep the orange flavored whipped cream stable.

Here's the log before it gets its chocolate ganache "bark:"

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And now I'm off to meet up the young families for brunch.

My girls!

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You cannot really tell in the above photos one obvious truth: both my daughters are pregnant.

There, perhaps it's more obvious now? (The same shirt is a total coincidence.)

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If all goes well, come spring, I will be a grandma to three: the count will increase to two girls and a boy!

Yes, these are the holidays, but there is always time to just play. With Play-doh!

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(With a holiday design motif...)

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Dinnertime. We go to Salvatore's for pizza...

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And now at Snowdrop's home... Advent calendar.

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And the day ends...

Well, after a few more Christmas stories. Books read out loud, recollections recounted from preserved childhood Christmas journals.

Oh, the importance of stories! Did you read this article today in the NYTimes?  Why Holiday Stories Matter -- I think about how my days now are filled with stories, ones I tell to my grandchild and many more that I listen to as she develops her own craft of storytelling. These stories, our stories -- they move us forward. They sort through the trivial and pick out all that matters, that rests in our collective memories.

Tomorrow, the Sunday of our holiday, Christmas Eve in all its magnificence will move us forward as well. And afterwards, there will be the stories, passed on, remembered.