Contented Christmas

December27

At Christmas time I try to be helpful and take the stress off my family by offereing up suggestions of things that they could give me at our gift exchange (still to come).  But the truth is, I was once given the most incredible gift of all and now I am very difficult to buy for.  I do not know if this gift was inheriterd from my Mom and Dad, or given to me as a reward for going through some really tough times in my life or for some supernatural reason that I will never understand.  The gift that I was given, is the gift of contentment.  I am so satisfied with my life, that I cannot think of another thing that could/would improve it. The only thing that occurred to me was that I would love a mechanical pencil with a good eraser to do my sudukoes in the morning.  I kid you not, I really had a hard time coming up with more than this.  Here are the reasons why:

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Cousin time

  • Our youngest has just announced that she has accepted the proposal of her long-time beau (referred to as the Frenchman in this space) so we have a wedding celebration to plan and look forward to.
  • We are absolutely thrilled to be first time grandparents.  We could not imagine loving anyone more than how much we love the “wee one”.  Every time she smiles, perches an eyebrow, or cries out with her husky voice, we are captivated all over again.
  • Our son has finished his formal post-secondary education and our daughters are still enrolled: one in honours and the other, her masters.  We are not only thrilled that our children value their education but are grateful that we have the where-with-all to support them financially in their pursuits.
  • There are some health issues in my extended family but my Mom who is in her late 80’s feels blessed to receive such good care in a sparkling clean, spacious and safe environment.  She was well enough to join us on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

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Four generations

After we open our gifts in the morning, we will sit down to a family brunch.  I will serve “Domestic Partner Saver” (the politically correct version of wife-saver), grilled sausages including venison garlic sausage that my brother-in-law provided, smoked gouda direct from Holland gifted by another brother-in-law, Land of Nod Cinnamon Buns, banana loaf that was given to us, a fresh fruit tray and a double crusted oatmeal apple crisp.

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First Canadian Christmas for the Aussie-he says he always wears shorts on Christmas!

I am glad that we have a couple of days between the feasting that we’ve done with both sides of the family, to have some time with our very own.  Last weekend we celebrated our first Christmas with D’s family and amidst the turkey and ham, I discovered a fabulous new salad that was contributed by one of my talented sister-in-laws.  It was so good, that I produced my own spin on it and served it on Christmas Eve with my extended family.

Beet & Feta Salad with Basamic Fig Vinegarette
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Fusion
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Includes sweet and salty tones which I love but also crunch from figs and nuts, all balanced by the pleasant acidity of the balsamic vinegar.
Ingredients
  • Cello box of mixed greens
  • ½ cello box of fresh spinach
  • 1 quart of homemade pickled beets (my mother-in-law's are pickled with lots of whole cloves), drained
  • 200 grams feta cheese (I used a "light" variety)
  • Sugared or smoked nuts (quantity to taste), such as toffee covered cashews
  • 1 bottle of PC Memories of Tuscany: Balsamic Vinegar & Fig Marinade & Sauce
  • ⅓ bottle balsamic dressing
Instructions
  1. Toss cleaned greens and spinach in a very large mixing bowl
  2. Add drained pickled beets (chop or slice into smaller pieces if desired)
  3. Run feta cheese through a food chopper or processor so that it is a fine crumb consistency, and add to bowl.
  4. Mix together the fig sauce with the balsamic dressing.
  5. Pour onto salad and toss.
  6. Garnish with candied or smoked nuts.

Kath’s quote:“Hallo! Whoop! How are you! Merry Christmas!” Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’

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Love-that is all.

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