To holiday or not to holiday...is that even really a question?


...it sadly is.

This year the holidays are more complex, more difficult, and yet in some ways sweeter than in years past. I'll admit that I'm finding certain things, like hitting the mall to buy gifts, extremely difficult in more than a financial sense. And thinking about our big Christmas Eve celebration without my dad is totally heartbreaking. So I'm trying to not imagine what the days will be like, and instead am focused on trying to stay in the moment, to enjoy family and friends and the camaraderie. It's working to varying degrees... if you've called and I've not called you back, or you've tried to make plans with me and I've hedged and hedged, please know that it's simply because I'm not terribly emotionally inconsistent, and not that I don't really really want to spend time with you. Better yet, just drop by...the house will be a mess, but I'll be happy to see you!

One of the great things that has happened in the last few days is that our neighbors have stopped in to say "happy holidays"... in the five years that we lived in our townhouse, we only had two families really befriend us. But here we've been invited over for eggnog, Boo has received a rawhide chewie the size of a diplodocus thighbone, and we've sampled some truly amazing tres leches cake. And folks that we've not formally met yet have pulled over as they've been driving by to introduce themselves and apologize for not stopping by...crazy. It's so nice.

Anyway, this year I've stayed away from many of the things I usually associate with the holidays. My family are gifters...buying stuff for each other usually gets out of hand. This year I'm making a large number of foodie things, rather than heading to the dreaded mall, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. I've made several kinds of cookies and breads, cranberry spiced vodka, hot buttered rum mix (if you like the life savers you'll LOVE this stuff!), and dog biscuits. So it's not like I've been slacking in the getting-ready-for-the-holiday department, but that I'm doing more of it from casa mia than casa di Macys.

And today is day two of the pierogi project! I made the filling yesterday, and hubby asked "So, I can't just take that big bowl of cheesy mashed potatoes and eat them now, while they're still warm?"

"No."

Full stop.

Do not mess with Polish tradition!

So today I'll be up to my elbows in homemade pasta, making little purses of cheesy mashed taters to boil, and then sautee in butter and onions on Christmas Eve. My brother is making meat pierogi...it's a HUGE departure for us, as we've not -well, legitimately- had meat on Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. So it's a new tradition, and one that I can't wait to taste!

So I'm getting ready to start mess-making, but I have one more cup of coffee, a crossword to linger over, and Crowded House performing at Austin City Limits on PBS. And then we'll get started! Care to join in?

My five:
  1. Crowded House. I've loved these guys for forever, and still find their music beautiful, relevant, and infinitely easy to listen to.
  2. Making messes. What could be more fun?
  3. Good surprises, and the frequency at which they've been occurring.
  4. Snuggly pets.
  5. Compassion.

Comments

mikebee said…
any chance you could post your pierogie recipe for us Pole-deficient folks out west? :D:D
ava said…
big hugs to you, friend! I'm struggling with the holiday blues too...for different reasons, but to similar effect.
I just made these bad boys, and it's helping:
http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/05/my-kingdom-for-a-glass-of-milk/
Rahree said…
ok, here 'tis:

Filling (save yourself the heartache and make it the day before...doing it all the same day is no fun):

mashed taters and cheese...i peel, dice & boil 4-5 large white potatoes in chicken broth, and when they're tender whip 'em with some buttermilk and add an illegal amount of cheddar cheese.

Dough:
2 c. flour
1/3 c. water
2 lg. eggs
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix together and roll out. I use a pint glass to cut circles, put a heaping teaspoon of the filling in the middle. Use a little water to moisten the edge and then pinch to seal. (Make sure they're seasled, otherwise it'll goop up everything!) Drop in boiling, salted water: they'll be done when they float to the surface.

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