13 hours ago
Friday, December 12, 2008
What a magnificant time of year it is. Winter has set in like the unfurling of a crystal flower. Snow is still exciting, not troublesome, and we have not yet reached the tired, bitter bite of February and March. The house smells like a frasier fir, and the world is lit up all around by fairy lights. My musical tastes switch almost entirely to classical music this time of year.
I happen to be the worst person in the world at sending Christmas Cards, as my acquaintances will readily admit, but here is my little homemade holiday card to you -- friends old and new. Happy holidays to you all!
For those who are eggnog fans, I might recommend Grandma House's eggnog recipe (link). Grandma House, you might ask? Well, my father was one of seven children, who all had children, and every year our massive clan would descend upon her house in the middle of the Maryland countryside. The house was originally built in 1747 (I remember my cousins discovering civil war era swords in one of the ancient barns), so had a memorable quality. Somehow, when we were all very little, she became known as "grandma house". She is long gone now, but I do miss her. Quite a lady.
I warn you, even though I have reduced the alcohol level from what *she* used to do, the recipe still can have a real kick. I might advise adding the alcohol in batches, then tasting, rather than all at once.
The other dish that I always think of this time of year, which also came from Grandma House, is oyster stew (link), which is really a soup. While we vary our Christmas dinners from year to year, this soup is always a mainstay by popular demand.
All the best to you, and may you have a safe and happy holiday season.