Even though we love our children dearly, Dear Hubby and I have actually adapted quite nicely to empty nest syndrome. (Shhhh!) So, when our boringly quiet household suddenly grew to ten of us over the holidays, we couldn’t help but notice a few food-related changes as a result. Among our observations:
- The dishwasher runs constantly—who knows how many loads per day?
- There are 4 (yes, four) different kinds of milk in the refrigerator.
- Leftovers take over the wine fridge.
- The granddog knows where to hang out—under the dining room table—while Scout the Cat hides under the bed.
Family getting together over the holidays also brought plenty of fun times, as well as gastronomical pleasures. Here are a few of this year’s favorites:
Kid activity: the 6-year-old and 4-year-old cut out cookies and load sprinkles on gooey icing
Present: Scout’s catnip ball from Pins and Needles (xo @Diane Vallere)—you can see the video on my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sue-Star/546146592165545
Tradition: reading Christmas cards at the dinner table recalls dear friends and family
Appetizer: Cheese-Olive Balls (an oldie but goodie)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 ¼ cups flour
½ cup butter, melted
about 36 pimiento-stuffed olives
Work cheese and flour together until crumbly. Add butter and mix well with hands. Mold 1 teaspoon dough around each olive. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, chill at least 1 hour, bake at 400 degrees 15-20 minutes.
And, speaking of food, I contributed the recipe for “Procrastinator’s Bread” in this cookbook of recipes/essays by writers, recently released for the holidays:
Family always makes any holiday special for me. Now festivities are slowly winding down along with our numbers. Decorations are being dismantled and packed away. Schedules are returning to a normal routine of exercise, work, and reduced gluttony. I am left with a cozy fireplace, a cup of hot cocoa, and memories to warm my soul.
How about you? What makes your holidays special?