Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday This and That.

For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas.  Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home. 

 W.J. Ronald Tucker

Wow, I can't believe it is already the Monday before Christmas.  Two days to go.  Am I ready?  No, but I will be.  The gifts are wrapped and ready to go under the tree...once I find my tree skirt...and I had thought I was so organized last year when I put things away.  There aren't as many gifts as in Christmas past, and that is okay because Christmas is not really about how many gifts one gives or receives. It is the season of love, and many of us forget that there are various ways to show love that do not necessarily mean spending cash.  Time is one of them. There is nothing better than spending quality time with family.

Over the weekend I thought long and hard about how it was for me when I was growing up, how my parents treated me... especially how they were never able to find time for me...and tried to make up for it by buying my love...especially at holiday time.   Christmas and birthdays were especially full of gifts. The only thing lacking was the gift I needed the and the feeling that I was wanted. 

This Winter Solstice was an especially quiet one for me. With the temperature way up, it felt more like Spring than the first day of Winter.  No traditional Solstice dinner either.  We had pork chops with rice and beans, candied carrots, and homemade applesauce.  I'd planned on a walk in the evening, but by the time I was finished with my Sofrito, my back hurt too badly so I just lit a few candles and spent some time in quiet contemplation. I just like to close my eyes and allow my mind to wander over the images of my ancestors  to capture a feeling of what the Solstice was like for them.

For those who don't know,  Sofrito  is a sauce used as a base for cooking.  I make mine with... 

red, green, orange, and yellow peppers, 
garlic (lots of it), 
one red onion, 
one large sweet white onion,
 Goya Sazon with Coriander and Annatto

...Some people also add Cilantro, but I like to add that separately as it has quite a distinct flavor, I like a variety in flavor when I cook.  I take everything above and chop, then I put it in the blender.  Afterwards, I put it in containers, keep one out, and freeze the rest until needed.  This saves me from my daily chopping of onion and pepper.

As a family, we celebrate on Christmas Eve. Nothing elaborate.  For hubby I make a traditional shrimp dish and for me and the boys...buffalo wings.  Then, I usually have some homemade potato salad (trying a new recipe this year), cold cuts, pickles, Italian peppers, and choices of rolls or bread. Of course, all evening we munch on little appetizers...cheese, crackers, pepperoni, chips and dip, etc.  Then, afterwards there is candy, cookies, and a traditional Yule Log cake at midnight. 

Christmas day it is just me and hubby for our traditional Dominican Christmas feast...pernil, gondulas and rice, okra for him, and for me, probably some fresh brocolli.  This year I am thinking of doing something different.  I am hoping to attend Church on Christmas morn. 

Well, it's time to get a move on.  Wishing you a great beginning to the week.

 As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.  

Eric Sevareid


  1. A very merry Christmas to you and yours, Mary. Your plans sound wonderful!!

  2. This sounds like a beautiful celebration to me, Mary! Enjoy the love, togetherness and delicious food. Love and hugs from across the miles, and Merry Christmas to you!

  3. Sounds like you have a wonderful time ahead. The food sounds so delicious !!
    Have a great time.
    Seasons Greetings !!

  4. Sounds like you're really going to eat well over the next few days!

  5. Good morning Mary......I'm gong to try your sauce. It sounds divine. Have a very Merry Christmas sweet friend.



  6. Lazy night doing absolutely nothing.
    Will be digging into a FROZEN DQ sundae as soon as it softens up some. :0)
    Will enjoy Take Out Chinese food tomorrow.
    This Christmas will be spent like no other.
    I am happy in my new life. Life is good!
    Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2014.
    Merry Christmas my friend,
    (((hugs)))Pat and Ed