Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yule: Eleventh Day

Boxing Day

We woke early to a blizzard warning in place for our area (that's us, in the 12"+ zone) for the next 36 hours. We weren't yet sure how this would effect our 10th Annual Boxing Day plans, but we knew that our late morning plans with the Grampies were solid. We decided to go ahead and make our planned menu on the logic that if we were to lose power in the storm, the food was made and easier to eat, and that we had the ingredients and if we cooked it now, there would be little need to cook or bake a lot for the rest of the week.

This year's menu:

mushroom and cheese quiche
apple strudel
Yule bread
maple glazed ham
clam chowder
vegetarian pot-pie with biscuit crust
spinach, grape and cheese salad
sugared grapes
veggie plate with homemade dipping cheese
Amy's cheese ball
Solstice cake
egg nog
Boxing Day shortbread
oh and,
cookies. Lots of cookies.

The Grampies (my Dad and Tim) arrived around 11AM, bringing their usual cheeriness and big hugs, and bags of homemade caramel popcorn and jam. While Alex and I finished preparing brunch (and baking up some shortbread, you know, extra cookies ) the Grampies spent time exploring the house and seeing what the kids had received for Yule. Soon we sat for brunch, and as usual, we raved over Alex's superb quiche. I noted too, how perfect my new mugs were on the table. MWAH, Alex.

brunch with the grampies
the Queen's recipe
bowl of clementines

Following brunch, with ants in our pants, we gathered around the tree and plopped gifts in each other's laps. As always, the Grampies are thoughtful and generous and always so excited about the things we give them, too. We all laughed so hard over the book for my Dad- Amy Sedaris' book Simple Times: Crafts For Poor People. This of course led us to a conversation about Amy and her brother David, as we all are fans. Which is what made giving Dad and Tim tickets to this so much fun. They can't wait and we were pleased that the gift was so well-received.

little snowy houses
Amy Sedaris' book, Simple Times: Crafts For Poor People

Moving ahead with our menu-making plans despite increasing worries about the impending blizzard to actual Boxing Day guest ratio, Alex and I returned to the kitchen for final preparations while the kids and Grampies set up the Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock game for the first time. Soon we had lots of ballad singing, drumming, guitar rocking awesomeness emanating from the living room. The best is when my Dad busted out his clear tenor on Muse's Uprising--a song he had never heard before. He even sang harmony. Basically, we had a blast. Lots of laughing and agreement that Guitar Hero is a great party game.

checking out this guitar hero thing
new favorite pastime
take it, grampie
guitar hero with grampies

As Grampies needed to travel to another family dinner ahead of the snow, we said good-bye. With no snow in sight yet, we laid out the table. As it got later, I left a few things off the menu, not sure anyone would be able to make it after all, with plans to cook more food as needed. Even so, there was plenty to eat, for us or for whoever should arrive.

setting the table
Boxing Day

Even with no snow in sight for us yet around 5PM, I could tell that people south of us would have trouble driving or making plans to stay at our home late, which meant our Boxing Day would be just us. Which really, was fine. It would have been great to see friends, of course, but with the whole of December being as busy as it was, and Yule preparations in general knocking us flat, the prospect of a spotless home with abundant food, already prepared was rather pleasant. It wasn't long and the snow and wind began in force and we could tell that it worked out for the best to have loved ones tucked safely in their own homes. It was a different sort of Boxing Day, certainly, but a happy one regardless.

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