Chriiiiiiiistmaaaaaaaas!

Sheila hopes your Christmas was merry and bright.

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It started with a road trip to my family in VA (Lola stayed at my auntie’s in NC so as to prevent the stress of her sitting in a car for four hours. And also to prevent her from trying to murder Sheila, as she has attempted so many times).

I stopped in Richmond where my classmate/fellow recent graduate (!) Claire lives. Gotta do the Ted Cruz smile any time we’re together.

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My sister arrived in VA too, along with her boyf and their pets. Malindi does odd stuff like throwing avocado peels off the deck (her interpretation of environmentalism) but I gotta say she had the last laugh because this little squirrel loved it.

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Christmas Eve was at my aunt Dena and uncle Louie’s house. They recreated the annual chicken curry dinner my grandmother always made.

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Buttt honestly I was most excited about the Hannukah table.

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I could eat 10,000 latkes a day. And I always do both sour cream and applesauce because why should I have to choose?!

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There was also smoked salmon and shmear. Mmm mm so good.

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Mearl, Malindi’s cat greeted us when we got home to my mom’s last night. He eagerly looked for Santa’s sleigh.

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Christmas morning! The Hannukah love continued with my inspired gift from Malindi’s boyfriend.

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Here’s one of the gifts I got my sister 😀

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Fun story: I accidentally sent it to my aunt’s house! I ordered it off of Amazon and Amazon had Dena and Louie’s address as my most recent shipping address (because they were wonderful enough to foster my kittens and I’d been sending kitty litter/kitten food/etc. to them). So they got this tshirt in a box from Amazon with no context whatsoever! They thought it was for their granddaughter and “felt it was inappropriate”.

Which of course is false because ovaries are a beautiful thing to be celebrated at all ages.

Anyway, hilarity and joy and deliciousness continued at my aunt Kathy and uncle Tom’s house for Christmas Day brunch.

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Bountiful table as ever. Baked brie with figs, billions of other cheeses, biscuits, two kinds of bread-y, egg-y stratas

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This magnificent deli platter from the Italian store.

There was more, too, but I really tried to exercise some self control because (as you’ll see) as a child of divorce I always attend two major Christmas meals and it often results in me eating so much I feel like I’m going to die, and I really wanted to not feel that way this year.

So I ate these incredible stratas, and had some fancy meats. And some unpictured veggies and dip. But believe it or not that is actually quite restrained for me.

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Oh and I had a mimosa and a bite or two of this pumpkin cheesecake

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My mom brought these sugar cookies- Dorie Greenspan’s recipe- but it was only 1/4th of the abundant dough and I know I’d get to have it in the coming days.

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Then we did our usual gift exchange, which is followed, as usual, by violent and aggressive throwing of wrapping paper-based projectiles. Crazy relatives.

Honestly, the best treat of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was this delicious baby. He is the offspring of Dena and Louie’s nephew Keith and he is an A+ baby. High quality. You hold him and he’s like “Oh hey new best friend I don’t mind in the slighest being held by strangers! I’ll just continue to make adorable faces!”

me and baby

So that was Family Time Part 1.

Then it was off to see Jasper and Alice the scotties (and my aunt Jeanie and Uncle Tim, their humans) to celebrate Christmas with my dad’s side of the family.

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I made this salad, a recreation of one I had at a restaurant in NC. It contained:

  • arugula
  • goat cheese
  • craisins
  • blistered peanuts
  • roasted butternut squash
  • a honey-based dressing

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Delish! Though sadly slightly overdressed, but what can you do.

A highlight of the meal for me was this combo of oatcakes, smoked salmon, creme fraiche, and capers. YES.

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Also there was a goose! Quite lean from the active goose lifestyle.

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And ham, and roasties.

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My plate.
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As for dessert, my auntie made an English trifle just like my English grandmother used to make. Sponge cake and sherry and custard and jam and fruit and whipped cream and nuts. SO GOOD!

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Unpictured: I made gingerbread with lemon sauce as an additional dessert. It was good.

All in all it was a delicious, indulgent Christmas with the people I love.

Now, please enjoy this giraffe angel ornament.

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