Friday, December 22, 2006

Festive Foods

How delightful - Friday Five on Festive Foods. Seems very appropriate as most of the gifts under my tree so far are edible - cookies and candies and petit fours and cheeses and TWO hams . . .

1. Favorite cookie/candy/baked good without which, it's just not Christmas.
Mincemeat pie - For as long as I can remember, my family had mince pie for breakfast on Christmas morning. When I introduced The Husband to this tradition he was delighted!! It's his favorite holiday baked thing too.

2. Do you do a fancy dinner on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, both, or neither? (Optional: with whom will you gather around the table this year?)
Actually, neither. It's just the two of us and our families are scattered very far away. So our tradition on Christmas Day is to feed the homeless. We were thrilled when we came to this church to learn that the congregation prepares dinner plus a sack lunch for the next day at the Cold Weather Shelter nearby every Christmas!

3. Evaluate one or more of the holiday beverage trifecta: hot chocolate, wassail, egg nog.
I LOVE hot chocolate! Especially with those little marshmallows or whippted cream on it.
The Husband is an Egg Nog Lover and thinks it should be available all year - he'd drink it by the gallon if we could afford it! He even puts it in his coffee. I haven't caught him putting it on cereal yet. (Note: we drink the store bought kind straight from the bottle - no alcohol added)

4. Candy canes: do you like all the new-fangled flavors or are you a peppermint purist?
I keep trying the other flavors, but I really like the peppermint best

5. Have you ever actually had figgy pudding? And is it really so good that people will refuse to leave until they are served it?
Is figgy pudding like plum pudding? We used to have brandy-laced flaming plum pudding with hard sauce at one aunt's house when I was growing up. I suppose people might insist on staying for it if there was enough brandy. :-)

About Fruitcake - the original object of "re-gifting" One was passed around my family for about 6 years until the original recipient finally got it back and broke the chain. :-)

And one other "without which it is not Christmas" food - Tangerines! My mother used to put a tangerine in the toe of our Christmas Stockings and I keep up the tradition. To this day the smell of a tangerine makes me think of Christmas.

Have a very Merry Christmas of eating and cooking and May God Bless Us Every One!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Advent Friday Five

Here are five questions about Advent for this first of December:
1) Do you observe Advent in your church?
Yes A different couple or family group comes forward at the beginning of each Sunday in Advent to read a meditation on the Candle of the Day, light the Advent candle(s), and sing the appropriate verse to "One Candle Is Lit."

And we sing Advent hymns (much to the dismay of the congregation who really think we should be singing Christmas Carols beginning on Thanksgiving!)

2) How about at home?
Growing up we always had an Advent calendar but I haven't done that in years.

3) Do you have a favorite Advent text or hymn?
O Come O Come Emmanuel

4) Why is one of the candles in the Advent wreath pink? (You may tell the truth, but I'll like your answer better if it's funny.)
That's one of those "how did this tradition begin" questions, isn't it? I think it's because the store only had 3 purple candles one year so the worship committee had to buy a pink one. Ever since then it has traditional to use 3 purple candles and one pink one.

Last year my worship committee couldn't find blue, purple or pink and came back with 4 green pillar candles for our home-made advent wreath! Acckk!

5) What's the funniest/kitschiest Advent calendar you've ever seen?
I saw a Charley Brown one once - I think it was the same year "The Gospel According to Peanuts" was published. :-)