Monday, December 25, 2006


Merry Christmas everyone! We had a great Christmas celebration today. I hope you did too.

My immediate family woke at about 9:30 and exchanged gifts, then prepared for the arrival of our extended family members. We lacked a few family members (Heather, Nathan and Elisabeth, you were missed) but had a good time nonetheless.

Since mom was in her car accident a little over a week ago, and is still sore, we decided we would try to make the day as simple as possible and just enjoy each others' company as much as we could. We had arranged to have ingredients for sandwiches and forgo the usual complicated fare, but I just couldn't do without my great-grandmother's fantastic Brunswick Stew (pictured above).

Several years ago my mother began a tradition of making this wonderful dish at Christmastime. It's always been one of my favorite recipes, so I couldn't just let it go. Instead I volunteered to make the complicated stew and had mom supervise me.

I was so happy that it turned out well. It tasted just like I remembered it. I did have a few good laughs from the sensation of squishing diced tomatoes with my hands, a necessary chore for the stew to turn out right. I also couldn't stop laughing at the sheer amount of fat that separated out of the chicken stock. The preparation of the stew took a few days so we had to refrigerate the stock overnight one night. When I looked in the pot the next morning, the layer of cooled, gelatinous, yellow fat was at least a centimeter think on top of the stock. Now I understand how arteries get clogged! Fortunately I was instructed to skim the fat off and throw it away.

My grandfather told me my great-grandmother would be proud. Deep down that compliment meant a lot.

Thank God for the abundance of love and family in my life! Thank God that he sent his son to Earth so many years ago to be our wonderful councilor and savior. Merry Christmas!

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