First and foremost, the latest chapter of MFoG is in the hands of my betafishie right now. Just in case anyone was wondering.
Since I have bee abnormally quiet these past few months, here's a nice little holiday recap. Our tree is pretty much on its last leg. Although it's only five years old, numerous tumbles, snags, leans, and punches have secured its place in the great big faux fir heap in the sky...or local recycling center. I hear they look the same.
Here's our tree, sans lights. I wish I could say the latter was due to a choice on my part but only half of the lights turn on anymore. Like I said, faux fir heap, here it comes.
On Christmas Eve I cooked the usual fare, except for the Arroz con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas) which my grandmother is in charge of every year. There's a reason for that:
Yes, it was as tasty as it looks. Actually, the whole dinner was delicious. I made my famous pernil and I had to beat people away from the oven with a stick. This time I left it in the oven for damn near seven hours. The result was a melt in your mouth garlic mecca.
Go big or go home, I say. My only complaint about the meal is that I didn't make enough pasteles (and I neglected to take a photograph of the goodness). No matter how many I make, it never seems like enough. My deep, dark secret is that I have a pair hidden in the back of freezer just waiting for a day where I need a pick-me-up. Here's what my plate looked like:
Out of all the presents given and got, my favourite was the shawl I crocheted for my grandmother.
I also gave myself a skein of wollmeise. Perhaps it's unorthodox to give yourself a present but I know what I wanted, I knew no one would get it for me, so I bit the bullet. At about $35 a skein, this is not a indulgence I plan to realize often...but my oh my, isn't it pretty?
The next day we headed over to my aunt's house where her husband whipped up the largest pot of sancocho I have seen...and I took advantage. Carbaholics Anyonymous be damned!
If you've never had sancocho, it is a seven meat and vegetable soup. I don't think our version had seven meats in it but I counted at least four, which is more than I usually add into mine.
Overall, the holidays were okay. They were as difficult as I expected them to be; between all the food and presents and laughter, there was an underlying melancholy I couldn't shake. It didn't feel like the holidays without papi. In two weeks I will have my first birthday without him; I expect the sadness will keep in step with me even as I struggle to move on.
But as long as we keep moving, right?
Happy New Year.