The Walk

Garlic Crostini

I like a low-key Christmas, which is (so far) exactly what I’ve had. I did a few errands today, but other than that haven’t done much. I cooked an omelette this morning, which was yummy. One of my errands was to one of my neighborhood bakeries to pick up a cake for Christmas dinner tomorrow, and then – inspiration lay right there in the day-olds basket. Two big French baguettes, $2. A mere 20 minutes later – including the 5 minute trip from bakery to home – I had some delicious, warm-from-the-oven garlic crostini. I nibbled a couple of them with some hummus (yum) and then forced myself to bag up the rest to take to my parents’ house in a little while. Why buy chips?

Anyway, my low-key Christmas Eve has allowed me some time for reflecting a bit on family traditions, particularly the ones involving food (of course). My mother, in a bit of an unexpected move, has decided to do a beef tenderloin herself this year, instead of our usual store-bought honey-baked ham. Most years, and I say this with excitement, our family’s Christmas dinner is a remix of Thanksgiving dinner, with a few tweaks (such as the turkey-for-ham swap).

But for many years, my family’s biggest meal of the Christmas holidays took place every Christmas Eve at a pancake house, about a mile or so away from our old house. I know it was a mile away because part of the tradition was to walk there and back for brunch. I don’t know how he did it, but my dad always got all of us, myself and my three siblings, to do it, including one year when it was actually snowing. The walk sucks on the way there, before you’ve eaten anything, but makes a lot of sense after you’ve stuffed yourself with blueberry, or banana, or buttermilk pancakes (and, if I may continue the alliteration … bacon).

I don’t live anywhere near that pancake house now, but when I walked the dog this morning, I took him an extra couple of blocks, just to get my annual Christmas Eve walk in. And now I’m off to tell my dad, proudly, that I did.

Enjoy all of your traditions, even if you have to modify them a bit. 🙂
Happy Christmas to all, and much love from mon petite cuisine to yours.


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