It’s warm inside but outside, it’s coooooold! And snowy!
It’s so cold and snowy that yesterday’s annual street hockey game was cancelled!
But Christmas wasn’t cancelled, and it’s warm inside…. We happily feasted as usual with friends and family.
And because one of our Christmas Eve guests is vegetarian, we also provided roasted red pepper pate that I made with goat’s cheese instead of cream cheese.
Then we moved to the table to have scalloped potatoes, broccoli, green beans, and ham – a fantastically beautiful bone-in ham from our Polish butcher – he only does them like this at Christmas. T slow roasted it with an apricot glaze. And for our vegetarian guest, T fried slices of halloumi.
There was extra apricot glaze (two kinds – one with ham juices, and one vegetarian). After admonishing T (in the afternoon as I was setting the table) to be VERY careful not to spill because I wanted to use the tablecloth for Christmas dinner too, I managed to throw most of the non-vegetarian apricot sauce on the table. V grabbed her spoon and started spooning it up to eat it, laughing and saying, “it’s too good to waste!”
After dessert and tea and more laughter, our guests stepped out into the snowy night to take their taxi home (it took about 20 minutes to come because of the snow), laughing at T, who was standing on the porch with flip-flops on his bare feet and me, wearing my winter coat, scarf and hat, both of us waving a reluctant goodbye.
We raced back inside to the warmth to tidy things for Santa and dinner the next day. Once again, it was the best (it’s always the best, isn’t it?): oven roasted parsnips, carrots, green beans, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes galore, and roasted chicken stuffed with Mum’s dressing. As far as we’re concerned, it’s the ONLY kind of dressing.
I even had an argument (friendly, of course) with a colleague on a drive to an out-of-town job just before Christmas one year long ago. We were talking about the dinners we were planning. I said that we would roast 2 chickens, stuffed with the best dressing in the world.
My friend said, “it can’t be the best. My mom’s dressing is the best.”
Here’s how the rest of the conversation went:
me: Does it have bread crumbs, onions, savoury and sage?
me: Does it have butter?
me: [playing the final trump card] Does it contain oatmeal and nothing else but the other things?
Amazed at discovering someone else whose family made the same dressing as we do, I conceded. His mom’s dressing IS the best.
This is the kind of dressing that was featured at all of the Thanksgivings and Christmases that I have ever celebrated. It is my Grandmother’s recipe, handed down to her from her mother (and doubtless handed down from the previous mother….). My mother always [made] this dressing, as do I. […] Contrary to erroneous popular belief of people who have not tried this, the dressing is not like porridge at all!
-me, recipes from OUR kitchen | Roast Chicken (or Turkey) with Oatmeal Dressing
There is still tons of ham left over for us to eat like kings again tonight. This time, we’re having some of the ham with cheese baked potatoes and garlicky Brussels sprouts. (We feasted on chicken and dressing sandwiches for lunch yesterday.)
But this year, even though it doesn’t really look like it, rationing has been imposed. There weren’t as many kinds of cookies (I’ll tell the truth – it’s because I was too lazy to make them). But clearly we’re not hurting.
However, many people are. They are cold. They are hungry.
Instead of giving and receiving lots of chatchkas, our family capped the prices on the physical gifts to each other and sent what we would have spent to various charities to feed and clothe those who are truly in need.
Feeding and Clothing Everyone
Even if we think we are just on the edge of having enough, if we can buy groceries, we can all still help to feed the hungry.
Our supermarket has a program that gives “points offers based on the things [we] like to buy. Collect and redeem points towards dollars off [our] grocery bill”. One of my brilliant friends told me about it. She builds her points up throughout the year. Then at Christmas, she uses the points to buy her groceries BUT makes note of the amount and sends an equivalent amount to her local foodbank for them to buy most needed items. What a great system!
There are many reputable aid agencies working to help feed the chronically hungry worldwide. Here are just a few of them to help you to help others. Please look in your community for others.
- Plan Canada
:: Gifts of Hope
:: Because I’m a Girl
- World Vision
:: Canada’s Most Meaningful Gifts: thriving fruit trees, tools for farming, or hearty seeds, farm animals, clean water, etc. etc.
- WFP United Nations World Food Program
:: Preventing Hunger
:: Purchase for Progress – connecting farmers to markets
:: School Meals
:: Food Assistance for Assets
- Agencies working within Canada
:: Daily Bread Foodbank
:: Second Harvest
:: Ontario Association of Food Banks
::Canadian Association of Food Banks
(If you have something to add or say about stopping world hunger, please remember to post your thoughts and ideas on your blog, facebook, at work, etc. etc.)
- The Season of Giving and Receiving
- Merry Boxing Day All!!
- Yay!! It’s Boxing Day!
- Do you hear what I hear?
- What are your plans for Boxing Day?
- leftovers are the best part of Christmas dinner
- Let the Feasting Begin
- Wordless: Giving and receiving…
- Merry Christmas!
- Merry Christmas to all!
- Happy Boxing Day!
- Christmas Eve dinner report