Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas: 2012

We're still learning how to celebrate Christmas together, and trying to set up our own little family traditions, so Christmas this year was more of a work in progress than a happy fun holiday season.

Not that I didn't have fun. Christmas morning with the hubby was pretty nice. We're just still trying to find that balance between "we know this is based on a pagan holiday and don't feel entirely comfortable celebrating it just because it's become tradition" and "I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!" (I am more the latter).

We both woke up a bit later than expected Christmas morning (Christmas Eve celebrations with his parents and siblings went on longer than expected because one of his brothers decided to do some unplanned deer hunting that was somehow legal even though it isn't deer season), and had to rush a bit more than I would have wanted.

I made the same delectable biscuits for breakfast that we had for Thanksgiving. I'm serious, these things are just the best ever. So light, fluffy, flaky, and full of flavor.... but anyway, topped a few of those with whats left of the homemade raspberry jam from last summer and the rest with melted butter and warm honey... Ooooohhhh.... they are GOOD. With a small cup of the coffee my sister sent us from Guatemala,  it was a perfect small and cozy Christmas breakfast.

Not technically a gift for him,
but he still liked it.
We had a few minutes to open gifts together , let the chickens out, and gather up this years gingerbread house and other food stuffs to bring before we had to get ready to leave for a family gathering.

I wasn't as surprised by the Britishness of Christmas this year, but more surprised at how my family's traditions have more in common with those of my German friend. Gingerbread houses and Christmas cookies: not such a big thing here. Where as my family would be chowing down on piles and piles of sugar, gingerbread, and spritz cookies, here, it's more about the puddings. And by puddings, it's more cake-like by American standards. So, British puddings. Which are GOOD. There's Christmas pudding (kind of like fruit cake, but with more spices and less like a brick), summer pudding (some kind of pastry thing filled with berries, and, well, that was it for puddings this year anyway. A pavlova also seems to company every single celebration of any kind here, too. All quite QUITE good, but I do miss my Aunt Christy's spritz cookies, and tearing into the gingerbread house together as a family.

My poor little house was mostly ignored this year, so I'm not entirely sure I'll continue the tradition. Well, maybe for our own little one (and do an uber tiny house!).

I went super simple this year, since I learned last year that the warmth and humidity in the air don't work too well with the frosting or melted sugar I use to glue the house together and then glue candy all over the house. So, instead, I used my totally awesome sandwich bag piping technique (read: I'm too cheap to buy real piping bags) and just did frosting designs all over it.

While not as epic as last years Ninjabread house (which I apparently never posted on and will now have to upload photos for comparison, and to puff up my little ego), I still liked this years, and thought it turned out quite well.

I still stuffed it full of Ninjabread men!
Rather than coat the whole thing with white frosting this year,
I opted for outlining tiles and then a light sprinkling of powdered sugar.
Not as cool looking, but classic and pretty I thought.
Also not as melty.
Last years house....
Normal front...
Log-splitting ninja out back
Darn frosting recipe I followed plus humidity and high
temperatures made for a drippy bendy house.