Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays

Presents, coffee, and absolutely 
no reason to get out of pajamas
For me the holiday season is all about spending time with family.  Unfortunately our current life decisions have made it financially unreasonable to travel and see family, and we have to settle for being there in spirit and knowing that they are in our thoughts and in our hearts.  Thankfully some of the boaters in our marina reached out to those of us staying here for the holidays, and we got the chance to make some new friends and socialize a bit.
Nicole got a surprise knock on the hull Friday, inviting us to go wassailing on Saturday evening.  If you are not sure what that means, don't worry, we had to look it up too.

wassailingpresent participle of was·sail (Verb)

  1. Drink plentiful amounts of alcohol and enjoy oneself with others in a noisy, lively way.
  2. Go from house to house at Christmas singing carols: "here we go a-wassailing".

Turns out our night consisted of a bit of both, although the singing was limited to one person and seemed a bit halfhearted.  With five boats involved, we moved around the docks from boat to boat, socializing and sampling a variety of drinks and foodstuffs.  The first boat, and the organizers of the night, went one step further serving wassail as their shared drink.

Definition of WASSAIL: a hot drink that is made with wine, beer, or cider, spices, sugar, and usually baked apples and is traditionally served in a large bowl especially at Christmastime

There was also a generous sampling of homemade eggnog, mincemeat pie, and a variety of other treats as we went from boat to boat.  Nicole and I decided to offer a mix of traditional holiday foods, so out came the deviled eggs and shrimp dip, topped off with my mom's homemade nut-goodie bars and a bottle of merlot from our wine stash.  Traditional Christmas eve dinner in my family usually consisted of an overwhelming variety of appetizer favorites so we already had a lot of options on hand and just had to decide what to share, and luckily we received several care packages from mom in MN to supplement what we prepared.

Traditional holiday food,
sugar cookies and meat pie
Xmas morning for us centers around Nicoles' French-Canadian tradition of tourtiere (pork pie), usually served with pickles, beets and black olives.  This is another of many examples of strange sounding holiday food that are worth the risk to try.  After breakfast we opened the gifts my mom sent in her care packages, mittens and slippers for Nicole, mittens and a shirt for me, and a book to share.  Our cat Hope was the big winner here, being as close as we get to a kid, with my mom sending cat treats and catnip mice, and us getting her a new scratch box complete with play toys and catnip.
Hope trying to figure out 
how to unwrap her present

A bit of lounging and some quality time in front of the TV got us through a short lull and on to the next round of eating.  Late afternoon dinner consisted of baked ham, rolls, mashed potatoes, yam, green bean casserole, and a french silk pie for desert.  The motto of "anything worth doing is worth doing to excess" really came into play here.  After dinner we dove into another Filipek tradition and started in on the puzzle Nicole bought.  Three deer in a fall woods scene means 1000 puzzle pieces in various shades of brown, so we may be at this well into next week.  More lounging, more TV, and the very slow construct of a puzzle rounded out of evening.

Thankfully I have Monday off work so we will have a chance to make a further dent in the huge amount of leftover food and continue the slow, steady progress on the puzzle.

An exhausted kitty after a long day
 playing with her new scratchy box

Wishing everyone a happy holiday season from the crew of S/V Baraka.

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