Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas potpourri

So many wonderful fragrances and colors at Christmas time, starting with the wonderful evergreen fragrance that emanates from the Christmas tree. Every time you walk through the front door, the first smell you smell is the Christmas tree. This year there were several new ornaments that joined the ornament fold, and they were a welcome sight on the tree.

And then there are the Christmas flowers--amaryllises and poinsettias--so beautiful to look at as they grow and flower during December. This year our three amaryllises had three different colors, white, red, and white with red stripes.

My indoor orange tree produced over sixty small oranges this year; the tree 'casts' the oranges to the floor when they are ripe, quite funny to witness and to listen to when sitting in our living room, as you can hear them rolling along the floor before they hit a piece of furniture. These small fragrant oranges find their way into the smoothies we make each morning.

And as far as fragrances go, I have to mention the Christmas food--especially the smell of boneless pork ribs rolled in and roasted together with garlic, fennel seed, rosemary, sage and thyme that we ate for dinner on Christmas Day, served together with a potpourri of vegetables (eggplant, squash cherry tomatoes, and potatoes). The pork tasted as good as it smelled while roasting in the oven.

Also made duck with orange sauce for Christmas Eve, served together with asparagus, broccoli and orange pieces; it too was very good and very colorful.

Other dinners have included boiled cod one evening, and elk steak another evening, and we're not done yet--my husband will be making salted sheep ribs for New Year's Eve. We've eaten some good cakes and desserts as well--Italian panettone, homemade gingerbread cookies, and orange mousse, among others.

Always a special time of year--Christmas with its food, desserts, trees, ornaments, decorations and flowers. We prepare for it, we enjoy its coming, and we accept its passing, because it moves us into a new year with fresh expectations and challenges. The Christmas season is about honoring our individual traditions (in our home, both American and Norwegian), our family heritage, home and family, our faith, as well as about visits with friends, and having the time to enjoy and to truly appreciate them all.

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