The holidays were wonderfully relaxing. I had an entire week at home in Vermont with just my parents and sister. As much as I love big family reunions, there are very few times in the year when just the four of us can get together and enjoy each other's company. This year I savoured the opportunity to catch up with everyone and watch my mom cook over hors d'oeuvres and cocktails with my dad and sister.
Now that I'm back home in Montreal, I realize how much I really enjoyed not just the holiday but all the preparation leading up to Christmas. From baking with friends to decorating 2 trees (and cutting down our own in my parent's backyard Christmas Eve), the entire season was such a pleasure this year.
Now that I actually own a real dining table, I put it and my new kitchen to the test with a holiday baking day with a few friends. On the menu - over 80 mini pies, sugar cookies, brioches, and turnip and apple soup. We started the marathon baking day with a brunch and then got down to business.
There are only a few holiday traditions we adhere to every year. They include hors d'oeuvres and cocktail hour (hours, let's be real) every night, getting and decorating the tree on Christmas Eve (gives the kiddies something to do while waiting for Santa), waiting until daylight to wake my parents on Christmas Day (yes my sister still gets that excited about presents), a basket of figs from my gramps, oranges and nuts in the toe of all stockings, and a warm Christmas day in the kitchen with the wood stove keeping everyone toasty while dinner cooks.