Remember the bunny Sedi, the slayer killed awhile back? When we were out wandering for our walk today Emma found it and, before I could stop her, she ate it. Can someone, please, get that sight and sound out of my mind? PLEASE????
After I finished taking photos of my ornaments earlier this week I glanced up and, totally without planning, posing or arranging, this is what I saw.
Obviously the angels are giving gifts to the caganer.
What will forever remain a mystery is: “Why?”
In the spirit of the holidays, my mind has been meandering down memory lane; chatting with the Ghosts of Christmas Past.
Santa always came to our house on Christmas Eve when I was a little girl. None of this getting up at the crack of dawn to open presents for my practical mother! My father was assigned the task of getting the children out of the house for the 15 minutes or so necessary for Santa to deliver the gifts. The usual trick was to go and admire the Christmas lights in our little village.
We fell for this year after year because, of course, as everyone knows, if Santa ever catches a glimpse of a child on Christmas said child receives NO presents. The best tactic, therefore, was to leave the house so he could get about his business. My mother was
devious smart as well as practical.
One of my earliest clear memories of Christmas is The PRESENT.
The PRESENT wasn’t from Santa or even from my parents.
It was from my older brother and sister.
There is a tradition in my family, and probably every other family in the entire universe, that older siblings pick on younger siblings. Some would say tease, some torment; it’s only a matter of degree.
I was too young to know this at the time.
All I knew was that there was a big, almost as big as I was, present for me from my elder siblings.
And it was heavy. I could barely move it.
I was so excited. I didn’t know what they could have gotten for me but it had to be wonderful. I mean, they were bigger and older and everything, and they had done this for ME!
It truly had to be wonderful.
I admired that package every chance I had. I nudged it, and rocked it and tried to shake it. I sat by it, just basking in the wonder of it all.
I was soooo excited! I was even more excited about the PRESENT than what Santa would bring.
Finally, finally, after eons of waiting, the big moment arrived!
Pause for pertinent facts here: my mother’s ‘nutcracker’ was not a cute doll that one would dance around the Christmas tree with. It was a foot-long section of iron rail, you know, as in railroad. I have no idea where it came from but that is what she used: place nut on rail, smash with hammer. Worked like a charm.
Okay, back to small excited child opening large present under the Christmas tree.
It took me forever to get all of the ribbons off. Elder sister had done a fantastic job of wrapping!
Then there were miles and miles of tissue paper. Elder brother had done a fantastic job of protecting whatever treasure was in this box.
I excitedly ripped off the last bit of tissue and there it was: my mother’s nutcracker; an old piece of iron rail.
I was about 5 at the time.
I was devastated. I cried. I cried some more.
Then I began to plot revenge.
It had to be perfect.
It had to bring them to their knees.
It had to be the most perfect, the sweetest, nastiest, most awful revenge ever perpetrated on another being, human or otherwise, anywhere, anytime.
They had to suffer, and then suffer some more.
They had to bow down, no, crawl to me, and beg my forgiveness.
It’s been damn near 50 years now…. Anyone have any ideas? Of course, I’ll have to explain what my dastardly revenge is for as I’m sure they won’t remember. But when I finally think of something fitting it’s going to be GOOD! Boy are they going to regret it! I’ll show them!
I have, on 2 different occasions, discussed the Cabbage Commitment: the fact that when buying a cabbage and only feeding 1 or 2 or 3 people, one has to make serious plans to get it all used inside of 6 months. In those discussions I only addressed the Green cabbage.
Now, as the holidays are upon us I will address the Red cabbage.
In my humble opinion nothing complements roast goose, duck, or venison better then a big bowl of brilliant, slightly sweet-sour, red cabbage. Add to that the fact that it’s easy to make and can be done well in advance (better with age) and reheated; it becomes a perfect holiday food!
The list of health benefits of eating cabbage is so long I’m not even going to start, but you can read it yourself. Suffice it to say it’s good for the heart, the gastrointestinal tract, promotes women’s health and protects against cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Weekend Herb Blogging, founded over 2 years ago by the brilliant and far-seeing Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen is being hosted by the lovely and talented Simona of briciole. (I love adjectives!)
We managed 3 meals out of this head of cabbage, plus one more for the freezer (one can only eat so much and it freezes well).
1 medium head, red cabbage, 2 1/2 – 3lbs (1250 – 1500 gr)
1 apple – Golden Delicious or Granny Smith
3 – 5 slices bacon, 4oz (150gr)
1 large onion
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar – or cider
1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 cup apple juice
2 tbs brown sugar
Slice the bacon into thin strips. Sauté bacon over medium-high heat in a large saucepan – big enough to easily hold the cabbage. Chop the onion and add to the bacon. Shred the cabbage by cutting a slice off of the side of the head, lay the slice cut side down and cut into 4ths, then, cutting across, slice 1/8 inch thick. Do not use the core of the cabbage – you’ll recognize it when you see it. When bacon is brown and onion tender add everything but the apple. Stir well. Cover, reduce heat to low after about 5 minutes and simmer for 30 minutes. Peel and chop the apple and add to cabbage. Simmer another 15 – 20 minutes or until cabbage is very tender.
What to do with it all?
The first time we had it with a pork roast.
The second time with pasta:
12 oz (350gr) smoked sausages
2 – 3 cups leftover red cabbage
1 1/4 cup pasta – penne, rigatoni, fusilli
Cook pasta. While it cooks: heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausages and brown well. Add cabbage, reduce heat, cover and simmer until sausages are done and cabbage is hot. When done, remove sausages and slice into 1″ (2.5cm) pieces. When pasta is done drain and put into a big bowl. Add cabbage and sausage, toss to mix well and serve.
For the rest: how about served over buttered, boiled potatoes with a roasted chicken breast, or….
Be sure to visit briciole on Monday for the round-up of recipes from around the world.
Finally: Don’t forget to search your closet/pantry for skeletons. Remember, confession is good for the soul. It can, but doesn’t have to, be an actual recipe, or just the description of the, um, food or any food and holiday related debacle/story/mishap…. Really, any dirty little secret you feel like sharing! You have until Christmas to post – the round-up will be just before Dec. 31. The usual rules: post, link to me, send me an e-mail with permalink. Click for details!
Come on, tell! Share the pain…you’ll feel better! And so will we!