I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. My Christmas went by entirely too fast and for that matter all of the holidays did. It was spent with family, friends and a ton of eating. For me the anticipation of something is a lot more fun than the actual day. The actual day I worry if everything will go well. With everything I mean will everyone get along, will the desserts I bring turn out well. But everything almost always does turn out well. The tradition of everyone going to my parents for Christmas Eve and to my mother in laws Christmas day was continued. With everyone for Christmas Eve I mean, Niel, me, my parents (of course), my mother in law and my brother. My parents are pretty old world people. Very Armenian. They enjoy having people over, even if it is not a blood relative. Because once you marry into a family, whomever you may you are considered and treated like family. Well more royalty when it comes to get togethers. Some people might find this weird but whatever their loss. We are lucky enough to all live close by so why not spend the holidays all together. A few get togethers during the year will not kill people. It may not be important to some but it is to me. My parents decorated the house very nicely. I thought my mom and brother were the talented ones but I was very impressed with the miniature Christmas tree my dad designed with left over pine. I hope to be able to be as good as they are with cooking and crafts. My mother made a spread that could feed an army. My brother came over to help since his lovely girlfriend Christine went home to be with her family for the holidays. It was nice to especially see my brother who has crazy hours. My mom served smoked mackerel, two different types of potato salad(one of the potato salads usually has chicken in it, but out of respect for my mom in law who is Catholic, my mother omitted the chicken), fried mackerel, blue cabbage salad, a green bean, spinach and mushroom frittata, cold rice dolma (stuffed grape leaves), spinach lasagna, and pomegranate and walnut and beet salad. Everything was awesome as usual. We sat around ate and talked. For dessert my mom made baklava, Anoushabour and also served a variety of chocolates and nuts. Niel and I brought an apple cake we made. After dinner Niel and I went to midnight mass with his mom. It was the first time I was able to be remotely awake to be at the services. It was a standing room event and was conducted in three languages, English, Polish and Spanish. It was very nice. Although I am not a very religious person I do enjoy the spirit of the holiday which would be nice if it could be kept up all year long. People might have different beliefs but there is no point in shunning them just because their beliefs are not the same. It doesn't make a person any better.
Christmas day we saw A Christmas Story on TV. How can I go a Christmas without watching that hilarious movie? "Daddy's gonna kill Ralphie!" We then went to the movies and saw The Life Aquatic by Wes Anderson. Who used some of the same actors he has in his previous films. As usual it was a trippy wonderful ride with this movie having a bit of a twist in the ending. Christmas dinner at my mother in laws was another tasty meal. Niel and me, my parents, brother, my brother in law and mother in law all feasted on roast pork, sweet potatoes, rice and beans, salad, pastales and coconut and cornmeal pudding, apple pie and coconut custard pie. My mom brought over a savory cheese pastry and baklava she made. I had made tres leches but it was not done yet. But we did eat the home made whipped cream that I brought with it with the pies. Niel, me and his mom ate the tres leches the next day after coming back from a breakfast to see Marc and his parents with Kelvin, Mike, and a friend of Marc's who also came. Now we have some lovely left overs to enjoy for a bit. Here are some pics of the weekend.
I am very sorry to have heard about the earthquake and tsunami that hit South Asia and South East Asia over the weekend. Thousands of lives have been lost and forever changed. I hope help gets to the survivors quickly.