First things first. Happy birthday, Chilmark Girl!
We took the tree down this afternoon. For me, that’s always meant that the holiday season is officially over. It was a nice season this year. I was more on top of things than I often am. The shopping and wrapping got done with time to spare. I was able to do my share of the baking without feeling rushed (this didn’t allow me to avoid a slightly overdone Sally Lunn bread, however).
Christmas was a lot of fun. We did Christmas Eve at Dad’s. The homemade Camembert and homemade Gouda made an appearance. The Camembert was too ripe (and very runny). The Gouda was still too hard and crumbly- though later I had it out much longer before serving it and it both sliced and tasted better. It would be wonderful if all I need to do is let it come closer to room temperature before serving it in order to get a better cheese.
Christmas dinner was at Chilmark Girl’s place. We had rack of lamb (not the most traditional, but when it’s that awesome, who cares). I provided the tangerine sorbet that was part of a recently revived tradition (from my grandmother) of starting the meal with fruit compote. My nephew got Rock Band II as a gift. We spent much of the afternoon playing. That’s my Dad on vocals doing Eye of the Tiger. So wrong on so many levels.
The fun continued after Christmas. Leon and I visited Will and Fritz in New Hampshire. It’s always great to see them. They are wonderful people and very gracious hosts. Who else would come out to greet us wearing red light-up reindeer noses? My niece arrived just before I returned to Chicago.
What will 2009 hold? I hope it will hold more of what 2008 did (at least if we don’t include the economy). There are already travel plans: I’ll be in Florida in about 4 weeks, doing my usual grand tour (the Keys, Naples and then up to Gainesville). I’m back in New England in June, and off for a jaunt to Malaysia in November. Expect to hear more about butterflies and tiger beetles. Happy 2009 to all.