HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Samuel added 4 leaves to Grandma’s old oak table. It has been a long time since needing to seat 12 human beings. My hands lovingly rubbed in furniture wax and the golden wood shone with a happy glow as memories churned lovingly.

Our sons were raised with this table, all dinners and homework done on it. Remembering all my childhood Christmas’s with Grandma, Aunt Sarah, and the cousin’s made me smile as my tasks continued.

The punch bowl is out, with a cider ice ring full of cinnamon sticks frozen inside it waiting patiently in the freezer. Orange juice, pineapple juice and sparkling mango orange water will be added to give it zip and tame down the sugars. Punch is a big hit at our house on holidays. The golden yellow-orange will be seasonal, and a red one for Christmas.

Appetizers are simple, cheese, crackers, tortilla chips, bean dip, home-made pepperoni for the meat eaters, guacamole, and the holiday usuals, pickles, and olives both black and green. I always throw in raw carrots and celery but seem to be only person to eat them.

The pies are to come out of the freezer, vegan pumpkin pie, and vegan gluten free apple crisp, all home-made earlier so I can play with the little ones, not cook. Also dairy free ice cream with chocolate syrup for the kids and whip cream- vegan and dairy. Whew!

Yup, vegan, Cory’s family is all vegan and his wife is also very intolerant of gluten. So separate crackers for her, and my friend’s apple crisp recipe was easily converted to gluten free as it is a crumble crust. My attempts at a roll out crust wasn’t my best effort last time around, but this worked great. Two different gravies, and three separate stuffings are also on the menu!

The anticipation of the big day ramps up with Cory arriving tomorrow night, and Shane’s family to join us the day of.  Shane will bring gobs of vegan, gluten free mashed potatoes. What could be better? Food and family…

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