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It's December 1, and this morning we had our first frost. The Christmas season has begun. I love Christmas! I love the music, the gifts, and the food. I love how the spirit of the season makes people more charitable and puts smiles on their faces. I'm hoping that I will start decorating the house this afternoon, but I've had lots of yearbook work to do this week, so decorating may have to wait until Friday.
Kristin wrote a blog about cranberries a few weeks back, and I've been enjoying them in a couple of new ways. My original cranberry sauce recipe called for 3 cups fresh cranberries, 1 cup water and, one cup sugar. This week I made cranberry sauce with the same 3 cups of berries, but Â½ cup water and 1/3 cup sugar. I liked the thicker sauce. My family did not notice the missing sugar. Someone eating a traditional American diet might find the cranberries to be too tart, but since we routinely decrease sugar in recipes, they tasted just fine to us.
I also cut raw cranberries in half and tossed them in a salad. They tasted good with salad greens, and looked quite Christmassy.
Figs are one of my favorite foods. Though I rarely get to eat them fresh, I often have dried figs as a snack. A few weeks ago I saw fruit-only fig preserves at the health food store and couldn't resist buying them. Without bread, it's been hard to know how to use them. Maybe it was hearing the Christmas chorus, "bring us some figgy pudding," but today I tried something radical.
We used to eat a lot of carrot salad. But after starting the BTD it just didn't taste the same without the whipped cream and mayonnaise. I've tried several variations, but hadn't found anything as good as the original. Today I had some grated carrots left over from last night's dinner. On impulse I mixed them with a little olive oil and a spoon of fig preserves. It was delicious - creamy and sweet, but not too sweet.
As much as I love the festive traditions of Christmas it's easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of the season and forget the true significance. I'm going to close each blog in December with a couple of verses from the Christmas story, which is, after all, the real reason for the season.
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. Luke 1:26-27
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