First of all... Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law, Mary! May you have many, many, many, many more! Have a good day!
Well. The day after Christmas. Across the land, women are taking a collective sigh of... relief? Maybe. Most know this is just a breather before we all plunge into the real cleanup of tree, decorations, and putting our homes back in order. But for this one day, most of us will loll around, enjoying the presents we received or simply sipping a cup of something warm to drink while we watch the kids or the TV.
Here at Chez Anny all is quiet. We're waiting for a snowstorm today. How much snow will depend on how fierce the nor'easter is and exactly what track is takes as it churns toward New England. In the meantime, we're hunkered down in our warm burrow, ready for whatever comes along.
Every year I learn something new at Christmas. This year there were only two of us here. The first thing I learned is that I've forgotten how to cook for two. We'll be munching on leftovers for a while.
The second thing is quick cleanup during preparation is much easier when you have a dog underfoot. That bit of dough that dropped to the floor--gone instantly. The scrap of meat you dropped--gone instantly. This year I had to clean up after myself.
Another think I thought about is how little the act of cooking has changed over the centuries. In spite of all our modern pots and pans and preparation equipment, it still boils down to putting food in a pot and heating it. The ingredients have changed very little. Maybe we add a few more herbs or spices.
I'm preparing pea soup with the last of our ham. In a centuries old recipe, it still has potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, peas--and in times of plenty--some type of meat. Actually, the peas alone were nutritious enough to totally change human history after the Black Plague in Europe. On a snowy winter day in America, it still does the job.