Christmas

 For the two of us Christmas means a lot from-scratch cooking. It also usally means a trip to Little Chute and Cudahy, our hometowns in Wisconsin. 

Since we weren't going home, my parents were going to come up for the weekend, but my mom wasn't feeling well at the last moment.

With Scott having to work Christmas Eve and me having to work on Monday we decided driving home wouldn't be worth it. So on Christmas Eve I prepped our Christmas dinner while Scott was helping all the procrastinators. 


But the show had to go on. It was going to be a smaller occasion, but you can't just ignore Christmas after all. 

I woke up Christmas morning at 6 am. Not because I was excited to open my gifts, but to bring out the challah and cinnamon rolls so they could proof. 


For the last five Christmases we've opened presents with Brooke's whole family.  

This was the first time in my life that I haven't spent Christmas with my family. Today didn't really feel like Christmas, it was "warm" outside, no snow, and no family. 

This year it was just Brooke, Peanut and me.

I got a sweet new messenger bag. My old bag was already a hand me down and falling apart. Brooke's so smart with her useful gifts.

Scott was disappointed in his gift from me. I was so excited to give it to him and he was like, oh a bag yay (sarcastically). He took it as me not liking his current bag.


Hey look it's snowing after all. Oh wait, gross we have a lot of dust.


I knew Brooke was getting this before she opened it. I can't wait for Brooke to make strawberry-rhubarb pie next summer.

We also got some gifts from Brooke's aunt and uncle. Though they're not pictured she knitted us some mittens. Too bad this winter has been so dang warm. 

We also got a knitted washcloth and a tortilla warmer. 

Brooke's been wanting one of these all year.

If you're confused by what it is, it's a butter dish. The top part holds the butter and the bottom has water in it. Somehow the water seals the butter so it can be left out without going rancid. 


Scott got me our new favorite game.

I thought that a recent obsession with Settlers would be the perfect gift.

I also got another obvious gift, The Food Matters Cookbook. We used this one a lot when we borrowed it from the library. I wanted to surprise Brooke this Christmas, but I know she'll use both of these gifts a bunch.

Here's my loot from this year. I must say that I missed opening presents with the Romenesko's.

I'm pretty excited that the majority of my gifts were handmade. It makes me feel so special that I got one of a kind things. 

After opening presents our cinnamon rolls were ready. Cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas is a tradition in my family. Growing up we always had the ones from the can or my mom would buy some from the grocery store bakery that was in the shape of a snowman. A few years ago my brother started making them from scratch. Sometimes staying up until midnight on Christmas Eve making them. I made ours yesterday afternoon.

Yum, yum cinnamon buns!

I spent the next couple hours prepping pierogies. This alongside Hungarian and polish sausage has become a Tuska family tradition. Next year I hope to make the sausage by hand also.

For the first time ever I made Egg Nog, which to my surprise is pretty much ice cream, unfrozen.

The recipe is two parts milk to one part cream whisked together with four egg yolks, a third cup sugar and a few ounces bourbon. I substituted cognac for the bourbon. Then you whip the remaining egg whites to soft peak with a tablespoon sugar. That gets whisked into the first mixture and you've got egg nog. It was very good.

Instead of rye bread, Brooke baked a beautiful challah loaf.

About this time our guests arrived. I know, you thought we were going to eat Christmas by ourselves. Since my sister-in-law Brittany and her husband Jeff were coming on through they ate our feast with us.

This years sausage was from Hackenmueller Meat's in nearby Robbinsdale, Minn. We purchased a pound of the traditional Polish and, a first, Swedish potato sausage.

We rounded our meal out with homemade apple sauce and a root veggie and brussel sprout roast. Yum, yum.

After dinner/lunch Brittany and I exchanged gifts. Her and Chelsea got me a butter dish too.

Well now we have two French butter dishes. This one is very cool. Jeff hand painted peanut's scarf onto the cat handle. We can have one for plain butter and another for mixed gourmet butters.

I love both of them so I decided to keep both. 

Brittany and I went in together on splitting a gallon of shampoo. 

 Now we have enough shampoo for the next five years.

Before driving them to the airport we played a half-round of Catan.

After the game we drove them down to MSP. 

They get to spend Christmas in ABQ. Lucky. 

We've been playing Lego Indiana Jones on nights we are bored. We were going to go ice skating, but we wussed out. 

We also assumed it wasn't cold enough for any of the skate rinks to be open. 

I thought the night was going to be boring, but we ended up getting a call from Cevonne asking if we wanted to come over.

On the ride over both our stomachs got upset. I think it was the very raw eggs in the nog. Cevonne gave me an Alka Selzter and JT offered me more food. We both had to take a break from food.

Watching JT and Cevonne's family open presents reminded me of watching all of Brooke's siblings opening their gifts. Christmas wasn't turning out so bad.

After an hour or so we started munching on the leftovers. Cevonne is almost a mom in this picture (in fact as I type this, little Madeline is a few days old).

They asked me to take their pic, so I did.


Eventually I got tired and we went home.

We took the secnic river route home. The 35W bridge was lit in green and red.

Merry Christmas!

Comments

c.a.y.l.a. said…
We made homemade pierogies this year, too! We had never made them, but it's an Aranowski family tradition. Also, we have a skating rink a half a block from our house. Maybe we could do some skating together in a few weeks?
Snowman? I remember a Christmas tree with a cherry at the top.
Brooke said…
We should Cayla that would be fun!

And Brittany I do remember the tree, but I think there may have been a snowman once too.
Amanda said…
You were secretly excited to open your gifts I think. :)

How sad that you were alone for Christmas morning. And how said that Scott was not thrilled with his gift. I just don’t think guys react as excited as we do. (The dust was pretty cool.)

I’m looking forward to playing the Settlers game when I come to visit. Looks very interesting!

Cute butter dish!

How nice that you were invited to Cevonne and JT’s! I wish I would have gotten a call.

Cevonne, if you read this, your slippers are really cute! Also, your house looks really nice for Christmas! Your Christmas picture is really nice too.

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