As we drove south on Christmas Eve, patches of snow dappled the landscape. In the northern most part of our state, there was snow. I have driven through plenty of treacherous winters to go “over the river and through the wood” in order to reach family for Christmas. A reprieve from our snowy, icy Christmases was indeed welcome.
After attending Mass on Christmas Eve, we drank and toasted over a delicious dinner prepared by my niece Lauren’s fiancé’s family. Justin’s family hails from Vermont, although both parents are of French-Canadian ancestry. This is critical knowledge because it affected the Christmas Eve dinner in a good way. The hors’d’oevre were sublime, mostly because I am a seafood aficionado and the sea scallops wrapped in bacon were done to perfection. The sharp white Vermont cheese was a taste sensation too. Summer sausage [ironic, I thought, for a December repast], deviled eggs, foie gras, and Brie en croute with mango chutney, fruitcake, and toasted seasoned walnuts rounded out the nibbles.
The main event then appeared, or rather I should say, main events. Specially ordered maple-cured ham, two meat pies [one made with pork, light on the potatoes, and heavenly spices; the other with beef, heavy on the potatoes]; mashed potatoes [can there ever be enough potatoes?], sweet potatoes [ditto], white beans with maple syrup and bacon, squash, red beets, salad with feta cheese, and another salad made with shredded cabbage and fruit. We wined and dined near the blue and silver decorated Christmas tree. An impressive Buche de Noël the finale of a meal most different from an Italian one on Christmas Eve. However, the good fellowship and a willingness to partake of another family’s traditions made for a memorable dining experience.
Ciao for now.