I love the Holidays.
Heading home for Christmas is always a bit of a throwback. I stay at my parents place in Oakville where I grew up in High School. The journey “home” just before Christmas also reminds me of the four years I was at university, just finished exams and ready for a little bit of R&R.
Like every family we share our own festive traditions which have been created and cultivated over many years. I have showcased my holiday this year highlighting these special moments which mostly revolve around feasting and gift giving. #FTW
I arrived on Christmas Eve to a house filled with holiday cheer. I made myself an Egg Nog and snapped photos in our family room where a perfect little tree sat in the corner beside our fire place. My dad picks up a balsam fir every November from the church down the street which is decorated by my sister and parents with much glee.
We munched on our families famous Nuts and Bolts snacks (secret is in the generous butter, roasted garlic and Worcestershire) while preparing our first holiday feast. Christmas Eve dinner we always have a Swiss Cheese Fondue featuring baguette, sliced apples, cocktail onions, gherkins and olives for dipping. While mum prepared the fondue I made Disaronno Sours for sipping. In the evening we always watch the original black and white “A Christmas Carol” starring Alastair Sim.
On Christmas Day we all grab a cup of hot coffee (topped with Bailey’s) and sit in our family room while opening our stocking stuffers and unwrapping our gifts. Highlights this year included:
- FoodiePages gift box for mum. This fantastic online shop showcases Canadian Food Producers across the country. Mum’s box was filled with a wild assortment of preserves and condiments which she obsessed over. You can also purchase Chef Boxes with products curated by the likes of Christine Cushing, Jamie Kennedy and Anthony Walsh.
- Amy got Fraggle Rock on DVD which was our favorite tv show and record to dance to as little kids. “Dance your cares away, worries for another day…”
- Dad received a plethora of novels and biographies. He is the resident book worm.
- My favorites included a bottle of St. Germain, Audrey Hepburn DVD Box Set, Food Photography for Bloggers by Matt Armendariz and $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau.
After opening our gifts we all head into the kitchen and whip together a feast which includes a fruit salad with citrus creme fraiche, savoury bread pudding featuring leeks, bacon and mushrooms and preserve slathered croissants.
Once the kitchen is cleaned up we all grab our gifts from the family room and sort out our bounty in our bedrooms. I had a lovely sauna to relax with the smell of cedar before heading out with my parents for a walk along the lake in downtown Oakville. The houses along the waterfront are fantastic for photography, some of which are historical buildings a few hundred years old.
Back at home we snacked on Christmas squares and cookies while putting together a Japanese inspired Christmas dinner. The meal featured fried rice topped with omelette, gyoza, steamed fish, coleslaw and little glasses filled with ice cold sake. That evening we scooped Presidents Choice Candy Cane Ice Cream and watched Home Alone.
On Boxing Day I grabbed Tom the Turkey from our fridge downstairs and brought him into the kitchen. This year we would be roasting our first organic and fresh turkey from Yorkshire Valley Farms. I dusted the bird with salt and pepper and stuffed with fennel stalks, sage and rosemary sprigs. While Tom was in the oven I made a bunch of cocktails for when guests arrived featuring: sparkling apple cider, sparkling pear cider, Vidal Icewine and Belle & Brillet Pear Liqueur. My mothers brothers family came over for dinner and the feast included our turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, sweet peas and mint, mashed potatoes, squash and apple crisp.
And like magic, just as we were finishing our crisp and sipping glasses of tea we realized it was snowing outside. Amy was thrilled as she loves a winter wonderland. The blizzard lasted all evening and into the morning. We woke up to over a foot of the fluffy white stuff. The magic of the holiday season enjoyed one excruciatingly exhausting shovel at a time.