I currently write to you from The Land of My Birth. The last week
or so has proven to be very busy for me and Mrs. Geek. I'll try to
give a quick blow-by-blow of our holiday experiences just go get all
of you up to date.
The week leading up to Christmas was all about cooking for me. I was
asked to bring dessert items to dinner on Christmas Day, and proceeded
to bake up a storm. I made my Mom's fruitcake, a batch of homemade
fudge (Mary See's "Original" recipe), and pecan pie at a pace of more
or less one item each night after I got home from work at night. We
also re-cycled some Hershey Peanut Blossom cookies that I made the
previous week. More about this later, however.
Christmas Eve was spent with Mrs. Geek's father's side of the family.
We had dinner at the house of Mrs. Geek's stepbrother J. and his
partner R. Dinner was a joyous delicious affair of oxtail soup and
roast turkey all made by R. Dessert was homemade apple and blueberry
pies also made by R., supplemented by a plate of fruitcake, cookies,
and fudge brought by Mrs. Geek and yours truly. It was my first time
experiencing oxtail soup -- though truly this was more stew than soup
because the broth was so thick. We capped the evening off by
exchanging and opening presents as "Secret Santa". We gave a music
stand to Mrs. Geek's step-nephew, H. I got a bottle of Port finish
Glenmorangie single malt. My Mom was pleased to hear that more than one in-law
who tried her cake said "well, I guess this is not the one fruitcake
that's been circling the globe for all these years, finally cut up --
this is delicous!".
Mrs. Geek and I attended Midnight Mass at the Church where we were
married six months ago. Choristers and those of a musical bent may be
interested in a detailed round-up of the carols and Mass parts
executed that night. A more detailed entry to follow will discuss
this. For now, I will just say that there was forty-five minutes of
caroling by the church choir prior to the Mass, Mass parts were
generally by Proulx, with a part or two from Haydn's Missa Nicolas
Sancti and (arranged?) organ music by Monteverdi.
Christmas Day dinner was spent with Mrs. Geek's (late) mother's side
of her family. This was a combination of grilled beef and smoked
salmon supplemented with our pecan pie, more fruitcake, more fudge,
and the peanut blossom cookies. Knowing that one of Mrs. Geek's more
distant relations was also something of a single malt fiend, I brought
along some of the Compass Box Eleuthra. We also brought gifts for
relations on this side of the family -- an iTunes gift card, some
Disney-related gear, the LEGO Moss Iseley cantina, some Jack Daniel's
coffee, and a Waterford crystal shamrock. Everything was
well-received by all. I got some interesting marinades and BBQ dry
rubs in return.
Sunday was spent dismembering our Christmas tree. That task was
largely completed by noon, and then spent the afternoon running a
couple errands and doing a little shopping.
Monday was spent in transit from to the Land of My Birth. The trip
went largely without incident though we were briefly delayed during a
connection at Washington's Dulles airport. Bad weather in the Eastern
U.S. was delaying incoming flights and it appeared that the captain of
our plane was MIA. We don't exactly where he was during all this, but
it left us with an extra 90 minutes or so to wonder if we should head
out to an adjoining terminal to get something substantial to eat, or
just stick it out. We were paranoid and decided to stick it out.
Since then, Mrs. Geek and I have largely enjoyed sleeping late in the
morning and just laying about, relaxing. We went out to a
family-style Italian restaurant last night to celebrate my birthday
earlier in the month and Mrs. Geek's coming birthday in a couple
weeks. I got a couple cookbooks and Mrs. Geek got some jewelry and
scrapbooking supplies -- which proved to be a point of contention for
Mrs. Geek with her relations because a lot of her family didn't even
acknowledge my birthday, much less give any gifts at all.
Tonight we are gearing up for a delayed Christmas celebration with my
relations. My sister, brother-in-law, and nephew have come to town
and my Aunt has returned from the Land of the Confederacy where she
spent Christmas day with her son's family -- including my goddaughter
K. We will be exchanging (delayed) Christmas gifts tomorrow morning
and returning home on Saturday.
Peace on earth and many prayers the many, MANY dead and suffering due
to tsunami damage in Asia.
on 2004-12-30 at 5:22 p.m.
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