Friday, December 23, 2011

Clearwater Christmas past and present I send to you in England dear daughter

Merry Christmas everyone
Merry Christmas to all.  I make this post for my daughter who is far away in England.  She has requested the family menu of the Clearwater Christmas of her childhood as she is making the Christmas meal for her new family.

Growing up in the small interior town of Clearwater in central British Columbia it was a white Christmas with deep snow and a nearby ski hill which the community flocked to on Christmas day.

On Christmas Eve we'd gather by the fireplace and drink hot chocolate before dressing up in snow pants and such to toboggan down a hill with as many family members as we could fit.  It was laughing all the way, snow flying in your face and ending up in a tangled heap at the bottom of the run.

Mother would have put a nice pork roast in the oven with crackling, there would be homemade bread and lots of vegetables to pour the gravy over.  When my maternal Grandmother visited the pantry would fill with tins full of her home baking - she made a living cooking in camps and running cafes and was known for her pastries most of all.  Butter tarts and butterhorns were among our favorites.  Our mother would make huckleberry pies from the wild berries she picked in the summer and froze  - this was our signature dessert. Dad would be playing Bing Cosby, Frank Sinatra, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass on the hi-fi stereo - later I played the piano and we'd sing Christmas carols.  Christmas Eve was and is my favorite time of the holiday

Later when I was married and our daughter was young I added tourtiere, the classic dish of the Quebec Christmas Eve Reveillon, (her fathers' heritage) to the menu and large loaves of homemade French bread. There would be pickled beets and bread and butter pickles made from my mothers garden.  It was a wonderful meal we all enjoyed. 

Our family still dine on the china of our childhood and we count our blessings to have both parents and all siblings -  now married with their own children to celebrate the season with. We honor life and let bygones be bygone. 
Mothers blue willow china and our Great Grandmother from Sweden crocheted potholders
Christmas 2009

Our Christmas meal of roast turkey and stuffing with mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, broccoli with cheese sauce, cranberry sauce and the best turkey gravy you could have changes a little each year but of all the things we prize is having everyone gathered together under one roof. 

Myself and our father in his 90's 

Together in 2009 with the hearts full of good cheer we brought the traditions to the little ones and shared in the delights of winter sport and evenings full of good food. 

Christmas dinner 2009 my daughter arrives from London to share the feast

skiing between the sun and the moon  - my daughter on the way to ski 2009
This was a grand Christmas with all the family together for the first time in 17 years.  A cold and snowy year it was with a full moon to light our way home after a day in the backcountry skiing on Raft peak.

Today we are spread out and won't be together but in spirit and the blues will come reminding me of my humanity and that love is a place in the heart that keeps me close to all the ones I hold dear - both the living and the departed. 

Dear daughter this is for you  - Clearwater Christmas.  Love Mom

go be delicious xxx

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