Christmas 2014

Christmas in our household revolves more around family meals together than any other sort of celebrations. It started this year though with a lunch and scotch tasting at The Highlander Pub with former work colleagues about a week before Christmas. The Highlander Pub opened on the corner of Rideau and Williams Streets in 2002. Very shortly thereafter Rolf, Chris, Mike and myself started having lunch there every Friday. We were sometimes joined by Vicky, Ron, Pierre, Norm, Marriette, and others. This continued almost every Friday until one after another we each retired or moved on. We still get together on occasion for a lunch but the Christmas lunch is special in that it includes a tasting of 8-9 single malt scotches selected by Ken, the proprietor, for their uniqueness, rarity, or whatever. You’re never really sure with Ken. This year was no exception and the scotches were especially delicious.

We chose not to put up a tree this year but instead just had table decorations. It’s our newest “minimalist” decor effort and yet another step towards downsizing in our retirement. We also chose not to exchange gifts with each other this year, especially since we had just returned from a month in Florida. However, it would not be Christmas without Mary Ann’s baking of a delicious assortment of cookies and desserts.

The Saturday before Christmas (Saturday because John and Sara were headed to her parents’ in Leamington on Sunday) we had ham, baked beans, scalloped potatoes and fresh-baked rolls and celebrated an early Christmas exchanging gifts with John and Sara before they left. Christmas Eve we enjoyed a traditional Newfoundland meal of fish (salt cod) and brewis with fat back pork scrunchions, potato, onions, and drawn butter plus tortiere. Meanwhile, John and Sara prepared a very similar meal for her family in Leamington.

Christmas Day James received his gifts and we had a turkey dinner with dressing, gravy, turnip, carrot, potatoes, and salt beef (we’re not much ones for cabbage) followed by, in my case at least, plum pudding aflame with brandy and hard sauce. Alas, it was store bought plum pudding this year as my mom had a little accident and was unable to send her usual pudding for our Christmas dinner. Hope you’re feeling better mom, take care.

New Year’s Eve saw the return of John and Sara from Leamington and a meal of Chinese food take-out but followed by lobster and champagne (OK, California bubbly) at midnight. New Years’ Day was yet more bubbly before a roast beef dinner with Yorkshire pudding, gravy, potatoes, broccoli with cheese sauce, and fresh-baked rolls.

On all the days between and since we’ve enjoyed leftovers.

We were fortunate this year to have had relatively fine weather through Christmas and New Years – mostly cold but clear, but as I write this we are under a winter storm warning as we head into the first weekend of the new year. Here’s hoping it doesn’t last. We have a trip to the boat show in Toronto planned for later this month as well as a return to the Lake Placid KOA kampground in February for a little winter fun.