Christmas in the Northwest

25 Dec

Actually taken at Thanksgiving, but the snow makes it look festive, so…

I can’t believe Christmas is already here. Or, really, for me it’s already gone. When we’re visiting relatives in Brazil, my family celebrates with a massive, gut-exploding dinner on Christmas Eve, and typically stay up until midnight to open presents. I love Christmas in Brazil. My family is loud, obnoxious, and kind of has petty arguments, but they’re fantastic. Think My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but better.

Our abbreviated version here in the states involves the same massive, gut-exploding dinner, but at a family friends’ house, and sans the late sleeping (they have young kids, etc). Also, in the presence of civilized company, we tend to avoid the screaming. Mostly.

My aunt helping herself to the spread…

Honestly, it’s about the same as when we celebrate Thanksgiving. Except there are presents involved. But my family’s never been huge on presents either, so we wound up just opening them before leaving (so around 2 pm) and just had a “White Elephant” exchange at the friend’s house… I won a Justin Bieber CD. “Winning” is a generous term…

Most of the food was decidedly un-vegetarian. My mom brought in HAM. Lots of ham. Here she is, cutting it…

I brought along roasted vegetables. I’d offer you a recipe but it’s pretty basic… Mix up some balsamic vinegar, a touch of olive oil, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (which I’m obsessed with, by the way) and toss it around with vegetables of your choice, sprinkled with some coarse sea salt. Cover and pop it into the oven until suitably cooked.

The only picture I have of it is rather terrible, but I single-handedly ate most of this platter. My stomach was less than pleased. See, that there pan at some point had most of a butternut squash, a yam, some Brussels sprouts, lots of chopped ginger and garlic, and some mushrooms. And I ate almost all of them.

I guess there are far worse things to overeat, no?

I also brought cookies, but I haven’t uploaded those pictures yet, and I’ll give you the recipe soon enough.

Here are some other snapshots:

Dad & I waiting to open presents. Excuse my mussed hair and lack of make-up… Oops.

The dogs getting in on the present-opening action.

My grandmother and her new best friend, our friend’s dog Jethro (he was obsessed with her, and whenever anybody came close he started growling… it was a little odd).

While I was admittedly cruising Facebook (and, uh, foodgawker) for much of the time I was there, I enjoyed seeing my family chatter away amongst those we know and love best. I hope your Christmas was equally enjoyable and filled with just as much delicious food and love as you can find.

Merry Christmas!

One Response to “Christmas in the Northwest”


  1. Evolution & Brussels Sprouts « Of Cookies & Carrots - January 10, 2011

    […] is what I took to Christmas Eve dinner, then made again for dinner during the week (this time featuring tofu), then prepared again for my […]

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