I got up at 7:30 this morning and wasn’t able to see out of the windows in the house. The temperature had risen from 41 degrees when I went to bed to 52 degrees now and the wind was gusting up to 30 mph. Every window in the house was fogged with only one in the corner of the patio having a little visibility. In looking out of it what I saw was banks of fog rolling through the fields, swirling about like I see the snow doing on those windy winter days. Well, it was beautiful a day or so ago. Now I’m afraid Christmas is going to look more like mud season. Sigh.
From year to year I always dream about how I can make my home as warm and festive as possible for my guests. Snow always enters into the picture because in my mind is always that Norman Rockwell ideal. Truth be told the snow doesn’t matter that much. It does during the day when I look out the windows as I’m doing my preps for the big Christmas eve dinner – it helps me feel the mood. When the appointed time arrives and the candles are lit along with the fireplaces and everything is bathed in the glow of firelight it is Christmas.
Having an old, old house helps to bring back the Christmases we all envision in our heads (at least I do). Mulled cider, roasted meats and vegetables, candied fruit, cookies, music and laughter. The only thing that’s changed is the wardrobe. I try to treat my guests to the best I can do mixing traditional and expected with some sort of culinary surprise. Years later they still talk about my “Seven Swans a Swimming” dessert which involved petit choux swans filled with ice cream swimming in pools of chocolate. I must admit they were pretty spectacular.
It’s the little things, the details.
After the day I will post what I have in mind right now for the surprise. We’ll see if it gets pulled off. Meanwhile I will just hope for a little less fog so I can make my way for ingredients.