As quickly as they ramped up the holidays are now over. This is an occasion for me to breathe a sigh of relief. The last of the gatherings was this past weekend with all of my family together in one spot. That’s a rare event but a most welcome one. The preparations were made in the week before – I researched and made some Harry Potter themed food for my sister’s girls, my sister and my youngest. Yes, they are all well into adulthood but there is nothing more exciting than experiencing some of the foods that you’ve only read about. If I could have turned the living room into the great hall at Hogwarts I would have but alas my wand was nowhere to be found.
The traditions around the holidays for us center around food. This being the first time in 15+ years my brother and sister have been together for a holiday celebration lead me to bring out the suet pudding recipe with the two sauces. This is a dessert my kids have heard about their entire lives yet had no recollection of having tasted it. The recipes and mold came to me from my aunt when she passed the responsibility of making the dessert on to me. I diligently made it year after year until the girls were little and we began spending a good part of the holidays with Bill’s family. The Alixes were scattered and no one else even considered eating something with the word suet in it.
My sister and brother were ecstatic to see it as dessert and my brother ate three helpings. It greased the wheels of reminiscing about food and we talked about our comfort foods in exquisite detail. It amazes me the power of taste and smell to bring back memories from so long ago. It was also wonderful to have my siblings and their families all together to share in the stories even though they find some of the things we eat on the line of disgusting. You know, it’s never going to stop us from eating it. I think next time we get together I will make mac and cheese with tomatoes and serve a side of sliced onions and cucumbers in a bowl of cider vinegar and the three of us will sit around the table and talk about childhood. I’m not sure what the rest of the family will do for food.