The Silence of Our Friends

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays!

I've been a little scarce over the last few days because my in-laws have decided where they want to go for Christmas. They want to come to my house. So my husband and I are going nuts getting the place all spiffy and buying a nice Christmas dinner. My husband doesn't like turkey and his niece doesn't like ham. Swell. My husband also has to prove he's a big shot so he's decided we are cooking crown roast (pork), at least I've cooked this once before and it came out great so I'm not worried, but he also has decided we are doing prime rib too. I don't know what to do with that! So yes, he has bought the most expensive cut of meat known to mankind for me to burn this Christmas.

I'm actually glad they are coming here. I don't like travelling on Christmas day. He also has a nice family and get along fine with all of them, so it should be fun.

To everyone who stops by, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Hannukah, Ramadan, Kwanza, Festivus, or any other excuse you use to get together with family and friends to overspend and overeat. And if you don't celebrate any holidays, I recommend you still get together with family and friends and do the overeating part anyway.

14 comment(s):

Happy holidays back to you! good luck with the family dinner--sounds much more pleasurable than what mine will be!! :p (we won't get into details, but let's just say, there's *tension* in my family).

By Blogger brownfemipower, at 12/23/2006 12:06 AM  

There is tension in my family too, which is why I'm glad I'm having Christmas with my husband's family! I'm begining to think disfunctional is the norm for American families. My husband's father was the type who was quick to point out the kids mistakes and let them know that they aren't good enough, but wouldn't give them any credit. He died about 5 years ago. But I think this is why my husband is still trying to prove that he's successful, even if his father isn't there anymore. The prime rib thing is over the top, and I'd be grumbling ALOT about it if I didn't know that he's always got to prove himself. Besides he's been working overtime three weeks straight, so he has the money for it, but it's wasteful to me.

I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but his family is alot more fun now, and I used to get along with his father. I think it's the outsider status, he's alot like my father that way, putting on the nice guy act for outsiders, while being critical of family members.

By Blogger Donna, at 12/23/2006 12:44 AM  

Happy holidays, Donna. Enjoy all your meat, and your inlaws.

By Anonymous op99, at 12/23/2006 12:53 AM  

op99, thank you. Although I had to laugh out loud at "enjoy all your meat". I'm gonna tell my husband that. The caveman better enjoy that meat!

What I will enjoy is the sweet potatoes with cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg. It's a recipe from my sister and I can't wait to try it. I won't feel guilty since it's a vegetable, but it will taste like a desert!

By Blogger Donna, at 12/23/2006 2:54 AM  

Happy holidays, all! I've been thinking lately how grateful I am not to have any emotional or obligatory investment in the Christmas thing. Boy, I spoke to a friend yesterday who's still scrambling to buy 40, count em', 40!!! gifts for family, friends, their children and all the rest.

Yipes. I know my family is not the norm, since we don't do the gift thing and never have... much. We're Jewish but never practiced and so when I was a kid I got a gift on Christmas Day (ha!) but no tree (sob) of course, so it was kinda half-assed.

So I'm kind of ritual-less, year round. Although I must say I sent my mom a really nice gift this year because my dad passed away this October and I know she's feeling a bit sad.

Fortunately I always go to a big, festive dinner at a friend's house, who just happens to be a gourmet cook which doesn't hurt my tastebuds one bit, so it's something that I enjoy immensely. My job is to bring the ice cream which I handle with much aplomb. :)

I feel for the folks who are alone during the holidays and who feel adrift. Our culture certainly does nothing to help ease the sadness, that's for sure.

Donna, I have a feeling whatever you touch turns to gold so I don't worry for the success of the roast. LOL.

By Anonymous Jenny from the Blog, at 12/23/2006 12:50 PM  

Jenny, I don't have the attention span for alot of cooking. I'm good at things you have to stay and watch, or cook quickly, or things you can leave all day and not worry about in the crock pot. But baking or roasting, forget it, it's toast! If I leave the kitchen I forget it's cooking until it's too late. Lucky for me no one in my family likes sweets, except for me. So no one complains that I don't make cakes, cookies, or brownies. A few days back I decided to boil eggs for some egg salad, got bored waiting for the pot to boil and sat down to the computer and forgot, until all the water was gone and one of the eggs exploded all over my stove.

It's funny, if you asked my family and friends if I am a good cook, I think they would all say yes. But if you asked what I cooked it would be something where all the time was spent chopping and very little time cooking. I like making salads with everything in them, omelets with everything in them, stir fry, fajitas, that kind of thing.

I think my caveman husband will be worried enough about his meats that he will keep an eye on the time for me though. So it might turn out ok.

I also think you are right that if you ritual-less and have no expectations the holidays will turn out to be more relaxing and fun. It's the high expectations that make the holidays a let down. I can just imagine what a horror it will be for some parents whose kids are expecting a Wii or PS3 under the tree. They are difficult to find and even if you can find them so damned expensive. What's the fun in getting the system if you can't afford a few games to go with it?

Commercialism and the expense to get those "must have" gifts really ruins the holidays. That's why this whole War on Christmas is such a load of b.s. since Christ hasn't had anything to do with Christmas for decades. It's all about competing with the neighbors to make sure your kid isn't the one left out when he goes back to school. Ugh, especially when they are really young and believe in Santa. Then they must have been bad since everyone else got the Cabbage Patch doll, or talking Elmo, or super duper game system...whatever the gift of the year is.

If Bill O'Reilly really cared about Christmas he wouldn't give a hoot what words a Walmart checker greets the customer with, he'd be going after the marketers who overprice and undersupply, and all the commercialism.

It's funny that I am ranting about this, since my kids never got the gift of the year. They are basically mild mannered and easy to please so I didn't have to worry since they are happy with anything they get. I get this from seeing my nephews, after their parents spend $1000+ EACH on them they still bitch that they didn't get XYZ or more stuff.

By Blogger Donna, at 12/23/2006 2:34 PM  

We had prime rib on Christmas day about six years ago. I think the main thing is not to over cook it. Do you have a thermometer. I think horseradish is commonly served on the side. Instead the govenor made some mashed potatoes with horse radish mixed in. It was pretty good. But too much is like using too much blue cheese....

Happy Holidays.

By Blogger ChasingMoksha, at 12/23/2006 3:52 PM  

LOL Moksha I hate both horseradish and bleu cheese and my husband loves both. I'll tell him to use the horseradish on his prime rib and he'll love the suggestion.

We do have a thermometer, and the butcher said something about 145 degrees? Does that sound about right to you? I don't like meat that rare, but if that's what it's supposed to be then I'll serve it up for everyone else like that and stick to the crown roast.

Happy Holidays to you too!

By Blogger Donna, at 12/23/2006 10:21 PM  

Significant parts of my Christmas Eve dinner either escaped, or were "liberated" last night. See, I went down to the Santa Barbara wharf yesterday morning to buy fresh fish and seafood for our traditional bouillabaisse. Because we're not in Maine, I skipped the fake (spiny) lobster, and picked out four fat rock crabs instead. When we returned home, I walked out to the Pacific (about 50 yards away,) filled up a large bucket with salt water, and then we put in the crabs, to keep them alive until we were ready to cook them.

Eric looked out the trailer window this morning and exclaimed, "where are the crabs?" When I got to the bucket, it was empty. I found the first crab nearby, mostly intact (missing one rear leg.) The next, about 10' from the trailer, belly side up, missing two legs, but still alive. The third, under the slide of the trailer, decidedly dead, and missing all of it's insides. The fourth was located under the neighbor's rig, barely alive, and missing all rear appendages.

The three survivors went back into the bucket, with more sea water. I fired up the lobster pot, so as cook them up ASAP. Not that they need to be put out of any misery (do they have nerve endings?), but because I do.

I still don't know if they got out on their own, and then were picked off by gulls, or some other force was involved.

By Anonymous MB, at 12/24/2006 11:22 AM  

I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but his family is alot more fun now, and I used to get along with his father.

again, I won't go into details but I *understand* what you are saying here on a deep profound level. i know that it's not exactly helpful for me to just say I agree with you without clarifying, but there are too many people i know who read the internet, and god lord that's the last thing I need is to make an already tense situation even worse.

but i *do* understand where you're coming from here...

By Blogger brownfemipower, at 12/26/2006 10:08 PM  

even the whole, "still trying to prove himself" thing.

By Blogger brownfemipower, at 12/26/2006 10:08 PM  

& a Very Merry & Happy Holiday Season to you dear Donna!

By Anonymous sunrunner, at 12/28/2006 4:39 PM  

Wow, there is my comment 12-23, five days after my post about losing friends. Yet you owned that as if I was talking about you instead of asking me.

Thanks for throwing me under the bus Donna.

By Blogger ChasingMoksha, at 12/29/2006 7:50 AM  

Moksha you went from talking about me and my site to seamlessly talking about losing friends. These weren't two separate posts, it was in the same post, I don't see why it couldn't be an honest mistake on my part to interpret that to mean that amongst other friends you thought you were losing me too. I also don't think it should be a giant leap to think that you weren't exactly sure about that, just that it might be a possibility. That's why I thought you might be testing the waters here with possibly having in mind, "hmmm my last interaction here was unpleasant, I'll find out if this one will be too, if Donna is fed up with me and I really have lost a friend."

You of all people know that people are not direct all the time. The post we are discussing was indirect. Go read your posts over the last month and count how many are complaining but not direct, not letting people know who or what you are complaining about. Is it a huge leap for me to see you as an indirect person? Why don't you own your own words so that your friends know who and what you are talking about instead of playing head games?

By Blogger Donna, at 12/31/2006 4:36 PM  

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