Winter Weekend Traditions

Bear with me.  This is going to be a long post.  But it's about a whole weekend steeped in family traditions.  I think that gives me a right to a long post.  I've mentioned Winter Weekend before.  Way back when it inspired me to make fresh pasta for the first time.

But since, after all, food seems to play just as much of a part in the weekend as winter activities (especially when we are short on snow!), it seems about time to give the weekend its blog post due.

The weekend officially starts with a large breakfast on Saturday morning, but this year my contribution was pizza on Friday night.  It was my typical pizza: store bought dough, pizza sauce, mozzarella and cheddar, and garlic salt/Italian seasoning on the crust.  It wasn't my most inspired meal, but pizza is always tasty.
The real food started on Saturday morning with eggnog French toast.  Generally, it would start with waffles (made fresh at the table by dad!), complete with banilla (banana and vanilla yogurt!  It's my favorite.) yogurt and, of course, real NH maple syrup.

This year, we switched it up a little and PAM and MS made breakfast.  It started with wonderful Challah bread from the best bread and granola bakery I know!  Good start.
Then came the fresh eggs.  They were even pretty colors!
They were from friends of PAM and MS's and made a lovely thick base for the batter.  Look how much yolk there is!

Then came the eggnog -- the last eggnog in Portland, or so goes the claim.

There was also cinnamon in there.  I think it was pretty much winged for spices and eggnog.

Boy, was it good.

And as we ate, it started snowing.  So, although we didn't get to do any traditional snow sports (thanks to a January thaw stealing all the snow), it certainly looked pretty.

But, then again, shopping is a winter sport, right?

Then there was lunch.  Except Saturday lunch never seems to fall quite at the right time, and we are so full from breakfast that we just need something to tide us over till dinner.

There's usually an assortment of hummus, cheese, crackers, fruit, pepper jelly and cream cheese, chips, and roasted sweet-spicy nuts, BB's specialty!   We don't go hungry, that's for sure.

And then we went out for a walk in the woods.  And ended up, well, not where we thought we would.  But after finding some ice, and some slipping, we made it home in one piece.  It was so pretty out there.
Oh, and Mimi, NES, mom and I made snowman with the fresh snow!  He was cute, but short lived.  By bedtime, he was on his face.  Poor guy.
Saturday dinner traditionally varies from fresh pasta to soup to lasagna to whatever mom wants to make!  This year, it was mom's famous corn chowder.  Mmmmm.  It's one of my favorites.

I somehow managed to eat way too much.  Way too much.

Because there was cake on the way!  Carrot cake.  My favorite.  For Mimi's birthday.

See, there is a famous carrot cake recipe in our family.  It's been my birthday cake pretty much exclusively for my whole life.  It's just that good.
It always kinda sinks in the center.  It's a very dense, moist cake.  But dad has tried a bunch of things to prevent it from falling the past few years, and we've found that when it doesn't fall, it's just not as moist.  And besides, when it falls, it makes space for that much more frosting in the middle.  It's just better that way.
The new mystery is why the frosting seems to make less each time.  We just can't figure it out.

It tasted as good as ever, though!
Happy birthday, Mimi!

Oh, and you have to understand this one critically important detail.  This is a left-handed piece of cake. (Complete with left-handed ice cream.)

This is a right-handed piece of cake.  It's important.  There will be a quiz later.  (Notice where the frosting is.  That is what's important.)

And the next morning starts bright and early with oatmeal!  This year, the banilla yogurt came out, too.  I couldn't take the idea of winter weekend without banilla yogurt.

While NES, mom and I were at church, Mimi heated her Tuscan Vegetable soup.  It was so tasty that I forgot to take a picture.  Oops.  But it was good!

And there was even more cake!

Then things kind of wound down and we all went our own way.  This year, it involved watching one very disappointing football game before we left.  This was waiting for us, when we got home, though!

It was a great weekend of just being with family.  Even if they all get up really, really early.

Now, I'm glad there's more carrot cake to come next month!


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