Wrapping it up….

My FB memories have been reminding me of the series of blogs I wrote this time last year which were recipes for the holiday season… What a difference a year makes? This blog has morphed into my musings about Life, and while I’m still cooking, feeding people and playing with recipes, my muse appears to be happier writing like this…

I’ve had some special evenings this week…. Quietly listening to carols as I write a few precious Christmas cards – am an old fashioned chick, and still like to write cards instead of just texting “Merry Christmas”. Listening to Polish carols, with Mum humming in the background, as I wrapped pressies – the sound of my childhood.

And I’ve been using some of my blogged recipes to start the food marathon that is my Christmas.. Baking and filling the freezer with things to add to the Christmas meals…

Some of the recipes come from Whanau and friends, and so every year, I get to remember these special people as I potter around the kitchen.. Especially poignant remembering those people who are no longer with us, I like to think they are smiling while watching over me…

There is a  Superpower of “Recipes Shared”, every time you use them, you are reminded not only of the generous soul that shared them with you, but of times and meals shared before… the links that join us all to each other..

Zosia

I have a photo of Zosia, my Polish Babcia on the windowsill in my kitchen, and I like to think she approves of my continuing the family  food traditions…. Especially the hours I have spent making two family favourites – Pierozki, yeast buns stuffed with mushroom or cabbage to be served with the Barszcz (Polish Beetroot Soup) and Pierogi, dumplings filled with potato and cottage cheese served with melted butter and fried onions – both true labours of love… Hours in the making,  minutes in the eating! I have a newfound respect for Babcia, for all the pierogi I scoffed with such ease as a child.. lol

This Christmas is the last Christmas in the family home of 22 years. Bittersweet, but I am gathering whanau and my “adopted” whanau – the group of young men that have been part of this home for the last decade… I have fed, driven, hugged, listened to, yelled at, taught and just loved these men! I have pinned buttonholes for school ball, picked them up @ 2 in the morning, taking them to A&E for various injuries and tied their ties for the first wedding….

Pierogi waiting to be cooked

My second son is leaving the nest next year, so for a whole load of reasons this will be a very special gathering, and while I love tradition, I am taking a slightly different approach this year. The table will still be dressed, most of the dishes very familiar (with a  couple of new ones thrown in to just change things up a bit), but the night will be all about the people I love that I have gathered around the table. We exchange our gifts on Christmas Eve, and this year I’ve gone for a simpler approach.. trying to find “experiences” and shopping local – supporting local businesses and artists.  Am hoping all my dinner companions take home some special memories…

Words – created by a local potter

I know the festive season is not all glitter, tinsel and laughs for many people. And over the years the kids and I have added to “Gifting Trees” and other charities. I can remember the first time I realised that maybe not everyone had a festive season like I did. I was complaining to Dad that they screened some really good things on TV over Christmas that I would miss, (this was pre-videotaping days) and he told me that it was for the people who spent Christmas alone… I was suddenly aware that not everyone had what I had…  a sobering lesson for an 8 year old…

As an adult, I’ve come to realise that being alone is not the only reason some find the season difficult. Poverty, estrangement from family, grief, depression, social anxiety, being away from whanau and friends are just some reasons that people find the “Silly Season” more stress than fun. And that The Festive Season is not necessarily “What it says on the Packet”.. And if you fall into this group, I really hope that you find some solace and peace during this year’s Season..

And as the year comes to a close, it is natural to look back, reminisce about what has past, and look forward in anticipation to what lies ahead. I often find myself quite reflective at this time of year, and this year especially, with big changes around the corner. It has been a big year in terms of personal growth for me, with some new writing challenges and directions, and I’m looking forward new horizons next year!  

So, wherever you are, and whatever you do, I hope that you find some genuine peace and love this Christmas. That you are with people you love, and that some precious memories are made.. As I remember people whose lives have touched mine, and continue to do so…

Thank you for reading my words.  It has been a leap of faith to put this blog out there. And I know other writers and I appreciate you giving us your time, and occasional feedback…

Am not sure if this is the final blog for the year, my Muse proving as mysterious as ever.. Lol

But I wish you all a 2020 full of hope and success..


Wesołych Świąt i szczęśliwego Nowego Roku

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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