|In a house with 3 dogs and 5 cats, the tree isn't always straight!|
Christmas is fast approaching. That's a fact.
I don't really go for lot of decorating or carol singing, Christmas movies or baking. I'm not a scrooge, but it is just not my thing.
I try to make it special for my girls, especially Mollie, who is still young, but not young enough to believe in Santa. She'll be a teenager early in the new year, and tonight I reminded her that she's starting to act like one. A wee bit more opinionated, which doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. Unless she disagrees with me and the disagreement is about cleaning her room.
I do remember how magical Christmas was when I was young. My fondest memory is of the Sunday School Christmas pageant. We would generally act out the birth of Jesus every year, replete with lambs and shepherds, forgotten lines and stifled giggling. We would sing, and then towards the end of the evening, Santa would burst into the church basement, with his sack over his back. He would "ho, ho, ho" and greet us all, then settle into a small wooden Sunday School chair. We waited nervously as he would call us up one by one to get a gift, a Malted Milk chocolate bar and an orange. Year after year a Malted Milk bar. Funny to think about it now.
When we returned home after the pageant, mom would urge us to get ready for bed because Santa couldn't come until we were sleeping. I would sneak into the dark living room where the tree was set up and lay on the floor, gazing up at the tree's twinkling lights. It was just magical and thinking about it now makes me smile. It was so simple and it was so good. These are such rich memories and I hope my girls have similar wonderful memories of being children at Christmas.
Families create their own traditions at this time of year. Ours remains pretty simple. We open our gifts early in the morning, then gather with the rest of the family for a noon time meal. If I am hosting, the meal I prepare is a vegetarian one, but someone, generally my sister, brings along a turkey and all that goes along with it. In the spirit of the season I accept this as her preference. Plus, she is bigger than me and I have memories of her sitting on me when we were younger.
There are some foods that my girls expect from me because it's what I always serve for special holidays. My Bean Bird, roasted veggies, and salad from the hoophouse are pretty standard Christmas fare, as well as dishes I fully expect from my sisters every year.
There is a dessert that my girls always expect from me too. It's not Christmas-y at all, but they both love it and recently have started asking for it instead of birthday cake as well.
It's very simple. I hope you will enjoy it too!
This is a self saucing cake pudding. You just can't mess it up!
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup milk (can be soy or any other)
4 Tbsp melted butter (or Earth Balance)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients together, then spread in a greased 8" pan. The batter will be quite thick.
4 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup brown sugar
Sprinkle this mixture over the cake batter in the pan.
Pour 1 3/4 cups boiling water over it all.... don't stir!
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 40-45 minutes. Enjoy!