As much as I declare myself a “wanna-be” non-commercial, health conscious, no-fun-ho-hum mom, I’m a sucker for the holiday season. Yes, dear friends and family, I do like the festive atmosphere of the holiday season, I like cooking and entertaining family, and I do like to hear the squeals of delight as my girls see Christmas lights along the darkened homebound route from daycare. “Mama lights lights lights!!” the little one squeals, as we drive past homes lit up with white snowflakes, icy-blue LED icicles and their bushes adorned with multi-colored bits of light. “Mama, mama, is your favorite the purple lights?” the older one asks.
The holidays, as I may have mentioned before, often become an overwhelming on-parade of events cascading through the house, starting with my nephew’s birthday at the top of November, and continuing through New Year’s. Tossed into the mix are wedding anniversaries, birthdays and more birthdays, and holidays – American, British, and Japanese. Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, New Years… they march one by one through the calendar. In other terms, that’s roast-turkey-roast-goose (the challenge this year)-roast-turkey-Christmas crackers–trifle-gravy-fixings-soba-noodles-mochi–ozoni and all its goodness-osechi all wrapped up into a span of two months. TWO MONTHS! Not to mention all the sweets, desserts and sugary delights accompanying these meals…
By New Year’s Day, I’m hobbling towards the finish line after a marathon of events buffeting me left and right – and the saving grace this year, is that I’ll have a full day to recover before another year, another workday.
This past weekend was a tornado of events – the Long Island Children’s Museum is a fantastic venue for children’s birthday parties – followed by picking up the family tree, frenzied decorating, a leisurely day for myself (thanks hubby!) in New York City at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall for some *Holiday Brass* followed up by a few moments of elegance and calm at Tha Plaza for Afternoon Tea.
My crazed pace of whirlwind activities blogged here certainly do not back me up when I proclaim I DO (strive to have) a “non-materialistic” side, and certainly exhausts me as I recount my weekend. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of careful balance and appreciation. I’ll have to chew on that for a bit.
Nonetheless, with the knowledge Monday is tap-tapping around the corner on Sunday night, I jumped to lunch preparation after the girls went to bed. At the request of my daughter, we’re back to beets again…
Steamed beets, sliced
Baked turkey meatballs, seasoned with and including minced garlic, onion, ginger, carrots, celery, flax seeds, salt and pepper with sweet peas pressed along the surface to create an interesting texture, on romaine lettuce. These were made earlier in the week and frozen for later use.
Trader Joe’s mixed veggies
Steamed multi-grain rice (millet, barley, brown-rice, quinoa) with a little nametake mixed in. I purchase pre-seasoned nametake from the Japanese store, which basically is enoki mushrooms, seasoned, and jarred. They have a slightly gelatinous texture, and mix well with steamed rice.