The Christmas season is a beautiful time of year. When we were kids, Mom and Dad piled us into the station wagon for a trip around town to see the holiday lights. Sometime in early December, Nana gave my sister and me sweet little party dresses. From the school assembly to family dinner on the twenty-fifth, we were belles at every festive event. Delicious treats warmed our bellies and the smell of fresh pine boughs fill the air.
Not just sights and smells, there is a whole bunch of wonderful sounds to enjoy throughout the holiday season. Here are a few:
Any day at any time, happy voices fill the air. We’re never too distracted to exchange a friendly greeting with a neighbor or offer a merry thank you to our favorite barista. Perhaps more raucous is the shared goodwill at a holiday party. The season just brings out our cheery best.
Carols and songs fill the air. Let’s start with the radio station that plays only Christmas music. Move on to the musak in a department store elevator. Don’t forget to join a sing-along, impromptu or planned. And finally, I’m sorry but throughout the holidays you can hear me tunelessly humming as I go about your errands. There is something about the holidays that makes me want to sing.
Bells jingle and ring at every turn. They decorate the front door, letting out a cheery jingle with every opening and closing. They jangle at the student assembly. After all, not all of us can play the clarinet. Someone has to clatter the triangle and clang bells. Of course, no one can ignore the bell ringers with the red kettles and big hearts. They stand in front of malls and department stores for hours in every kind of weather collecting money to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and assist those in need.
Then there is the rasping sound of skates on the ice and the swoosh of skis on snow. Okay, skis are just as likely to make a skittering noise as they hurtle over New Hampshire’s icy slopes. Anyway, these sounds reassure us that we do indeed love winter … in spite of the cold and short days.
A crackling fire and whistling teakettle are sounds that will warm you inside and out. After a day shopping or an afternoon on the ice, it is pure pleasure to relax with a cup of tea or cocoa by the fire.
The rattle of cookie sheets is a welcome holiday sound. Whether you bake dozens and dozens or just one batch of an old family favorite, cookies are a delicious Christmas tradition. Be sure to bake a batch or two with your kids or grandkids. If they aren’t around, borrow a child or two from the neighbors. They will be happy to oblige as long as you return them with a couple dozen cookies.
There is nothing like the peace and quiet of gently falling snow. Cars stay home and off the road, the birds find shelter and any remaining sounds are muffled by the snow. It is pure peace and a sharp contrast to …
The happy shouts of children unwrapping their presents! I love all the excitement and noise on Christmas morning. The confusion of everyone talking and laughing at once just adds to the fun.
Enjoy the holiday season with friends and family. Bon appétit!
Romaine, Radicchio & Avocado Salad with Pomegranate & Walnuts
This salad is as beautiful as it is delicious. Serve it at your next holiday party or bring it along to a potluck. Enjoy!
10-12 ounces baby romaine
2 endives, thinly sliced
1/2-1 small head radicchio, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Citrusy Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1-2 avocados, halved, pitted and cut into thin wedges
About 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
About 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
Put the romaine, endives, radicchio and fennel in a bowl, drizzle with enough Citrusy Vinaigrette to lightly coat and toss to combine.
Transfer the greens to a deep serving platter or individual plates, top with avocado slices, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts and serve.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1/2 orange
3/4 cup or to taste extra virgin olive oil
Put the garlic, shallot, mustard and brown sugar in a clean glass jar and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the vinegar, lemon and orange juice and zest and shake vigorously to combine.
Add the olive oil and shake again to combine. Let the vinaigrette sit for 30 minutes or more to combine the flavors. Give one more vigorous shake before serving.
Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Store extra vinaigrette in the refrigerator.
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One Year Ago – Garlicy Shrimp with Tomatoes & Olives
Two Years Ago – Wild Rice Pilaf with Roasted Mushrooms & Kale
Three Years Ago – Maple-Nut Sundaes
Four Years Ago – Rosemary Cashews
Five Years Ago – Greek Stuffed Mushrooms
Six Years Ago – Ginger Crème Brûlée
Seven Years Ago – Aunt Anna’s Pecan Pie
Eight Years Ago – White Chocolate & Cranberry Trifle
Nine Years Ago – Chicken with Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Penne
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!
What are your favorite sounds of the Holidays? Feel free to share!
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2017