December 21, 2008

Good company

This year, actually for the first time ever, we have company for the holidays. My husband's mother & grandmother arrived ten days ago and are staying until the middle of January. I will admit that I was a little apprehensive before their arrival, wondering how we would all amuse each other while cooped up inside our tiny house for so long.

It turns out there was no need to worry. I arrived home from work on Friday in advance of the massive blizzard to find that they had already cleaned the house from top to bottom and done laundry so that we would have a weekend free from household chores. And the two feet of snow that has steadily accumulated was no match for my shovel-wielding mother-in-law who "needed some exercise". Grandma does get a little restless in the afternoons, but it just so happens that she loves to iron and since we do not, our ironing basket did runneth over. Not anymore; even the linens are now neatly pressed and folded.

We have fully converted to the Balkan custom of eating our main meal at midday and then having something light in the evenings. And the food, the food has been amazing. So far my mother-in-law has made sarma, dolma (using collard greens), my favorite eggplant and roasted pepper salad, spinach and eggs, bean soup with smoked pork ribs and fresh mushroom soup. So very, very good. Today was my turn to cook and I prepared mussels steamed with garlic, shallots, white wine and tarragon, a salad of mesclun greens, red onion, Granny Smith apples, blue cheese and fresh garlic bread. Because I mentioned last night that I had a craving for them, Grandma also made pommes frites, which we so didn't need but were all gone in the blink of an eye. The best part is that as soon as the dishes are done from the last meal, we start planning the next one.

So far, best Christmas ever.

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