As I mentioned previously, it was just me and my husband for the holidays this year. We did not travel, and no one ventured to Vermont to visit. Despite the lack of actual family, our holiday were rich with familial memories in the form of food. There were Christmas cookies inspired by my Aunt Barb, peanut butter blossoms topped with milk chocolate Hershey's kisses. Christmas dinner was an ode to Matt's family, an Italian feast modeled on Ma Mia's braciole, accompanied by fresh pasta, a winter caprese salad (made with our very own sun-dried cherry tomatoes), and a Meyer lemon semifreddo.
I got the urge to make latkes–my dad is Jewish, although this meal was generally the extent of our Hanukkah traditions while I was young. I followed this fabulous recipe and managed to utilize my CSA parsnips which would have languished in the veggie drawer for some time. For a New Year's Eve get together with friends, I made trifle for dessert. My mom makes this nearly every year for Christmas Eve, so I had been scheming on how to fit it into the holiday festivities, preferably when other people could also enjoy it (and it wasn't just us eating an entire bowl of dessert). Although I took some liberties with fruit choice and construction, the foundation of a pillowy hot milk sponge cake was my mom's time-honored recipe. It tasted like home.
So, to those loved ones who I wasn't able to see this year, you were with me anyway, despite the many miles of separation–I hope to see you soon. I wish a bright and happy 2012 to all.