I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Looking For a Light in the Darkness ~ Solstice...and some Baking

''(Winter Solstice) is on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 11:19 pm in New York. In terms of daylight, this day is 5 hours, 50 minutes shorter than on June Solstice.''
Mo and I have made a deal, that if it is below 20*, or icy, or gale windy, we will skip his late night walk. Mo likes that idea, as do I. Not laziness, just too bleak, too dark, too cold---maybe even a bit unsafe?

But tonight was milder, 25*. We went out after  his dinner to greet the winter, and the coming New Year.

"Carry me now, mommy, my feeties are cold, I am tired." 

 We met this striped ''feral'' cat, over towards the koi pond street. Could he possibly be my Stripey? I don't know that it is his sweet face, but he'd be 11 or 12 at least, if he is Stripey, who appeared as an adult winter 2009.

He comes to me when I call him as "Stripey" and takes a few of Mo's treats from my hand, lets me take his picture. Obviously he is cared for, so fluffy and chubby. But always roaming outdoors, and no collar.

Back home, after hot peach tea and Mo's snackies/trick session, a bit of gift wrapping. Look, Mel! A mess! LOL.

Earlier we practiced Santa Hat wearing. Pugs will do anything for a treat, but today he was shy. He'd wear his hat but not look at the camera.

Here is Mo after his hat session, reaping his rewards.

I did a bit of Christmas baking. As blog friend Kit says, it just seems like baking and Christmas go together.

I made my mom's half recipe of  Pecan Balls / "Snowballs", the one written in turquoise ink. It fills just one cooky sheet, about 3 dozen.

The snowballs are removed from the sugar when cooled.

And I made delicious spiced roasted pecans, for Christmas Eve antipasto  spread. Recipe from Quilting Babcia, yummy! [Thank you, so much!]. These crispy little guys are maybe addicting.

This cookbook page is for Kel.

I wrote about goulash last month and she noted that her mom made a pasta dish called ''goulash'' that wasn't like classic Hungarian goulash at all. My grandma made the same dish---it was always waiting  on the stove when we'd arrive for holidays, after the long drive to northern Ohio. There she'd be in her pretty French dress and Euro look peep-toe pumps, champagne blonde hair carefully waved, rhinestone earrings clipped on; all wrapped up in a crisp white chef's apron. Stirring the pot of what she called goulash, but that my mom, her daughter , a food purist, taught us to call Grandma's Dish. I made this a few weeks ago, comfort food!
This cookbook is the one I took to college, it truly has all essentials, despite its well used condition.


The Solstice occurred as I typed this tonight. It strikes me as such an ancient, pagan moment /notion, yet thinking critically, I wonder , What exactly was that ancient Man, that Tribe thinking? Surely they were intelligent, they had memories, they must have known/  remembered that the cold starving time ahead would pass in 100 or 150 days. It did last year, it will next year. Ancient man had calendars! But even the most rudimentary keeping of days---notched on a sapling stick, pebbles lined up in front of the cave, would mark the passing of the cold days that lie ahead, before the Earth reawakens. Something to look into further--did ancient man really celebrate that almost imperceptible shortest day, knowing that the coldest time was ahead of them---or were they saying , winter is coming, bringing Misery and Want. My tribe may  not survive. Let us party now, one last time!

An interesting book on the Solstice, here: a poem and artwork, not technical. Adult or children's book? I cannot tell. The Shortest Day here below, an illustration, note the V of geese.

Illustration from The Shortest Day.



gone to the beach...