Jr crown roast 790 xxx
illustration by janice richter

12.23.09 Crowning Touch

For the first time in 5 years, G and I will be home for the holidays. After being in Iceland, Morocco, India and Vietnam in December, I'm really looking forward to relaxing in our own little cottage in the snow. (Though I'm still dreaming of Egypt. Next year, Inshallah.) The question, then: what to cook for Christmas? My mother was Episcopalian and my father was a Jew and, when they married, they both stepped gingerly away from their religious practices. My dad had a beautiful singing voice and on occasion acted as cantor of the local temple on the high holidays, and we often attended Passover seder at friends' homes. In our own, we celebrated Easter and Christmas, sometimes going to church but always with big feasts and wonderful music—Bach, Handel's Messiah, traditional carols—to which my mother lent her own beautiful singing voice. Tamales were a Christmas Eve tradition, stuffed with pork or chicken and purchased from a local restaurant, though we had all been taught by my mother's mother how to make our own. And always at Christmas, See's candies—nuts and chews, please. What I wouldn't give for a butterscotch square right this very minute. Or a piece of my grandmother's fudge with walnuts.
Tagged — ginger duck