Merry Christmas everyone!
I hope you all had a good day with your friends, family and loved ones! Or just a good one! Mine was a good one, starting on Christmas Eve with my Dad’s side of the family. We get together every year and of course eat until we could burst!
Every year I make sure to make a vegan/vegetarian dish that everyone could enjoy and this year I settled on a Shepherd’s Pie! It was actually a good hit and I was surprised, because I’m always surprised if someone likes my real food…I tend to stay away from salt whereas everyone is used to having so much of it.
We had a pretty good spread including some ham, steak, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruit salad, veggies, my pie and I’m sure a few other things I forgot. I settled for a big hunk of my pie and lots of fruit. Seconds of fruit always follows when I have it with dinner!
This year was pretty funny since we got upgraded to the room where the “adults eat”, but there were no adults to be found…so are we technically at the adults table? They were all in the other room where the kids usually eat, so we didn’t feel upgraded that much! Made for fun table conversation! Dessert was nice and occurred just before we all left. I had a piece of my Uncle’s homemade Cherry Pie and a small oatmeal cookie that he made too. It was just enough to satisfy me for the night!
Upon returning home, the “Christmas Angel”, aka Mom, put out our new pajamas for Christmas.
My brothers ended up not staying the night but surprisingly got up early and arrived at my parents before 8am! I was betting they wouldn’t get there until almost 8:30, but I was wrong! My brother and I quickly got started on our traditional breakfast foods of cinnamon rolls, and coffee. But my bro kicked it up this year and made a Pumpkin Spice Latte that everyone seemed to love! I had a sip, but not being a fan of pumpkin pie means not being a fan of the drink. Props to him though, it came out lovely!
Next came pictures and presents! Mom always tries to get a good picture of us but sometimes, it just doesn’t happen…haha!
My Dad does the honors every year of divvying it out to all of us and then as soon as the last present is given out, we rip into them! My Mom and Dad always wait until we’re all done to open their gifts though; I like watching their reactions as they open gifts from us…like the rocks, or petrified tree pieces, I gave to my Dad!
My mom and I soon started on getting things ready for the rest of the day, including dinner and dessert. Mom worked on a pumpkin pie while I worked on a cranberry apple crumble. I actually ended up saving the crumble to be cooked while we ate dinner and it would be warm upon serving afterwards. But it came out beautifully later on!
It was such a nice day out and we had some extra time, that I told Whit to grab his surfboard while I grabbed my running shoes and we headed down to Huntington Beach to surf and run! It was absolutely gorgeous down there and a comfortable 75*! I can’t even remember the last time it was this warm on Christmas! I guess you know you’re in California, or Florida, or Hawaii…when you go to the beach on Christmas… haha!
I ran a nice 4 miles along the boardwalk and timed it perfectly with Whit getting out of the water to head home and finish helping prepare dinner. I helped chop up a big fruit salad with lots of seasonal fruit and an organic salad with lots of vegetables I’ve been getting in my box the past few weeks. It’s amazing how big the heads of lettuce can get! I also made a small Shepherd’s Pie to have for dinner and my Mom worked on a honey glazed ham, pot roast, rice, along with gravy and orange sauce! It was a full table of food! I might have snacked on an apple, some guacamole and whole grain chips while I was waiting. I forgot how hungry running makes me!
We were all so full after dinner that we did something we haven’t done in years: go for a family walk around the block! It was nice to see the neighborhood with all its Christmas lights on display and reminiscing about all the old times with old friends in the neighborhood. We even looked up a few of them on Facebook to see what they were up to!
With our bellies a little digested we set up shop for dessert and I happily ate my crumble! Oh man, the tartness of the cranberries was awesome in contrast to the sweet fuji apples I used and oatmeal crumble on top! I didn’t have the whipped topping on mine, but everyone else did. My Mom’s pumpkin pie was also a hit and I had a gingerbread stick to round everything out!
We finished out Christmas night by watching The Rise of the Planet of the Apes that I got for my brother and man, that movie is good. If you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest it as it’s not just about a bunch of chimps running around, but the psychology behind their relationships with humans. So good!
I’m on my way back home now for a few days of work then probably coming back down for New Years Eve, or my Mom’s birthday and our traditional Japanese New Years feast at my Uncle’s.