Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Traditions & Soups

I think it's pretty obvious how much Mike and I love Christmas... seriously, inside and out, we go a bit crazy.  I guess it's not surprising that both of our families have so many traditions around Christmas.  That's why, for the past 3 years, our Christmas has consisted of a lot of travel [as seen here] and us trying to do everything.  To be honest, it made Christmas exhausting.  This Christmas is going to be a very difficult and different one for us;  it will be the first one without Mike's mom.  We will  keep her warm and kind spirit with us this year and each year in the future by continuing to do many of the things she did for us to make Christmas such a special holiday.  We've decided keep some of our old traditions and also make some new ones so that we can all be together as a family throughout the Christmas holiday [without as much travel].

Old mixed with new: The Christmas Eve soup dinner Mike's parents always hosted between church services will be at our house.  We plan to make some new soups this year along with his mom's famous taco soup [recipe soon!].

New: Instead of driving down to Rhode Island like we usually do after the midnight service, my parents will be joining us on Christmas Eve and staying over at our house to have Christmas morning up here, along with Mike's dad, Mike's sister, and her boyfriend, as one big family.

Old: Each year, Mike's mom bought pajamas that he and his sister opened on Christmas Eve.  Her boyfriend and I have been lucky enough to join in on that tradition over the past couple of years, and this year, Laura is buying each of us pajamas to keep the tradition going.

Old: After the church services, we will all watch Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, like my parents and I have done every year since I can remember.  

New: We will open all our presents together on Christmas morning at our house and enjoy a big family breakfast.

Old: Stockings in Mike's family are a huge tradition.  As I mentioned in my post last week, stockings are our favorites, and it was very important to us that we keep the same things in the stockings that Mike's mom always had.  We found the stockings at Mike's parents' house and right on top was the list of everything she put in them - so wonderful.

Old: After the fun at our house, we will drive to Mike's uncle's house to be with the extended family for supper, dessert, and Yankee Swap.

As if all of our baking over the last week wasn't enough, we've been testing out soups to make for Christmas Eve.  Here's what we've tried out:

1. Baked Potato Soup: Mike made this one from this recipe.  He said he made it a bit too "pepper"-y, and I don't like potatoes, so I couldn't really judge, but it did smell good!
It's such a quick recipe that I looked back over and he was already done!

2. Butternut Squash and Chicken Soup: When Huffington Post said that this recipe is the "only butternut squash soup recipe you'll ever need," I had to try it.  The only change I made was immersion blending the squash in the soup instead of putting the squash pieces in a blender.  I added chicken and carrots to the soup by roasting 4 chicken thighs [rubbed in olive oil, with salt and pepper seasoned on top] in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  I topped it with the sage croutons I made for November's Kitchen Mix Up, and it was fabulous!

3. Cat Soup: Get pot of water. Add cat.

If that didn't get a little giggle, I will be very disappointed... Merry Christmas Eve, all!


Amanda @ Mandaloves Blog said...

Omg, CAT SOUP! Poor Shadow! Thanks for the laugh.

Jen said...

Haha poor Shadow! So cute though. :)

The Rantings of a Drama Queen's Mum said...

Sounds fun. Happy Holidays.

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