Friday, January 01, 2021

Two Noras

 I've started a new blog for my 2021 project. 

I'm transcribing Grandma Nora's daily journal and adding my own thoughts. 

You can find it here:

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh

Go mbeire muid beo ar an am seo arĂ­s ~ May we be alive at this time next year. 

I decided that 2021 should be welcomed with as much luck as can be found, so I've been reading about Irish New Year traditions in an effort to help ring in the new year in style. 

Flinging Bread Against the Door. 

This tradition seems especially apt this year. To banish the greatly feared dangers of hunger, a piece of cake or bread is dashed against the door by the man or woman of the house, while reciting a verse that translates to: We call on famine, out as far as the land of the Turk, from tonight, to a year from tonight, and from this very night, be gone. 

I baked a loaf of soda bread this evening. I'll be flinging some, while saving enough for a nice midnight snack. I didn't have any buttermilk, so I curdled milk with vinegar. I'm anxious to sample it. If it's not good, I'll fling it all in to the backyard for the squirrels. 

Clean, clean, clean. 

Quite frankly, I tried to ignore this one, but it kept popping up. The idea is that a clean house represents a clean slate. 

I spent the day cleaning and I'll admit that it is nice to look around and see some order to the madness - although my table-turned-work-area still needs some work. 

Mistletoe, Ivy, and Holly

People who are alone on New Year's Eve are encouraged to put a spring of holly, mistletoe, or ivy under their pillow - the tradition says that you will dream of the one you are to marry. 

I snipped a sprig of holly from by beloved holly bush this evening. I'll keep you posted! 

Out with the Old and In with the New. 

This one seems to have two versions - one is to open your back door before midnight to let the old year out and to open the front door at midnight to welcome the new year in. The other version calls for entering your front door at the stroke of midnight and walking out the back. I'm planning on both, just to be safe. 

Honoring the Dead. 

This is the most famous tradition. On New Year's night households across Ireland set a place at the table for those lost the year before and door off the latch. 

I've really been thinking about my friend Lana, who died in March. We last worked together at the Red Key three years ago this evening. I'm so sorry that I didn't push her for a photo of us together - she was busy arraigning and rearranging and making everyone feel welcome. 

I've started several posts about Lana and haven't been able to properly capture her spirit - I'll make sure that I do that soon....

Tomorrow I'll put a plate out for her and the others that have died this year. 

In the meantime: 

Misfortune Be Gone, And Happiness Come In, From Tonight To A Year From Tonight, In The Name Of The Father, And The Son, And The Holy Spirit, 


Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Another Gouda Day

I opened my Advent cheese this morning, since it it worked out so well for lunch yesterday. 

The Mustard Gouda paired nicely with the ham, although I shouldn't have tried to grate it - it was way too soft. I didn't have any salad dressing and it didn't miss it at all. 

I've been tried to shave WW points here and there to make up for the crazy eating that I've been doing at work. 

So much candy! I'd lost nine pounds since March and have gained three of it back in the last six weeks. What the heck is wrong with me? 

Tomorrow is the start of a new Weight Watchers week - my goal is to track, track, track - and ignore those delicious Reece's trees. 


Monday, December 07, 2020

It's a Red Leicester Day


I peeked at today's Advent cheese early this morning. It was a new one to me. A little nibble showed that it was crumbly and yummy. I grated it into my lunch salad. 

It's amazing how fluffy half an ounce of Red Leicester cheese clouds into. 

It paired really well with the arugula (some from my container patch), cucumber, Brussels sprouts, my last garden tomato, and slice of ham. 

Maybe before the month is over I'll get classy and pair the cheese with wine or something...

Sunday, December 06, 2020

It's a Gouda Day

Today was a good day. 

I'm a cheese purist at heart. I ate this beautiful slice of gouda as is. 


Saturday, December 05, 2020

Onion and chive cheddar-icky


I suppose it was inevitable - I met a cheese I don't like. Today's Advent cheese was laced with onion and chive - aren't those the same thing? 

I'm in the small camp that believes that onions aren't food. 

I tried to balance it out with slices of my last garden tomato and the peppery arugula that it still growing in it's covered container. 

I couldn't do it. I took a nibble to say that I tried it. The onionness was too much. 

Cheers to tomorrow's cheese! 

Friday, December 04, 2020

Another Gouda Day

Today's Advent cheese surprise was Mediterranean Gouda. It had little flecks of um, Mediterranean stuff. I wound up just nibbling at it while baking cookies. 

I worked a little later this evening. I try not to grouse too much about going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark, but it's hard to stay motivated. 

My goal for this evening was to do some inside holiday decorating. 

I didn't manage to do a lick of decorating. Or cleaning. 

I did bake another batch of Snickerdoodles and popped them in the freezer. That counts for something, right? 

I'm working at Second Helpings early tomorrow morning and the Red Key tomorrow evening. Tomorrow's at-home chore list is small - eat cheese!