On the Seventh Day of Christmas

The seventh day of Christmas, the last day of the year. This is pretty much what winter has looked like around here so far: single grapefruits for breakfast, kitties on heater vents, and panettone (so much panettone!). We have been inside mostly, keeping warm by the hum and shimmer of the Christmas tree. Outside, it has been pale and sodden, drizzly, the pearly sky heavy with undescended rain. My sweet, dear friend from Seattle who spent Christmas with us said it was "worse than Seattle". Ha! But oh, the good, good time we had...a very full week with her and my parents and my sister and Manley and me. My mom brought her accordion (which is new...she just learned to play it and she is GOOD!) and everybody else had an instrument (except me, who is utterly helpless when it comes to music). Oh, my word, it was hilarious...song after song after song and all terrible but so, so good. 

For Christmas dinner, we cooked entirely from The Nourished Kitchen cookbook, which wins my heart this year for favorite cookbook...two thumbs up. We made the buttermilk spelt drop biscuits, cider-braised kale with apples and sweet cherries, celery root and potato puree, wild salmon baked in cream, and the Portugal Cake which turned out to be the unsuspecting star.  

It's made entirely from blanched almond flour, with pound cake-like ratios of butter and eggs, which makes it nutty, dense, and rich. The batter is spiked with sherry and rosewater (but I used orange flower water instead), and dried currants are folded in before baking. It makes two cakes, so we ate one after Christmas dinner and the other I've been eating every day since. 

All the guests left on Monday and I have been slowwww moving. Don't you love this week between Christmas and New Year's? The world seems to turn more slowly on its axis. I'm trying to take some time off with the yarn business, but I'm so excited about the shop update (this coming Monday, January 5!) that I can barely stand it. Indigo! Lots and lots of sapphire-blue yarn, with some black-and-white handspun Tennessee alpaca too. As always, I'll send an email out to the newsletter list when it goes on sale, which will probably be Monday afternoon. 

Last day of 2014. What a year, right? This year has been hard; this year has been awesome. There has been lots of change: both too much and not enough, and yet somehow...just the right amount. What I want for 2015 is to be more observant, conscientious, frugal. I want to waste less and watch more. To be quieter, kinder. Content. What about you? I would so love to hear your hopes and wishes for this trip around the Sun :)