Thoughts and assorted philosophical musing about: Family, Friends, Fun, Hobbies, & other everyday things.
My continuing efforts to serve as a First Sergeant (Top) in the Army of God.
My latest interest is in Letterboxing.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Food, Family, and Friends

Military families quickly learn to deal with the inevitable fact that friends and acquaintances will soon come and go as you and others receive new assignments, or retire, or decide to return to civilian life. Unlike the situation found in many civilian communities their isolation from home support groups requires military families by necessity to be open and accommodating to all new arrivals without exception. Friendships are formed quickly and lost slowly. Social life tends to center around parties, dinners, cookouts, and similar gathering. These families are on limited budgets so normally each family participating contributes something to the gathering in a potluck manner. As most of your friends have had assignments different than your own, you get to sample their favorites that they have picked up locally or in exchange during their travels. The result is exposure to an array of foods from all over the world that represent various inexpensive local dishes well suited to a western appetite. You learn to eat, cook, and appreciate a wide variety of robust and spicy flavors. Donna enjoyed this lifestyle and learned to cook a large assortment of delicious foods which became the focus of our own family meals.

Not surprisingly our four children all enjoy eating and preparing a wide variety of unusual dishes. Our eldest is a professional chef, and the others cook when they can, none of them eat bland foods. For our Thanksgiving meal Loren (The Chef) fixed corn and sweet potato casseroles along with a cranberry relish and some spicy roasted walnuts. Ellisa contributed asparagus bundles wrapped in prosciutto and bacon and a unique yummy apple cake. The other two guys helped with the shopping and early preparation while Donna, I, and everyone present, prepared and/or assisted with the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, fruit platters, cheese and relish trays, pie, and etc.

With Christmas coming soon I checked my spices to see what was needed after that meal and with cookies to bake. So yesterday it was off to Penzy's. While out I stopped and looked for two letterboxes in the Cleveland Films series. I was not able to identify the correct starting point for "American Splendor" but logged "The Deer hunter" into my finds.

One of the local Christmas traditions that we adopted from our travels was from Japan. The Japanese people love Christmas. Beginning a week or so before Christmas day "Christmas Cakes" i.e., birthday cakes for Jesus, begin to appear at groceries and bakeries. These are now Strawberry and cream filled marvels similar to Cassada cakes. However when we were there they were the ordinary Japanese sponge cake (A little dryer and not as sweet as ours) with flat plastic Christmas theme ornaments pressed into the top. Our boys loved them and we fixed Christmas Cakes for many years.


1 comment:

Ellisa said...

We have many Christmas traditions to be proud of. I love keeping them with the boys, and starting our own too.