Christmas hasn't really been fun for me since I was a kid (I'm guessing most adults can say that) but this year is going to be a particularly difficult one without my mom. I mean, the one year she spent the holidays in Greece I was too depressed to even contemplate celebrating (it wasn't entirely down to her not being there but that was a big part of it). And now, of course, she's not in Greece and she won't be coming back. If you've lost anyone you'll know how I'm feeling. But I've decided to try this new thing: not getting depressed over things I can't do anything about. I know my mom (both my parents, if fact) would want me to enjoy life and all its attendant celebrations.
So what's the plan? Baking! Not as much as I have in the past (I have been to known to occasionally go overboard) but still a respectable number of treats: chocolate panforte, shortbread, sugar cookies, ginger cookies, buckeyes (chocolate-peanut butter candies) and rum balls. The panforte and rum balls are new recipes--I love experimenting, even when I probably shouldn't (like when I'm having guests over). Speaking of which I'm going to be making some special recipes for our family dinner (me, the SO, and my sister's family). For the first time I'll be making my mom's karithopita (walnut cake--my favourite) and spanakopita (spinach-cheese pie, from a cookbook as I don't have her recipe but I'm going to try to make it as much like my mom's as I can). I'm also going to take over her role as bread baker. Again I don't have her recipe (it's times like these I wish we'd had more time) but if I may say I do make decent bread of my own. I know it's a far cry from the over-the-top planning and cooking and shopping and decorating and partying and baking that exemplifies the season but I think it's the little things that add up to something special.