Saturday, December 24, 2005

Holiday Fun

Last night we had a holiday family gathering. At Christmas time each year we have a few traditions that we hold dear. One is our fondue dinner. This is always a fun dinner. The danger of boiling oil at hand always makes it exciting. As a kid this kind of dinner was so special to us that it became more of a competition than a dinner. It has mellowed out as we've become adults, but the competitive instincts still show sometimes. In the past it was common to have disputes over who gets what color fondue sticks and how many each person gets. Staking your territory in the fondue pot was always important. If you left your spot idle for too long, you would undoubtedly have encroachers in your territory. After pulling out my cooked food, I quickly learned to stick my next batch of food in before eating what I pulled out.

We have a two pot system as you can see from the picture below. If one pot wasn't hot enough it was common for the competitors in the middle of the table to switch pots or use both which was frowned upon by the people on the end. Such an incident happened this year but was quickly resolved. The rookie Natasha (my niece) was shut down by the older competitors. Heaven forbid if you lost your meat in the pot. It was fair game for anyone who could spear it. As the dinner waned and people started laying down there sticks, active competitors would scramble to gather up the unused sticks to boost their production speed. I recommend fondue as a fun and exciting dinner.

Another one of our traditions is cookie decorating. Our family gets pretty serious about it. One year we even held a competition with categories based on the shape of the cookie (bell, angel, christmas tree, snowman, etc.) with voting from our guests. Unfortunately, I lost the pictures from that year. There were some truly magnificent cookies.

We don't just slap icing on the cookie with a knife. Some of the advanced techniques we employ are:

  • tweezers for exact placement of sprinkles
  • custom colors sometimes mixed for use on only one cookie
  • using cookie shapes for designs they weren't intended for
  • toothpicks for detailed application of icing

Here are some pictures from this year including some of the top designs.

Here you can see the two palettes I used on my designs.

My niece Brianna is already decorating at a 9th grade level!

Don't let the look fool you, my brother Andrew makes the most creative designs.

Artist: Brianna, Shape: Bell

Artist: Andrew, Shape: Angel

Artist: My brother's girlfriend Laura: Shape: Tree

Artist: Me, Shape: Snowman (upside down)

Artist: Natasha, Shape: Snowman (upside down)

Artist: Me, Shape: Custom Mr. Hankey shape

Happy Holidays!

1 comment:

fooiemcgoo said...

looks like you guys know how to have a good time at christmas.

how fun. next year i am going to your house to partake in the fun activities.

i especially liked the hanky the christmas poo.