Category Archives: Holidays
Nearly every New Years Eve that I remember involves family and fun. It also includes my Aunt Willma’s “Ketchup”dip… it wasn’t made from Ketchup but that is what I have always called it. I LOVED that dip!
Every New Years since then I think about her dip and look for a recipe. Quite frankly the easiest thing to do would be to just call her and ask her for it. I did that once… now I’m afraid to call because she already gave it to me… and I really need to go visit my Aunt and Uncle while I am in town. I just haven’t gotten there yet.
Have you ever associated a taste or a smell with something positive or enjoyable? I have a number of smells that trigger positive memories.
This year was somewhat special in the New Years department because it is the first time that I have been home in quite some time. We planned on a “traditional” New Years celebration including cracked Dungeness crab, smoked oysters, various chips and dip (including my Aunt’s famous dip) and other yummy treats. Food and games – specifically Tripoley.
We are all quite a bit older than we were back when we used to have family celebrations and it was all that we could do to stay awake until Midnight much less actually crack the crab. We ate that New Years Day instead. I guess Tripoley will have to wait until next year.
I did however find a recipe for the “ketchup” dip and with a little bit of alteration I believe that I have recreated my childhood favorite…. after a day of “sitting” it seems to bring back the perfect memory… and taste.
RYAN’S CHIP DIP
Printed from COOKS.COM
2 tsp. red or pink wine
1/4 c. onion puree
8 oz. Catalina salad dressing
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese
Blend wine, onion and Catalina dressing. Add sour cream and cream
cheese slowly. Serve with chips.
Aunt Willma would never have added wine to anything (according to my mom) so I omitted that from the recipe. I used dried onion flakes, Catalina salad dressing, sour cream, and cream cheese.
Not known for following recipes (me that is) I really didn’t measure anything out. I was looking at color, texture and taste. After placing all of the ingredients in a bowl I used a hand mixer to make it all smooth. After tasting it, something seemed to be missing… I added Ketchup…. let it sit over night…. and it is perfect. Just the way that I remember it.
I guess I used the approximate measurements that I found in the recipe above but I really mixed everything together by “taste”.
Now it is time to call my Aunt to see just how close I really am to her recipe…
It has been a nice day here in Bellevue, WA. My nephew came up from Grayland, WA and I was able to see two of my brothers this weekend as well. We haven’t had a “family” New Years in many years but it was a nice evening. I love my family! We never did get to our traditional “Tripoley” game but its down here now and waiting for other family nights.
Fred and I are feeling a little bit on the “plumper” side of life these days. A bit too much junk and convenience foods and not enough physical exercise. We are both intending on getting back into our exercise habit… much of what has been documented in my other blog There and Back Again – Alaska.
We thought we would start 2012 on a better footing – literally.
- 1:54:46 Time
- 120 ft Start Elev
- 190.0 ft Max Elev
- 197.0 ft Gain
- -148.0 ft Descent
Our walk was certainly easier than what we normally do in Juneau, AK – even though the distance was consistent with our “usual” treks. When we move down here we are going to have to figure out how to get the rigor in with our distance. Flat and smooth surfaces are just not all that challenging. We trekked around the Mercer Slough and in my old stomping grounds around the Enatai and Beaux Arts neighborhoods.
I am going to miss living in Juneau, AK. We are here in the Seattle area right now for the holidays – current temperature 55 F and sunny. Current weather in Juneau?
JUNEAU BOROUGH AND NORTHERN ADMIRALTY ISLAND- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…GUSTAVUS…HOONAH…JUNEAU 1147 AM AKST SUN JAN 1 2012 …WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM AKST THIS EVENING… * SNOW…8 TO 15 INCHES BEFORE MIXING WITH RAIN THIS EVENING. SNOW RATES COULD REACH 2 INCHES PER HOUR. * TIMING…HEAVIEST SNOW THROUGH EARLY SUNDAY EVENING. * IMPACTS…DRIVING WILL BE DIFFICULT. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WARNING MEANS THAT A WINTER STORM IS ALREADY OCCURRING OR IMMINENT. THIS STORM COULD POSE A THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY. HEAVY WET SNOW WILL BE DIFFICULT TO MANAGE DUE TO HIGH WATER CONTENT. THIS STATEMENT WILL BE UPDATED BY 9 PM AKST THIS EVENING OR SOONER IF CONDITIONS WARRANT.
Why is it when the weather is PERFECT in Juneau I am in Seattle? It happens every time. This is perfect skiing and snowshoeing weather in Juneau. By the time we get back home it will be raining and a slushy, muddy mess again! Grrrr….. not to mention I’ll be off of Winter break and back to work…another Grrrr….
At least we had a nice walk today. Click on the photos to activate the slide show.
We’ll keep a record of our activities and share them like we did on my previous blog. While we are not moving anytime soon it will be an adventure getting used to our new surroundings and finding ways to be active and fit.
Every year around this time people talk about their “New Years resolutions”… what they plan to do differently in the upcoming year. Sometimes they include “resolutions” that were on the previous years list but not accomplished, or they include new things that they think they should be doing.
Quitting smoking, losing weight, reading more, spending time with family, and on, and on and on…
Me? I am not a resolution person. I do not make New Years resolutions. I do not believe in them. If I am going to do something, I am going to do it. I do not need to focus or promise myself that I am going to do something.
Once I put my mind to a task or goal it is done.
Interestingly enough (to me anyway) I just received my 2011 year in blogging summary report from WordPress for my There and Back Again – Alaska site. I am really anxious to see my stats for this site (the one you are reading) this time next year.
Blogging has been a goal of mine, mainly something that I am doing to improve my writing and communication/ thought process.
Other accomplishments in 2011?
- Accepting the Post-A-Day 2011 Challenge was interesting and difficult and while I did not post 365 posts in 2011, I did do what I set out to do and post more consistently. I have learned a lot in the process and have found my flow with this blogging thing…
- I hiked the Chilkoot Trail!! Woot woot!
- I started a new blog… this one!
- Canoe Journey 2011 – Paddle to Swinomish
- I kept my job! (yeah for that one…)
- Officially became a “biker chick” – motorcycle endorsement earned June 2011
- I’m happier than I have ever been.
- Found the best guy ever to be a part of my life.
Plans for 2012?
I am going to continue to work on my Life List… there are a lot of thing I would like to do and working on these goals will keep me pretty busy.
Happy New Year! I hope that this is your best year yet, but not as good as the ones that will follow!
Tonight, I went with Fred and my family to see the festival… WOW! Even in the pouring rain the garden is spectacular… enjoy the show!
I love coming home. I love my family and I LOVE my parents.
I am writing this post from my childhood bedroom. So many memories.
My guy Fred and I arrived on Christmas day – unfortunately after my other siblings were already on the road back to their respective homes. Not to worry though, I will be seeing them again before we head back to our home in Alaska.
I love coming home. Oh, did I say that already? Well it is true. From the comfort food to the love and laughter that we share.
Holidays around our house were busy but fun, as I shared in an earlier post.
On the way home from the airport my phone rang and when I answered it a childhood friend was on the other end of the line. He was wondering if I was in the 425 area code or in the 907 area code… I replied that I had just turned on to I-90 at the Factoria exit and was just about to take the Bellevue Way exit when he said, I think you are in front of us. He then flashed his lights and yes, he was directly behind us. What are the chances of that… being in the same place at the same time, him coming from Eastern Washington and me coming from Alaska. He was on his way to his brother’s house with his family so we arranged a brief stop in the parking lot of a local eatery, on both of our ways to our destination…a quick hug and hello to he and his wife and a brief introduction of my partner to my friends and we were on our way again.
What a wonderful surprise and beginning to our trip home.
I could not help but reminisce about Christmas’ past…
Midnight Mass at St. Thomas Episcopal Church with said friend and others over the years.People would join me, my mom and my grandmother for Mass. I loved singing (even though I am terrible!)
One special Christmas Eve two of my friends stopped by and “kidnapped” me. In my striped red and white pajamas we took my friends old van up to Snoqualmie Falls. This is a beautiful photo of the Falls in Winter at night but you have to go to the photographers site to see it.
Next year we will be “home” for Christmas… our plan is to be here, at my mom and dad’s for the holiday. Most likely I will put up some of my own decorations…they’ll be “home” again, back to the place where they started.
Maybe we’ll venture out to Midnight Mass again. I haven’t been for years and I am really not a “practicing anything” as far as religion goes. But, there is a comfort to tradition. Maybe I’ll grace the sanctuary with my special brand of music. I have a lot of memories in that place.
Fred and I are off to look at a boat tomorrow – a potential live aboard, a new home for both of us. If things work out as we would like we may even be participating in the Christmas Ship Festival… but that may take more work than we can accomplish in a year… we’ll see.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities).
For me, the holiday season brings about feelings of ambivalence. I love the holidays yet at the same time I hate them.
Today, during one of the happiest times in my life, I am actually finding myself feeling… well… blah, for lack of a better description.
Holiday depression is not uncommon and a quick search online will net you thousands of “self-help” articles for tips on dealing with the feelings that some of you (and me) may be experiencing during this “festive” time of the year…
Has it always been this way? While it sure feels that way today, I can say that some holidays have been happier than others.
The Good Ol’ Days. When I was younger, I loved the magic of the season. I have the most awesome family imaginable.
Each year the Sears Wish Book would arrive in the mail and I would search through it looking for that ONE special gift… that ONE item that I just could not live without. The ONE that Santa would leave under the tree.
In our house, we would get one or two gifts from my parents and one or two gifts from Santa… no exception. Not to say that there were not a lot of gifts, we had a huge family. As children, we just did not EXPECT to receive a lot of presents. That is not what Christmas was about at our house. At least to me.
By far, I think my most favorite gift was the “Light Bright” I got when I was really little… small enough to still fit under the small table in the living room that housed my grandma’s Christmas tree.
We would dog ear the pages for the items that we liked and then would prioritize them. I was just happy to get anything… it was even more fun to “shop” for my family members when I was little and going to Fredrick and Nelson’s with my grandma. We would go down to the basement candy store to look at the wonderful sweets and pick out licorice pastels for my mom and maple sugar candy for my dad.
I still try to do that when I can, find the candy that is, Fredrick and Nelson’s has long since closed… now I look for chocolate and sea-foam candy.
While my siblings may have different memories, mine are ones that include LOTS of people. Christmas extended over the entire month and usually started closer to Thanksgiving.
Extended family, friends, strays… you never knew who was going to show up at our house.
Sometimes it was overwhelming… a lot of people, loud (but happy) voices.
Holiday traditions – decorating our tree with all of our hand-made treasures. Putting up lights, making cookies, wrapping gifts, singing… I loved that.
I have some of those treasures in my collection. The musical church, covered with snow that my parents refurbished and carried to Montana for me one Christmas (best surprise EVER!) The ceramic nativity scene made and painted by my grandfather that sits atop the antique pump organ. The stocking my mom knit for me as a child. The “Gold” star that sat on-top of our family tree that my dad and I made together out of cardboard, gold wrapping paper and gold glitter. It was on the tree for a number of years until my parents replaced it with an angel that lit up… broke my heart. I took it with me and it now sits on-top of my tree.
I actually have three trees now… my traditional tree with the gold star and family ornaments. My “angel tree” with all of the angel ornaments that my grandmother has given me, and last but not least my “hippo tree” with all of my hippo ornaments.
Things started getting sad after I got married… my first holiday away from my family was Thanksgiving. Talk about a HORRIBLE experience. My in-laws (while few in number) were noisy and argumentative. I found myself curled up in a corner trying to escape the chaos.
Then came Christmas. My usual tradition of Christmas Eve with family and then Midnight Mass was replaced with “going to church” and being told that I was “not allowed to have communion” because I was not Catholic. Hrumph… too bad so sad on that one. I am baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal church and I would be darned if I was not going to at least enjoy one part of my Christmas holiday that was a tradition for me.
It was also a hard year because my husband did not like anything that I had so painstakingly picked out for him…our first Christmas together (that is another story). I quit giving gifts at that point as well, trying to avoid the “rejection” that I had experienced (and the lack of gratitude along with the grand expectations from others in his family.) We were broke, really broke, so gift giving was difficult and not a big priority in comparison to putting food on the table and a roof over our head.
The year that got me was the year that our nieces complained because we “adopted” a family at the local shelter and gave gifts to those kids in their names – Oh MY GOD, you would have thought the world had fallen apart… and what was so sick was that the tree was stacked to the top with gifts… as if they didn’t have enough already and couldn’t be thankful that those without would also enjoy the holiday.
For many years I “volunteered” to work the holidays – all of them. Work was a better place to be than with “family”.
Not to say that in that time there were not a couple of good Christmas’. The one where my parents surprised me was awesome. The other memorable holiday was the one where my father-in-law was in the front row at the Christmas concert to support me (I played bassoon in the Community Band) when my husband and mother-in-law were not available. I cried that Christmas it meant so much to me that he was there – of his own accord. I miss him…
Later on, I took things into my own hands and started having Christmas Eve at my house and inviting all of the “strays” and orphans. The holidays started looking up after that.
For the past few years, I haven’t really enjoyed any holidays because my husband would ALWAYS (yes, I know, it is a “forever” word) pick a fight and then sulk the entire holiday season. Holiday’s became a chore and I had a hard time getting excited about them. I would decorate but after a few years I stopped doing that too. There just didn’t seem to be any point in it.
Moving forward, new beginnings. Last year was the first year in many that I actually decorated for the holidays. It was difficult too because when I put out the decorations I boxed his up and set them aside… we had had our last Christmas together… there would be no more.
Last year was also one of the better holidays that I have had in a number of years. No arguing, no bickering, no tantrums or fights. There was a lot of laughter and love and happy chatter. I had been alone for so long that it felt good to have people around – and present.
My new family is awesome! The kids and grand kids are great and while we don’t have a lot of money to spend on gifts, we have love.
Fred and I just got back from the kiddo’s place… in the morning we are going to “face time” with them as they open the rest of their gifts (I love that we have the technology to do that)… and then…
… we are headed of to Washington to see my family.
So Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it… Happy Holidays to everyone else.
If this isn’t the happiest time for you, I hope that you find peace and do something to take care of you this Holiday season.
Fred and I had a great time at the ABATE/HOG Christmas party. Good food, great company. Met some new folks tonight, had fun laughing with old friends too.
Reindeer games… Tim and Fred were good sports, donning nylons (on their heads) which were then filled with balloons to make antlers. It takes real men to do this… gotta love them!
I wish that I could embed the video of the plunger poke race but you’ll have to link to it here… Plunger Poke Video… that’s my guy – he won the “Golden Plunger” award. He really does know how to play along and have fun.
Again, these folks are the salt of the earth. Don’t let the motorcycles, leather and “tough” talk fool you… they’re a bunch of softies. Shhhhhh, don’t tell them I told you so…