The first week of January always feels like such a let down after the crazy rush towards and then relative quiet of the holidays that make up the end of December. We had a mostly lazy last couple of weeks that involved watching many hours of Gilmore Girls – how had I never watched that until recently? – interspersed with catching up on movies while eating hands down the best chocolate cake I make all year. Edie challenged me to an entire day of doing nothing, with an exemption for knitting, which made it doable. Because as anyone who knows me knows, it is pretty near impossible for me to sit still. And to spend an entire day doing nothing? Whoa. Thank goodness for netflix.
New Years found us packing up and heading east to Urbanna instead of the usual Urbanna packing up and heading here. (Big) Abigail is considered too pregnant to travel, so instead of fitting an extra four grown-ups, four kids and a dog into our tiny little house, we went there, where Will & Mollie’s house is not only big enough, but magically expands for more. (Mollie says we’ll be here next year though, especially since I mentioned I had a line on a pop-up camper we could borrow. I thought it would be great for the dads, but it’s been suggested it would be even better for the kids and then we could have the house all to ourselves.) The kids pretty much sat in piles on top of each other the entire time, while we did much of nothing much more than bake (bread, pizza, lasagne) and cook a bunch of freshly caught goose in a variety of ways. There were the poppers – jalapenos stuffed with (herbed) cream cheese and goose strips, finally wrapped in bacon and grilled.
Then there was the smoked goose and finally, the marinated grilled goose. Having never had goose before, I was surprised to discover how much it resembled roast beef. I rather liked it. Edie described it as tasting like ‘Nature. Dirty, stinky hippie nature.’ while going for seconds and thirds. Someone – I’m not sure who – nodded and agreed it was slightly gamey. I didn’t find it that gamey, but then again, I may have just used the goose as a vessel for the accompanying horseradish sauce.
The days following Christmas leading until the start of the new school/work year have the same rhythm to them as the ones at the end of summer – unstructured, wide open, to be savored before the demands of life, work and school brutally kick in on the appointed date. True, Pat works (much) more during the warmer months, my canner is pretty much going every day instead of the oven and there’s the call of the pool instead of netflix, but the slower paced days, the pack of girls flowing in and out of our house and the ability to put projects temporarily on the back burner because everyone is taking it easy are both the same. Both also have the anticipation of a new year, with good wishes, intentions and resolutions, but I can’t help but wish that just once, one of them would drag the relaxed approach to life preceding it into the new year.