I was going to write a post about how this Christmas was the first I’d ever spent away from both of my parents, and how while I had a great time with my new family I was still sad about not being with my siblings, my aunts and uncles, my cousins. How at this time of year it’s not the presents that matter so much as the tradition, the comfort, the stability of being with people that you know love you even when you’re caught eating cookies in your bed watching bad tv. In fact, more often than not, they’ll join you.
But I’m sitting here with my husband, belly full of potatoes au gratin and steak, watching him kill zombies (mutants?) on the playstation, and I feel really grateful. Even though part of me is in Durham with my parents, or in Ewing with my grandparents and extended family, the rest of me was here today, enjoying an amazing Christmas with family that has come to mean so much to me.
I know this is incredibly sappy, but it’s Christmas and if you ever read my father’s blog you’d know that I come by sappy naturally. It’s just that Christmas brings out the sentimental side of people, helps you to overlook some of the bad. Like right now I’m able to block out the drive home in the fog and freezing rain and just remember watching my father in law play princesses with his granddaughter, using a very menacing voice to play the part of Maleficent. Or the speakerphone call I got from my family where I couldn’t really tell who was talking or what they were saying, just the general sentiment that they loved me.
So… Merry Christmas, internet. I hope that on this day, whatever it means to you, that you’re happy and with family. This is the time of year to bite your tongue when your grandfather says something insensitive or when your sister eats the last oreo ball. This is the time of year to appreciate the little time we have with our family. Even if all you can do is call your mom and tell her about the best pork shoulder you ever ate.
Almond Pear Crostada
2 bosc pears
3/4 cup slivered almonds
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp almond extract
1 pie crust (recipe here or here)
Heat your oven to 350. Spread almonds out on a baking sheet and toast for 3 minutes. Set aside.
Roll out your pie dough. Spread almonds evenly over the center, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border on all sides.
Slice your pears and toss in flour, sugar, extract, and nutmeg. Layer in a circular pattern, stem facing towards the center. Fold the dough up over to form the crostada shape. Brush exposed dough with egg.
Bake for 40 minutes.