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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Levie Christmas 2012

Like every year, us Levies celebrated Christmas late...this year, all the way into 2013.  Edward and Jennifer were gone over the holidays and rather than celebrate twice, we all waited until we could be together. And since we were going to celebrate near my dad's birthday, we just combined the two events.

We celebrated at the Levie-Whitney household this year.  Us Bowers just went down for the day.  When not cooking, we each took turns biking on their road bikes while watching tv (they were on trainers so they were like stationary bikes). This is how Edward and Jennifer exercise on nights when they don't want to go on a real ride because there's a game on tv or if it's too cold outside.  I really want something like this for Gualala, but hooked up to power the tv!
Dave and Edward watched Jennifer and me do some "runner's knee" exercises on YouTube.
Edward and I watched an episode of How It's Made.
Us women also kicked the guys out of the apartment at one point.  I can't remember why, but I think it was because Eddie was getting antsy being inside all day and I didn't want him watching too many shows.  So they all hopped on bikes and rode over to Safeway.  My dad entertained Eddie inside the store by looking at the live crab tank.  When Eddie got back he told me that he was snow crabs. I asked him what color they were and he said "brown with a little bit of while snow, too."  Too cute.

Jennifer, Edward, and I schemed to make a special dish for my parents: pheasant under glass.  Growing up, my parents often joked that they made this fancy meal when in reality they usually just made something simple.  My mom haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated cooking and as she was usually stuck with the chore of feeding her family, she often made something from one of those (gross) 1970s cookbooks titled something like Easy Microwave Meals for Two!  I remember countless times sitting down to a dinner of tuna and crackers with sliced tomatoes on hot summer nights and my parents would sigh with workweek exhaustion and say, "Ah, pheasant under glass, my favorite."

So of course we decided we actually needed to make this famed dish.  Jennifer and I haunted the web for recipes (she settled on a great one) and Edward was sent to the store to buy the frozen birds.  Initially I was going to go to our bee-friend's aunt's house in Sacramento to slaughter some pheasants since she sells them for 1/4 the cost of store-bought.  But there wasn't time...but maybe we'll do that next time.
Pheasant chefs.
Mommy and Daddy Levie
I brought my glass cake stand and we told my dad to stay out of the kitchen that afternoon while we cooked. It turned out pretty delicious!
Blurry dinner: pheasant, wild rice, greens, and gluten free olive bread made with truffle oil.  That bread was so good you couldn't tell it was glutenless!
After dinner we opened gifts.  Edward wanted to keep the hockey game on the tv but I suggested he put it on the computer instead and so he pulled up a gif of a fireplace on the tv instead.  With Christmas music on Pandora it was very festive inside!
They didn't decorate for real Christmas but wanted something fun for the Levie celebration. So...Edward took a redwood branch from the Google parking lot when he was there for lunch with a friend.  Haha.  Jennifer decorated it with oodles of little bows; it was darling.

We all got some great stuff--the highlights for me included a Lebanese cookbook from Edward and a 15 L fermentation crock from my dad!  It was actually a gift for all of us Bowers...but you know, it's really for me.  My dad gifted Dave his entire collection of Fine Homebuilding magazines.  I don't know about Dave but I'm super excited about this.  I loved looking at these magazines when I was a kid (mostly the back highlight projects but also the stuff inside).  Eddie got a cool blue pirate helmet from Auntie and Uncle--it has built in rear lights and the model is called "Tater."

Unfortunately I wasn't feeling well after presents so Jennifer and my dad made dessert for everyone while I tried to nap in the guest room.  Eddie was crawling all over me so as soon as they finished eating I decided we should leave instead of staying to open stockings.  I think I'd just overdone it that day, what with having a head cold and everything.  On the car ride home Eddie and I both fell asleep.  Dave was able to successfully transfer him into his bed without waking him up--a rarity and I love it when it works.  

Dave, Eddie, and I opened our "stockings" yesterday morning.  My mom stuffed all sorts of wrapped treats inside old paper lunch sacks.  Gotta love my mom's resourcefulness!  We each got some candies, Trader Joe's gift cards, almonds, cans of smoked oysters, and the like.  I know it's weird that we wait to celebrate the holidays in our family...but I kind of like spreading the goodness out. 


Kelly said...

This sounds soooo much nicer than cramming everything/everyone into two days (like we do). I love the "pheasant under glass" story! Did you parents get the joke?

steph.kelley said...

Agreed: much better to celebrate later. Now is just when we all need a pick-me-up, especially in this grey winter weather! (Here, anyway...) Your pheasant story is great; what a funny idea to finally make a pheasant. The housebuilder mag sounds neat — have fun with that one. xoxoxoxo