Sunday, January 2, 2011

Celebration Success

It is with no small amount of relief that I am able to use the word success in this post's title. Christmas 2010 has come and gone here at North of 49 and I think it is safe to say a good time was had by all. The fact that we had twelve people living under one roof, with two extras added during the day, who all got along, helped out and enjoyed each other's company for five straight days is what earned this holiday its 100% success rating. Major bonus points were awarded because not a single appliance complained or died during the festivities.

I taught my niece Danielle how to knit several years ago, and this year Corinne wanted to learn. Always happy for another convert, I had her knitting away on a dish cloth in no time at all.

Danielle, Diana and Corinne
Rebekah picked up a couple of jigsaw puzzles at the thrift store and they proved to be popular in spite of the missing pieces.

Anton, Diana and Cheri
Here are brothers socializing. I'm not sure if they are talking to each other in person or through their computers.

David and Karsten
The Scrabble board and the pinochle cards both got a good workout.

There was a trip to the ski hill. More on that in another blog post!

Corinne, John, Diana, David, Karsten, Rebekah, Anita, Alexandra, Kristie
Gallons of tea were consumed. My brother looks like the lecherous uncle in this picture, but actually he's a really nice guy.

Rebekah and John
This hat photo illustrates the danger of having wives/girlfriends/mother-in-laws/sisters that knit.

Karsten, Anton and John 
The featured event of the holiday was our now traditional cook-off. Here is Kellen with his amazing crab and cream cheese appetizers.

Danielle and I made raspberry/huckleberry and cherry pies. She is now an expert at rolling out a pie crust!

Kristie and Danielle
Rebekah and Corinne made a Japanese miso udon noodle soup that hit the spot on a cold winter's day.

Rebekah and Corinne
Anita and Diana prepared some yummy oven-roasted Brussels sprouts. Anita gets the "cook with character" award for making something she doesn't like but knows the rest of us do.

Diana and Anita
The protein team consisted of David and Cheri. The ham I had purchased from the Kamloops Farmer's Market this fall proved to be a challenge, but they rose to the occasion. It was delicious! As I looked through the holiday photos I realized I didn't get a single picture of my sister-in-law with her facing the camera. There was a reason for this- she was always busy helping clean the dishes, counters, and whatever else needed to be dealt with, meaning her back was always to the camera when pictures were being taken. A big thanks to her for being such a help!

David and Cheri
Karsten and Alexandra made up team hedgehog. We thought the safest thing to do was put the two "get out of my kitchen and leave me alone" chefs together. The plan worked. In fact, I think they might actually have enjoyed working together although I doubt either one would admit it. They made a tasty Moroccan couscous and chickpea side dish.

Alexandra and Karsten
And last, but not least, we have the loser  brown team. When Rebekah and I were making up the teams we decided to put these two neophyte cooks together just to see what they might be able to come up with. My money was on cold cereal and milk, but it turns out I was wrong. Clearly Rebekah has been working to bring Anton's cooking skills up to par. I am not sure what happened with my brother, but he too managed to look like he knew what he was doing. Their spinach salad was delicious. (Can you hear the surprise in my voice?) They get the "team spirit" award for dressing in matching brown sweaters even if it was an accident.

John and Anton
This year we decided to do the gift exchange a bit different than in previous years. We cut back on the dollar limit for the gift and had everyone put the difference toward a charity. Then we presented a few ideas and took a vote on which one we wanted. Of course, this being our family, it ended up not being entirely straight-forward. There was a three-way tie which resulted in an animated discussion as to how to break it. Eventually we just threw the three contenders names in a bowl and drew one out. The winner was charity: water, which I blogged about back in September.

Christmas 2010:

Front row: Corinne, Alexandra, Danielle and Rebekah
Middle row: Diana, David, Anita and Anton
Back row: Karsten and Kellen
May your New Year be filled with good friends, good food, close family and functioning appliances!


  1. I don't think that you gave the salad team anywhere near the credit that they deserved from what I can see as a non-involved party....

  2. Sounds like a smashing success! Lots of fun and family! Happy New Year to you and your family!

  3. Fun family memories! Loved the pictures.

  4. Great to hear that Christmas was a success in your house this year, a resounding success, by all the happy photos to judge by,
    lovely hats, and food, and happy photos!
    well done,
    enjoy the New Year!

  5. You were doing all the fun family things that we love to do - jigsaw puzzles, scrabble, outdoor activities, cooking, etc. So glad that it all went well for Christmas 2010. Happy New Year to all for 2011.