The last time I sent an email blast out about updates, I asked if there was anything anyone wanted to see me try or write about that I haven't. I didn't get much response to that question, but did hear back from someone that they wanted to see more about what I've been up to, outside of the kitchen. I choose not to write much about work here, so you won't see a lot about that. Besides work, it sometimes seems there isn't much else that I do that is super interesting, but I'll try. :)

So, Laura, this one is for you...

We all have traditions in our family, friends, and/or work lives. Not surprisingly, one that first comes to mind for me is around the holidays - Christmas, specifically. Growing up, we spent each and every Christmas eve the same way. Everyone went to church, watched the kids in the family who were currently in Sunday School participate in the program, and then loaded up some gifts and went to Grandma & Grandpa D's. By everyone, I mean my immediate family, my grandparents, all the aunts and uncles on the D-side, and all of my cousins. The thing about traditions is that they eventually change, so when G&G moved out of the farm house, we started doing our Christmas eve tradition at my parents or an aunt and uncles home, but the people were the same. And then people get married, have children of their own, and other commitments are added, so the people then begin to change. More people, or less, depending on the situation. It's not just the people that have changed. We've gone from full dinner to doing appetizers, changed the way we do gifts, and have even occasionally added little contests - best dish (even with aunt Belva dressed as Rachael Ray) and ugliest Christmas sweater, etc...

And even though the original holders of this tradition - my grandparents - are no longer here to join us, the rest of us still do this. And hopefully will for years to come. It's OK that not everyone can always come each year, but there is still a great turnout each time. And I get to spend my holidays with the people I love.

The other thing about traditions is that they have to start somewhere. A few weeks ago, my friend Emily and I went out to dinner on a Sunday night because there was a need for a girls' night. The next Sunday, there was another need for a girls' night, so we did it again. At this point, we decided that a weekly get-together was in order and we're hoping that this is the beginning of a long-lasting tradition. For the two weeks that followed, Sunday didn't work out due to Labor Day plans and the Packers' game (her issue, not mine - for the record. *wink*) Instead, we simply moved it to Monday. This past Monday, we went to Granite City for dinner because I had a BOGO coupon that would soon be expiring. The bonus for us was that there was a Mug Club party happening that night because they had just tapped their Oktoberfest beer for the season. Being members of the Mug Club, this meant that we got a deal on Oktoberfest beer, free dinner, and a chance to win prizes! And although we didn't win the prizes, this was so much better than what we were expecting.

The photo above is Emily and me - and our Oktoberfest beers. Our newly-founded girls' night tradition has been a lot of fun and something that I missed dearly. When we were in college, Emily and I had a tradition of going to the Pioneer in Eau Claire every Tuesday after our APO meetings. And then we graduated, she moved to Florida and I moved to the Cities. A few years ago, she moved to the Cities, too - and we've now come full-circle back to a modified version of our weekly tradition.

And if you know us, or one of us, and would like to join some Sunday just let us know! It doesn't even have to be a girls' night. Just a friends' night. With food, beer, dessert, and most importantly laughter and support. See you Sunday, Em!

I'd like to hear about your favorite traditions - new or old, current or past. Feel free to share!


  1. Yay!! I love your post. I am sure you do many fun and interesting things that are not in your kitchen or at your workplace. We, too, have our Christmas tradition. My mom makes beef stew, which we eat after Christmas Eve mass, then we open presents. Losing my dad made us re-think our tradition and I think we may have even eaten something that was not beef stew this past Christmas (I do not have sharp memories of Christmas 2009). I love a good tradition, but am learning to hold them loosely and enjoy whatever life brings my way!

  2. Laura - glad you liked it! I bet things have been very different since you lost your dad. Your right, I love a good tradition, too, but sometimes they are best put to rest. And sometimes they are best modified. And sometimes you just leave them alone. :)


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