Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Headache, Hospital, & Holidays

I'm back...
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I didn't really intend to take a
big bloggy break,
but life has been really busy.

Without going into too much detail,
I had some health issues to attend to.
For the past five and a half years,
I have suffered from a severe, chronic headache condition.
A few days before Christmas,
I went into the hospital
for an experimental procedure
in which I was put into a coma over three days.
It was tough.
I have been recovering ever since,
so I haven't had a lot of energy to devote to the blog.

In addition to my health issues,
the holidays kept me very busy.
In a three week period,
I celebrated Christmas Eve, Christmas,
New Year's Eve, New Year's Day,
my 18th wedding anniversary, and my birthday!
Those busy days really added to my overall fatigue.

Typically, I cook a large homemade meal
for Christmas Eve dinner.
Then, I make another big dinner on Christmas.
This year, I was less than a week into my recovery
by the time Christmas Eve/Day came around.
So, I ordered catered dinners for the special evenings.

In addition, I called a fabulous French bakery
in Santa Barbara to order two
"Buche de Noels" (Yule Log Cakes).
I ordered chocolate for Christmas Eve and
white chocolate with raspberry for Christmas night.
They were utterly delicious!

According to the History Channel:
The history of the Yule log cake stretches all the way back to Europe’s Iron Age,
before the medieval era. Back then, Celtic Brits and Gaelic Europeans would gather
to welcome the winter solstice at December’s end.
To cleanse the air of the previous year’s events and to usher in the spring,
families would burn logs decorated with holly, pinecones or ivy.
Wine and salt were also often used to anoint the logs.
Once burned, the log’s ashes were valuable treasures said to guard against evil.
With the advent of Christianity, the Yule log tradition continued, albeit on a smaller scale.
We don’t know who exactly made the first Yule log cake,
but judging from the individual ingredients
 it could have been as early as the 1600s.
Marzipan and meringue decorations, two of the most popular choices for Yule logs,
appeared on many a medieval table.
Sponge cake, which often constitutes the base of the log, is one of the oldest cakes still made today. 

My family enjoyed these cakes so much,
I think they will become
a new tradition for us.

It's good to be back on the blog!
I cannot wait to share some of the
big projects that have been
happening in my home.
Until then...

Au Revoir,

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