A Table of Christmas Past


For this month's Kitchen Reader (of which I've been horribly neglectful these past few months) we were all to post a memorable holiday recipe.

Other than sweet stuff--which, while lovely, does not a dinner make--I have trouble thinking of holiday food that's important to me.  We're still planning to "Feast of Whatever" on Christmas day, and discussing doing some crab leggies on Christmas Eve again--'cause that was way too fun last year.  But really, when I think "Christmas food", I don't necessarily think of specifics.  I tend to think more of having an abundance of food and of warmth and of light...just sort of that perfect "fullness".

So instead of food, let's talk about the table.

As you may recall, I blogged a bit last Spring about cleaning out my grandmother's house, and some of the vintage-y treasures that were found therein.  When we were talking about who wanted what and wherefore, there was only one thing I told everyone I had to have--Grandma's Christmas windmill.

The windmill came from Germany.  Nice Dad was stationed there for a few years when I was very small, and shipped it back to Nice Grandma one Christmas.  

The heat from the candles propels the windmill blades, making the people spin around like a miniature carousel.  And the little people and animals are so intricately carved--I still sometimes see a little detail that I haven't noticed before.  Between that and the candles--the windmill is the only time I really remember eating by candlelight as a child--it was completely magical to the four-year-old-me, and it still is.

Much to my grandmother's mock displeasure, my cousins and I used to flip the windmill blades so that the wisemen and shepards would race round and round instead of making a slow, stately progression to Bethlehem.  For some reason, I can't get them to do that this year.  I think maybe we keep our dining room just that much colder than Grandma's kitchen and they can't get quite enough heat?  Or maybe it's a skill that wears off when you turn ten, and I'll have to wait for the kiddo to come along and figure it out?