Being a very ecumenical household, we glom our celebrations together taking in everyone’s favorite way of celebrating. Pilat Eve is always an event that we all look forward to. At Pilat Eve the emphasis is on tasty hors d’oeuvres, potato latke making, opening presents and having fun.
John gets things rolling by setting up his frying station on the back patio. His latkes are really delicious. And Nathan has provided a new menorah for this year made from his December Kiwi Crate.
Of course the buffet table is laden with all sorts of holiday treats. This year we have chicken liver mousse, bean and cheese dip, meatballs, dukkah, cookies and more!
Now it is time to open presents. We exchange gifts on Pilat Eve with Jon and his family. On Christmas morning John, Sarah and I open presents.
On Christmas morning we have our traditional breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, capers, onions, and lox. This year John, Sarah and I recall our great trip to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic by including a breakfast beer from the Schneider Brewery in Munich. Hmm, I think the beer may be a perfect addition to our traditional Christmas breakfast.
Later we go to Jonathan’s for Christmas dinner. He and Ryan have prepared a feast which includes a standing rib roast and all the trimmings. It is really good! After a really exciting day, John reads Vader and Son to Nathan and Sam. Sarah has given the book to the boys for Christmas and it is a real hit.
Now that we are home from Florida, we can get to the real task of celebrating the birthdays. The first time George and I had a joint birthday celebration was when I was 29 and he was 34. That’s a span of some 35 years. Of course, we have had some breaks when he and Karen moved to California and it took us 12 years to come to our senses and move to California too!
Today we start the day with wine tasting at Stone Edge Farm Winery. Our old friend and winery manager, Phillipe who used to work at Chateau St. Jean, is there to show us the property and give us a private tasting.
Phillipe leads us around the vineyard discussing their various cultivars and his hopes for the winery. We stop before an old barn and are ushered inside to a lovely tasting room. The wines we sample with Phillipe are stupendous! And there is a platter of tasty snacks to eat. One new hors d’oeuvre to try is dukkah, a middle eastern spice mix that is served with bread dipped in oil. Yum!
After lunch at La Salette in Sonoma, we head off to do a little more tasting and end up in Yountville where we have dinner at Michael Chiarello’s Bottega. It is a fine birthday celebration this year and I look forward to many more.
Our nephew, Mike, held his wedding to Becca on my birthday thus disturbing our time honored tradition of celerating “The Birthdays” with George. But it was a good disruption and George and I managed our celebration albeit a little late.