Odd Thoughts: Feast upon holiday traditions

Less than a weekend away from Christmas, it’s the festive time – or quite literally, the time for feasting.

It is entirely unlikely, of course, that the true reason for Christmas – the birth of the Christ child – occurred on Dec. 25. More likely, the scholars who study such things maintain, the putative son of God made his appearance in the manger of our lowly earthly plain some time in mid to late September, or perhaps as late as October.

It was opportune, however, to usurp the pagan Midwinter celebration, and keep newly minted Christians interested with their traditional feasting, rather than chance them slipping into their old ways of feasting for less approved hopefulness in the dreariest and seemingly most hopeless time of the year.

The Druids and other pagan priests and priestesses had figured, long before the Christians came along, that an annual time of feasting in celebration of the shortest days of the year gave recognition that days were about to get longer and thus time for spring planting and replenishment of precarious food stores would soon be at hand.

And so it is that, Christian or not, we drag our oldest cookbooks with our oldest, most traditional family recipes off dusty shelves or out of seldom opened drawers.

This is the one time of year when the old books reign supreme over the Internet, despite its unlimited offerings of exciting culinary adventures. In the Christmas kitchen in many households, the fresh-faced upstart is asked to step aside and let tradition take the lead.

When you open your favourite cookbook – most often your oldest – it’s like visiting an old friend. And you quickly find yourself wondering why it’s taken a whole year to get back together again.

That favourite cookbook is easy to spot: it’s literally grimy with favouritism. No need for a “search function,” it automatically opens to your best recipe.

You don’t have to add cookbook recipes to your Favourites list, like you do with your browsers and computers. Simply as part of the act of culinary creation, your pages are marked effortlessly with a patina of old flour, grease spatters, and vanilla extract stains. The marks that give your books character would kill your ThinkPad or iPhone.

Most of all, those musty old books exude a comfortable Christmas feeling as no electronic devices could.

Merry Christmas!

And happy feasting!

 

 

Just Posted

Langley takedown linked to murder conspiracy case

Dramatic arrest was part of Taskforce Tourniquet, a multi-agency police gang investigation

Aldergrove community stakeholders react to town centre plans

‘The mall has been an eyesore for many years,’ says Home Hardware owner

WATCH: Langley teen singer a finalist in international competition

Langley’s Sean Thomas, 17, is a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition.

Music students to stage protest performances in Langley

Sunday demonstration planned to oppose budget cuts at Kwantlen Polytechynic University

Langley Mustangs runner sets Canadian record

Sarah Inglis celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a standout performance at the Canadian All Comers race

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

Minor injury cap, court restrictions take effect April 1 in B.C.

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Two men charged in Lower Mainland grocery store stabbing in 2018

Coquitlam RCMP say the incident is ‘believed to be targeted’

Number of homeless deaths more than doubled in B.C. as opioid crisis set in

New data shows trend between more overdose deaths and the number of people dying in the street

Four people spat on in ‘random, unprovoked’ assaults: Vancouver police

Police ask additional victims to come forward after woman in a wheelchair spat on

Driver sought in Vancouver hit-and-run that sent two to hospital

A man and woman were crossing Fraser Street early Monday morning when they were hit

Most Read