Saturday, December 25, 2010


It’s Christmas day today. I had all intentions of writing my blog and posting it at the stroke of midnight. But as usual, I got caught up in the Holiday preparation. After spending all Christmas Eve into Christmas Day cleaning, wrapping gifts, and decorating, I was just too tired to visit the computer.

As I got up this morning and began cooking, cleaning again, and more cooking, writing the blog took a bit of a back seat. Christmas is a lot of work, especially if you have kids. But it is work I enjoy. Why? I love Christmas. I love the sights, the sounds and the smells. I especially like the tastes.

There are some foods we only eat at Christmas. We brew Sorrel, a blood red drink made from the Sorrel flower. The aroma fills the room and fills my heart with nostalgia. We make black cake. It is a fruit cake filled with wine and sometimes rum. I soak the dried fruits: raisins, prunes, currents, cherries etc in port wine for a few weeks then bake them into the cake. After the cake is finished, I pour port wine and a tiny bit of CSR, a rum made in St. Kitts, over it.

The smell of cake baking, ham baking, sorrel brewing and ginger beer fills me with memories of a time past. A time when there were no gifting or myths of Santa bringing presents. A time when Christmas and carnival went hand in hand… when people dropped by our home just to have some Sorrel and Black Cake. A time of joy that did not involve the excessive materialism that characterizes Christmas today.

Yes I love Christmas. And as I enjoy my roasted lamb, yam pie, and fried plantains with my sorrel and black cake, I’ll remember all who celebrate the holidays in different ways. So for all who take the time to visit Novel Spaces today, here’s my wish for you:
I wish you a merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous new year!

4 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I enjoyed Christmas when Josh was young and spent quite a bit of time preparing for it, but now that he's out on his own I do almost nothing for Christmas except enjoy a day when he comes to visit me.

Stefanie Worth said...

Jewel -- Your menu is making me hungry and your memories are making me reminisce. Because I have a youngster who still believes in Santa, our preparations still have an air of secrecy and fantasy around them. I know I'll miss that when she figures out what's up in a year or two. But, I also find that because the older two children understand the realities of time and economics, preparations for them are much more relaxed. In all, we had a wonderful spirit to our holiday this year. Sounds like you did, too. (Note: I may be tapping you for your sorrel and black cake recipes to add to next year's celebration.) Here's wishing you a bright and prosperous new year as well!

Jewel Amethyst said...

Stephanie, I'll happily share the recipe. My oldest never believed in Santa and my younger two are too young to appreciate it, but it is still fun, even without the Santa emphasis.

Charles, even if there is no preparation it is still a nice restful holiday (unless of course you are stuck in the kitchen).

Enjoy what's left of the year, and have a happy new year when it comes.

Liane Spicer said...

Jewel, sorrel, ginger beer and black cake? Your Caribbean Christmas is right there with you in that snowy place!

Many happy returns!