Christmas was something more

Christmas is usually about food, family and fun but this year it was something more; it was about faith and miracles.

Like most people this time of year, there was a lot of last minute shopping and planning, cooking and baking. There were also doctor's appointments. A few weeks ago we received unwelcome news and our/my plans/world got turned upside down. All of a sudden things were not status quo and uncertainty reigned. A few more appointments and the situation did not improve culminating in surgery on the 23rd. We were devastated.

The doctor performing the surgery is a saint; truly, this man walks on water. We had faith in Him and the doctor that things would turn out right; they did. On the 24th we found out the surgery was successful, our Christmas miracle. As we left the children's hospital we saw volunteers walking in with gifts for the children who would not be going home for Christmas; we were grateful.

I had wanted to write about Peruvian Christmas traditions but as mentioned, I was busy with more important things. I had researched it a bit beforehand just trying to see if my family's traditions lined up with other Peruvian family traditions and they varied wildly. There was the chocolatada drink that our family never made and there wasn't any really "typical" dessert. The only constant was the turkey dinner which, for my mother's sake, we always make. I can't stand turkey.

As I was enjoying a bowlful of buche de Noel this afternoon, I thought about what traditional Christmas dishes are a must have for me. Aside from the dreaded turkey, Christmas means sweets. On my French Canadian side, buche de Noel is an absolute must. I wanted to try making one from scratch this year but I didn't have a chance. The peanut free Lambert buche de Noel was excellent and a must have every year. On my Peruvian side there's the mandatory D'Onofrio paneton, available in most latino stores. And finally there is my mother's leche flan which I make every Christmas to the delight of everyone. It's a recipe I've only ever shared once and which I will share with you as my final H&W post for the's my gift.

This morning as we were admiring the first snowfall of the season at the cottage, I made myself another family tradition; café con leche and a slice of paneton. My mother has been making me a cup of warm milk and instant coffee for as long as I can warms you to the core. I have started making café con leche for my princess; she simply loves it.

I truly hope your Christmas was as warm and happy surrounded by your loved ones.

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