Well, I’ll start with a wee bit of November. This year we enjoyed our first Thanksgiving meal in Ireland hosted by fellow American Amanda and her Dub husband Hagi. Amanda did most of work, preparing all the classic dishes and her first Turkey! We brought a pan of cornbread dressing. Amanda is from Georgia, so the dressing was much appreciated. We also watched Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Hadn’t seen it in ages, so awesome! I should keep a copy of the show handy for all the people who ask me what Thanksgiving is all about.

Below, our friend Graham demonstrates the proper way to eat a mince pie, following a night of caroling with our church. I think my personal mince pie tally for the holiday season is around three dozen.

And a few scenes of Dublin in its Christmas finery.

We were let out of work a bit early on Christmas Eve, so I was able to catch the sunset over St. Anne’s.  We spend the evening with the Barnes Family. Caragh prepared a lovely ham, and the kids had helped make homemade mince pies. We also sampled Yarg, a regional specialty cheese from Caragh’s homeplace, Cornwall. Yarg is a cow milk cheese based on a 13th-century recipe. It’s typically wrapped in nettle leaves, but this wheel was covered with wild garlic leaves, which infused the semi-hard cheese with lovely garlic aroma. We also enjoyed some 2-year aged Gouda (which people in the know pronounce how-da). Cheese, Grommit!

On Christmas morning, we had a bit of a lie in, followed by the Opening of Presents. Bill then set to work preparing his dishes for the Christmas feast to come.

On Christmas we loved being Kingstons for a day. Hilary, Anna and Bill put together an amazing Christmas dinner of cranberry-stuffed pork, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts with pancetta, savory bread pudding with leeks and gruyere, and ginger-glazed sweet potatoes, followed by a dizzying collection of desserts. Those cranberry cocktails were pretty nice too!

On Stephen’s Day we visited Colin (and his dogs!) in Laytown for dinner. Bill and I worked the three days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Snow started falling on New Year’s Eve. It was the beginning of The Big Freeze.

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