Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.William James
Every year I gripe at the sheer craziness that takes over come December, and every year, once Christmas morning arrives and the world takes a much needed pause, I relish in the the quiet time we get to spend together with friends and family. This year was no exception, as we did what we always do come December 25th. A morning of opening stockings and presents, followed by family breakfast around the table. Christmas breakfast is always crepes, served with canned peaches and stuffed with all manner of goodies: nutella, jams, fresh fruit, whatever I happen to have on hand. This year I forgot maple syrup so we poured ‘poor man’s syrup’ over our plates, a mixture of honey and butter (this year we used coconut butter), and a pinch of salt ~ this is a recipe passed on from my folks, and it’s pretty much all I recall having as a child with pancakes, and our Christmas crepes are really just a personalized version of the cast iron skillet sized pancakes we grew up eating as kids. Always whole wheat. Always stacked as high as could be on one of our largest second hand plates. Christmas growing up was simply always my favourite time.
These moments with family and loved ones are why Christmas is special, and this year I’ve vowed that come next year, I’m not going to gripe in December (or I’ll do my very best I swear!). Sure I get heavily bothered by the commercialism, the obligatory push towards consumption we find ourselves feeling forced into. Stress that we’re going to miss something or someone big this year. The financial burden of it all (there are some ways around this). With children these pressures are especially heavy, as my kids hold strong to the traditions we’ve built around this time of year as a family. This year as we finished the breakfast clean-up and loaded up the car for Whistler, I felt an extreme sense of gratitude for the time we have together. And while it seems that Christmas is a frenzied list of ‘have-to’s’, it’s actually all kind of worth it in the end. And by kind of I mean 100% worth it.
Now that those days are passed again for another year, we look to the coming week of resting and looking ahead. It’s really, really nice, isn’t it? I sure think so. I served these cabbage rolls Christmas eve, and stuffed them with blue barley instead of rice. You could easily use white or brown rice as I’ve always done in the past, but I found the nutty taste of the barley to be a lovely change and a perfect locally grown addition. Use your favourite tomato soup for the sauce, and be sure to add the extra layer of potatoes on the bottom ~ they are worth the dig to the bottom of the pan for.
Wishing you all a wonderful end to this holiday season, and a very calm and peaceful start to 2017.
Barley & Lentil Stuffed Cabbage Rolls:
- 1 large head savoy cabbage
- 1/2 cup dry blue barley, cooked
- 1/2 cup dry French Lentils, cooked
- 2 tbsp olive oil (or any cooking oil)
- 1 medium-large red onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped finely
- 3/4 cup raw cashews, finely ground
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 litre Tomato Soup (I use this one)