Twelve Days wrapped up.

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This evening I was reminded of one snowy night last week up at my daughter’s: I walked outdoors and crunched through the snow, far enough from the house that the fairy lights were hidden behind a tall spruce tree, and I looked up – oh my! The stars were brilliant, and I immediately saw two constellations I hadn’t noticed the last time I was in the mountains, in October. It is evidently the season for Orion and the Pleiades. I always think of the Pleiades as the Seven Sisters, because when I first met that group I was in Turkey, and my friends there called them that.

Tonight I took a bowl of kitchen scraps out to the trash, and saw those same constellations shining right above my house in lowland suburbia. A cloudless sky seems strange, after days and days of clouds and rain. But there it was. I was carrying out all the rind and seeds of this giant Rouge vif D’Etampes pumpkin, which I bought in the fall and which has been sitting on my front walk until today, when a black spot revealed a bit of rot setting in.

I cut out that bit of flesh and then roasted the two halves one at a time, because they were too large to do otherwise… unless I had cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces, but I wasn’t smart enough to think of that idea until later…

(Those are Asian yams baking at the same time.)

…maybe because I brought a cold home with me from the northlands, and my brain may still be affected, though I feel very well today. Another more pleasant gift was a jar of our Glad-type of peppernuts ! that Pippin baked for Christmas. I took this picture in my car before I had eaten too many, and I’m proud to say I have continued with restraint. They are the sort of treat we can’t seem to produce every year. Maybe next year I will bake some myself; on the way home I bought one of the ingredients that is often not easily found except at truck stops.

I didn’t bake half of the cookies I’d planned this Christmas. Instead of baking, I had my little road trip, and then a couple of days of lying around under the weather. I figure if I haven’t done my baking by the Twelfth Day it will have to wait until next year.

Speaking of the Twelfth Day, here is one last image of Theophany, from my dear friend May’s parish, and her arrangement of the festal surround.

My red berries from the bike path cotoneaster bushes dried out before Theophany, and I had to wander the garden a bit to find something to extend the season for my kitchen windowsill. In January it’s succulents and olives.

I’m slowly putting away the decorations and burning down some of the candles, beginning to settle into what looks to be a quiet month of guilt-free homebodiness. I have a good stack of firewood, and enough housework and reading to keep me busy for a year of Januarys. And more than five quarts of pumpkin now in the freezer to make sustaining soups and puddings for the rest of winter and beyond.

Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift.
There is nothing small in it.

-Florence Nightingale

7 thoughts on “Twelve Days wrapped up.

  1. The pumpkin sounds so good! I had a hard time finding them this year. Well, I have one can, which is sadly not the same as a real, true pumpkin. Hubby is at the grocery store right now. Maybe he’ll find one. 😊

    Love this quote:

    Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift.
    There is nothing small in it.

    -Florence Nightingale

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  2. That is quite a pumpkin! I still have some frozen from the one my daughter brought home this year- hmm, maybe muffins would be a good Saturday treat. (Thanks for the inspiration :))

    Oooh, my grandma always made peppernuts, but hers were small and round and hard- not for the weak-of-teeth!

    God’s blessing in 2022.

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  3. I love looking up at the night sky. It’s something I miss about having a dog and having to take the dog out around 10 every night. Don’t ask me why I don’t go out now and look up because I’m ashamed to admit I’m too lazy.

    I’m very curious about your peppernuts. What ingredient can you find at a truck stop?

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  4. I love the night sky as well! Especially out here in the country.

    I grew up enjoying Peppernuts every Christmas season, as well! They were round tiny little cookies, and crunchy! I remember at a church activity, St. Nick’s helper would dig his hand into a big bag and throw them out to all the children and we would scramble for them. We called them pepernootjes in Dutch. I bake very few treats compared to when my kids were young! Peppernuts don’t make the cut anymore 😉

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  5. I love your idea of a “quiet month of guilt-free homebodiness.” Thankfully you have a stash of firewood and books a plenty. Of course, housework is always there no matter the season. What beautiful views you have through your lovely windows. So glad to know that others still watch the mighty hunter, Orion.

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  6. I will look for the Seven Sisters! We can see Orion here. Thank you for sharing. I think your icon on the kitchen sill with olive and succulent is lovely. Many years on the feast of our Lord’s Theophany!

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