41 years ago today, my parents got married. Yes, on Christmas Eve. My dad was a medical resident at the time and he got almost no time off. They wanted to have a wedding (which they did at the Plaza in NYC), and they wanted to have a honeymoon and so Christmas Eve it was. My family is Jewish so there was no conflict of interest in terms of the guest list. What they didn’t take into account was how they were going to celebrate in the coming years.
As a child, my parents never went out on their anniversary. Nothing, except Chinese restaurants and hotel restaurants, was open. And it wasn’t even Christmas eve for us because we didn’t celebrate Christmas. They never complained about it but I think the fact that they didn’t get to go out for their anniversary probably always bothered them.
Once I started cooking, even in the very early years when my repetoire was extremely limited, I decided to make dinner for them each year. As I got older and more experienced, I would put together delicious and time consuming menus for them to honor another year of their marriage. Once both I and my middle brother married non-Jews, their anniversary became our family celebration of the holidays. We would all gather together, give gifts, and eat the meal I had made.
This year, it was looking like, up until 5 minutes ago, we weren’t going to be able to celebrate together at all. My dad, although he is retired, occasionally does a little work in Walla Walla which is a small town in the heart of Washington wine country. With all of our crazy snow we have had in the past two weeks, none of us were sure he was going to be able to get home. None of us was sure people were going to be able to risk the roads to get to our house.
But I just got a call from my mom. Not only is she on the road but she is on the way to pick up my dad at the airport. Amazingly, he got on a flight and it looks like it is going to actually take off. I can’t tell you how happy I am that we will all be together. (We will actually be missing my middle brother and his family as he celebrates at his in-laws.)
I made this Apricot Cranberry Linzer Tart last night with the idea that positive thinking (and baking) would actually allow this evening to come together. Linzer Tarts are a favorite of both my parents and this one looked especially good to me. I am not going to share the recipe because a) we haven’t tasted it yet, and b) I found the crust to be exceptionally finicky to work with. It needs some tweaking. But it looks pretty so I thought I would share the photo.
Happy Holidays to everyone out there!