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What Are Your Favorite Holiday Moments?

Te recuerdas cuando eras nina (o) y se acercaba la navidad? te recuerdas los platillos deliciosos y tradiciones que hacias con tu familia? There is nothing like remembering family traditions during the holidays.

I have had the chance to be in several different countries during or around the holiday season: USA, Spain, Singapore, and Venezuela. Each country has their own unique way of celebrating the holiday season and in all honesty I love them all. So I try to create my own little versions of each of their traditions into one day or into a couple of days....

Pernil I made Thanksgiving 2010
In Venezuela some of our Christmas traditions (or at least in my family) include celebrating Christmas on Christmas eve. Tu sabes...cuando eras nino and your parents would tell you that 24 is coming and you need to eat all of your dinner with your plate filled with pernil, hallaca, ensalada de gallina and pan de jamon. Of course I fall into a food coma, pero eso no me para a mi de quedarme despierta hasta que llegue el nino Jesus! Because it's baby Jesus who gives us gifts in Venezuela, not Santa...well nowadays I guess it's a mix of both but not when I was growing up. I loved those times...my dad's family just really know how to cook! They used to own a restaurant en Caracas called El Corralito and they were all chefs so they knew how to work the kitchen and get creative with their dishes. So I grew up with the concept of the man being in the kitchen not the woman. But unfortunately, as I grew up...it was I who was always in the kitchen and still am...
plato navideno venezolano
(gracias a univision.com)

As I write this blog I am baking mini cupcakes and just finished making a delish pasta with olive oil, black olives, green olives, garlic, sundried tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese and mushrooms.See what I mean? cocinar es mi vida (bueno mas ahora que nunca con mi apartaco nuevo!). Anyways, totally side tracked....going back to the holidays:

I remember my NYE's we would spend it in Margarita Island with my mom's 200 plus membered family. And we would also eat everything I mentioned earlier plus have ponche crema (Venezuelan egg nog) and champagne (Yes I even had some...not a lot but enough to celebrate). The biggest and most important part about NYE was to stand next to your family during the countdown while you scarf down  your twelve grapes and make 12 wishes for every month of the upcoming new year. Now for all of those that do the uvas...do you ever remember what you wish for? pq yo no!
Ponche Crema

And right when the clock struck 12 that's when my crazy tias would start showing their red or yellow panties and holding their money tight and passports, or run  around the block with a luggage, or throw lentils for money and prosperity and many other crazy ass traditions that one starts to wonder...do they really work? I mean some years they have for me (yup i picked up on a couple of those) but others they haven't.

Now I recapped a portion of my Venezuelan traditions but really some of these were also Spanish such as the Christmas eve dinner...my father is Spanish so we kept some of their traditions during dinner such as prayer and sopa de gallina con pastica and others...but yet again thats very European and somewhat very catholic. So those traditions have transcended.

Granada, Spain 2006

While I was in Spain some of their traditions was always surrounded an event such as montar el nacimiento de jesus christo. My senora would have people over and drink champagne and have tapas and turron while everyone did a little piece of the pie to put the nacimiento together. I kinda wished I would stayed for Christmas but she told me that many of the traditions that my father gave me were the ones she practiced. But there were

But before I went to Spain to study abroad I went to Singapore where I was there to participate in their NYE traditions which weren't that far off from the western traditions but to their defense (and mine) I spent my NYE at a MTV-Asia beach party so yeah it wasn't the traditional event per say but fun enough for a 21 year old looking to having a great time! One thing I did remember and loved about Singapore is the fact that they had this one particular section of the town filled with holiday lights (which every place i have been to seems to follow as well...holiday lights is a worldwide tradition--or at least i think so). It was gorgeous. In addition they do these swirls that hang from the ceiling and they have wishes for the upcoming year. I had a chance to do one while I was there...although I dont remember what I wished for but here is a pic:

SO the whole point of this story is to tie back to a posting I saw earlier this week on Huffington Post about best islands festivals during the holidays. here is the link to the article. I must say some of the images are pretty cool but i'm surprised they didn't mention Singapore...a little sad but that article has inspired me to go visit some of the places they have listed such as New Zealand and Taiwan. I love the holidays and can't wait to share more stories about my upcoming holiday experience in NYC, Boston and DC.

Be on the look out for those posts in the next couple of days =)

till then...buenas noches!

Una semana...until NYC!

Food, Wine, Dessert and Most Importantly: Love..Boston