Posts Tagged: tradition

{Sweet} Traditions

Thank you to Log Cabin for sponsoring my post about updated traditions in my household.

To learn more about Log Cabin Syrups (which are all free of High Fructose Corn Syrup), breakfast for dinner, and other new ways to update traditions in your home, click here.

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Growing up in a Macedonian family we followed many traditions.  Over the years, as I have grown as a mother, I have realized how important it is to keep traditions alive.   While they might not be exactly the same as they were when I was a child, keeping family traditions is very much a goal of mine as the matriarch of our little-big family.

Most recently I adapted the Orthodox New Year’s tradition of hiding a coin in a strudel to hiding it in our family favorite…cornbread!   I’m sure I could probably give a go at making the cheese strudel like my mother and grandmother do, but, over the years, we have come to love cornbread so much that it was a natural evolution of the tradition.

Before I met Michael I had never even tried cornbread.  However, becoming the wife of a man who was born and raised in the south, and eventually living in the south, has really broadened—not only—my taste buds, it has also supplemented my tradition bank.   Now I have Macedonian traditions to draw from, and southern traditions too!

New OrleansOne of my favorite traditions is the one that involves eating Red Beans and Rice on Mondays.  When we lived in New Orleans we found ourselves eating out a lot (I mean, it is dubbed the “Fat City”), and one I enjoyed the most was eating our traditional Monday meal, in the French Quarter, on a balcony like the one at Bourbon Vieux or Cajun Cabin.

Making Red Beans and Rice, at home, is super simple, though.   And, when we make a big pot of them we always make a big pan of cornbread.  There’s nothing like mixing it all up, dousing it with Louisiana hot sauce, and gobbling it up till your belly hurts.  The sausage, the beans, the rice, the cornbread, the flavor—it’s definitely one of my favorite comfort foods.

The best thing about making meals with cornbread, though, is having leftovers for breakfast.   The kids love it so much.  They pop their leftover piece in the microwave, for a few seconds, and top it with our *family’s favorite syrup.  Adding milk and fruit makes it one of the best breakfasts ever.

It really is funny how so many traditions revolve around the dinner table.  Food brings family together, and traditions bind us to our past.  I hope that our children continue them, and pass them on to their children someday.

Every tradition grows ever more venerable – the more remote its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence due to it increases from generation to generation. The tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe. —Friedrich Nietzsche

*Our family’s favorite syrup is Log Cabin, and it has everything to do with the fact that it is free of high fructose corn syrup. Good syrup doesn’t need to have any of that stuff in it, and I am happy that Log Cabin realizes that!   While this is a sponsored post from Log Cabin Syrup, I am emphatic about foods that are free of HFCS, and hope that others do their best to eliminate it from our daily diets.

Tradition Hangs in the Balance

And how do we keep our balance?  That I can tell you in one word.  Tradition!
–Tevye, the Papa, Fiddler on the Roof

The date has been blocked on the calendar since the month change. Countdowns were issued weekly. Thoughts were exchanged verbally amongst siblings about how the night would be, what they would wear, when we’d actually leave the house, and where we’d go. Daydreams ensued about pumpkin heads filled with all kinds of delightful treats.  All in the name of a fall time tradition that [we] love to celebrate: Halloween!

Franken-bot? Off With His Head

The day started out rather slowly.  Coffee.  Mama needs coffee.  And once the quota was filled–the quota being my two favorite mugfuls–I was ready to face the day; the busy day that would more than likely not bring any rest.  First stop was acting class where Olivia did her little one minute skit and wowed the socks off of her teacher.   During the time that the kids were there, Davey and I went to hell.  Ok, so, fine, we really just went to Wal-Mart, but honestly it was pretty close to hell.  Saturday, on Halloween, at Wal-Mart–what was I thinking?   We survived, though, and got back just in time to pick up the little actors.

Then it was time to work.  There was lunch to be served, cupcakes to be made, and pumpkins to carve.

Cupcakes, good.

Time flew by, and before we knew it night was upon us.  I started to get the kids in their costumes.

ZOMBIEGIRLFirst up was Zombie Girl.   This girl has been something ghoulish for the past three Halloweens.  Gone are the days of Princesses and Pop Icons.  She wanted scary, spooky freakishness, and scary, spooky freakishness she achieved.

Bionicle (by: Papa)Next was Benny the Bionicle.  When I found the box of old costumes in the garage, and he saw that Mikey’s old costume would fit him he immediately knew what he’d be.  After all, this is the kid who lives, eats, and breathes, Bionicles.

Ninja (by: Papa) Then it was the Ninja’s turn to get ready.  He wore a costume that was once his eldest brother’s, too.  Mikey was three when my parents took him and Olivia trick-or-treating in our old neighborhood in Cheektowaga, NY.   I can still see toddler Mikey walking down the cracked sidewalks, his plastic pumpkin in hand, excited about getting chocolates.

We kept asking David what he was going to be for Halloween and he reply was either “inja” or “I not gonna be a inja.”   Cutest damn Ninja that I’ve seen, oh, in eight years!


Finally, there was Billy Mays.  I don’t know if I can add anything other than I love that Mikey chose to be him for Halloween.  Earlier in the week I had asked Twitter what they thought he should dress up as, knowing that he liked to wear creative, home-made costumes as opposed to the store bought.   Someone said, “How about Billy Mays,” and as soon as I told Mikey that, the deal was done.   Respectfully, Mikey became the OxiClean spokesman for a night.  He threw that thumb up and flashed his big, pearly whites.

After it was all said and done, Olivia and I were talking.  She said, “Mama, I’m happy about Halloween, but I also have this sad feeling now.”

“Oh, baby,” I said, “sounds to me like you have Halloween let-down.”

“What’s that?” she asked.

“Ya know on Christmas morning, when you’ve done opened all your presents, and the candy’s been eaten, and there’s nothing but crumpled paper under the tree?” I answered her with a question.

“Yes,” she replied.

“Well,” I said, “that’s Christmas let-down, and what you are feeling now is Halloween let-down.  After all, you’ve been thinking about this night for a whole month.  And now that it’s over, you feel kinda sad.  The good part, though, is that we get to mark a new holiday on the calendar tomorrow!”

She was satisfied.

Our Jack-o-Lanterns

Me?  I’m still not entirely satisfied.  November has started and–as quickly as time flies–it’ll be over before we know it.   That’s why I’m just going to take it one day at a time.  I’m allowing myself time to fix any mistakes I’ve made.  I’m resigning myself to be patient with myself; my mind, body and soul.

So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world.

–John Clare, November

This is {NaBloPoMo}

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