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text 2018-12-31 19:22
24 Festive Tasks: Doors 9 - Thanksgiving, Task 2 and Door 20 - Christmas, Task 2 (Christmas Dinner)

I've decided to combine these two tasks -- they both deal with dining in some fashion, and while I would actually not want to change anything about my / our personal holiday traditions, just for once I think it might be fun to have


Christmas or New Year's Eve dinner with Mark Twain,


enjoy his sense of humor and myriads of stories (he must have been quite the raconteur), all the while enjoying an


all you can eat dinner


featuring my mom's very own minced beef and bell pepper stir fry, her potato salad, as well as my BFF's curry & cream soup, Indonesian rice salad, and mousse au chocolat;


amplified by some of the goodies that make up my favorite restaurant's weekly changing culinary trip all around the Mediterranean and some of my favorite Spanish restaurant's tapas.  (Alternatively, a bunch of Indian curries -- say, mango, korma and saag --, Thai / Indonesian / Vietnamese lemongrass chicken, Szechuan beef, and sweet & sour pork.  Or a selection of Mexican burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas and tacos with guacamole, salsa roja and sourcream on the side ...)



All of this, with a nice Rioja Gran Reserva, plenty of sparkling mineral water, and an espresso or cappuccino to chase it down ... as well as a single malt, preferably 15+ years of age.  Cheers!


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text 2018-12-28 20:25
24 Festive Tasks: Door 11 - Russian Mother's Day, Task 2 (Mother's Day Memory)

I usually give my mom a bouquet of flowers and take her out for lunch or dinner on Mother's Day.  One occasion I remember particularly well is when a few years ago we took a trip to a place just south of Bonn, where there is a museum and, right below, the place's former train station has been transformed into a restaurant.  It was a gloriously sunny day in May, and we very much enjoyed our food and the views of the Rhine Valley.


The museum (designed by the same architect as the Getty in Los Angeles, Richard Meier) and the train-station-turned-restaurant


The view from our table on the restaurant's terrace


Lunch -- asparagus, as matching the season


... and that year's bouquet
(as always, with hand-picked flowers, not prebound at the store)



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text 2018-12-27 20:38
24 Festive Tasks: Door 21 - Kwanzaa, Task 4 (Kwanzaa / Vegetable Dinner)

Boxing Day very-late-lunch-going-on-dinner ("linner"?  "dunch"?) was orange duck with potatoes, mixed vegetables (several different kinds of carrots, green beans, peas, and cauliflower rosettes), mixed green salad, and freshly pressed pink orange juice.  I think that should do it, as far as various kinds of crops are concerned ...


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text 2018-12-21 20:40
24 Festive Tasks: Door 14 - Hanukkah, Task 3 (Donut)

... and of course, I needed to reward myself for braving the Friday-before-Christmas crowds.  So I decided to take home a donut -- and found that they even had Oreo donuts!  Couldn't resist that one, of course!  And because I felt like it, I also brought home a nougat ring from the bakery down the street ...



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text 2018-12-18 17:46
24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 - Advent, Task 3; and Door 24 - Epiphany, Task 4 (Wassail Bowl and Favorite Spicy Drink)

Nothing like a bowl of chai latte with freshly ground spices on a winter day ...

... chased with a banana, cherry and chocolate smoothie in a matching festive cup (closest thing I have to what just might pass for a wassail bowl) -- admittely store bought, but seriously, can you resist this sort of label?

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