Xmas 2008 recap

I’m not sure if the following Christmas song makes me want to have a drink or never drink again. 

I’ll decide over a glass of Bushmill’s.  [shrug]

We celebrated Christmas with my folks on their farm down in sunny FL.  We flew out before the big pre-Xmas snow storms hit Albany and returned after almost all the snow had melted away [whew].  Cati’s family flew in from Spain and joined us; it was great.  The holidays, in the house I grew up in, were mainly about the food (shocking, eh?).  Here are some highlights from our week with the folks on their farm.

We arrived at my father’s well maintained farm and he immediately wanted us to see the garden. 

He’s growing cabbage, pineapples, sugarcane, radishes, peppers, yuca, and many other things I have forgotten.   

The yuca (or casava root) is by far my favorite.  Here it is straight from the ground. 

It then gets peeled, boiled, and served with a lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic concoction called mojo.

My mom also made her borscht (which I try to emulate), and it was great.  She also sauteed the beet greens with garlic and caramelized onions, (like you might do with kale) and they were great.  I will be doing the same in the future. 

As though we didn’t have enough food in-house, my in-laws ordered some Spanish treats from tienda.com and had them shipped to my folks’ place. 

For the Xmas Eve dinner we all pitched in and had a wonderful feast.

I was in charge of recording the tasks with the rest of the team over breakfast that morning; I won’t be getting that job again.

On our final night there, my folks hosted a pig roast party and we enjoyed the most succulent pork we had ever tried.  My father’s Cuban friends advised us on how to prep and cook the meat; it was delicious.   

Nina was dressed for the pig roast:

But her excitement didn’t last:

Maybe it was all that high-flying activity:

Here are some of the other animals that my father keeps on his farm.  Guineafowl

Along with two of the most ornery and nasty geese.  They will actually seek you out for a fight.   Be on the look out.

His two beloved dogs Brusca and Tasha:


…and Llamas (and pigs and cows; not pictured):

Here are some animals he keeps without intending to:

Grasshoppers of biblical proportions:

I caught a snake while on a walk with Nina.  Although I would like to boast that is was dangerous, it was just a harmless little hognose.

Although we were quite content to stay on the farm the whole time, we did visit a few local highlights.  One being the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Pete

The museum was great, but I’m not sure why we went in-doors at all.

We enjoyed every minute of our visit.  I hope you enjoyed reading about it. 

Happy Holidays everyone!  Here’s wishing you all the best in 2009.

8 Responses to “Xmas 2008 recap”

  1. Lydia says:

    What a Christmas gift it was for your dad and me to have all of you share your holidays with us! Life doesn’t get better than this. You were all a pleasure to host, especially, Nina.

  2. celinabean says:

    Happy New Year. Wishing you guys all the best, Celinabean

  3. Albany Jane says:

    The front goose looks like it just told you to get off his lawn!

    Happy new year! What a wonderful trip – thanks for letting me see a bit of warm sunshine in these pics!

  4. Gina says:

    With a garden like that right outside their door (and the subsequent super fresh fruit and veggies), I don’t know how you left to come back to the cold dry winter here.

  5. jess says:

    Those llamas are really cute…

  6. alex|dimitri says:


    Right back atchya. Wishing you and your gang the best.

    Yeah, the brown one is the crankier of the two. He will nip you like no tomorrow. Cati carries a stick to keep them at bay.

    Yeah, what are ya gonna do though? Albany weather makes us appreciate those FL visits.

    They sure are; and delicious too (kidding– we only roasted the pig).

  7. Kathleen says:

    Wonderful recap of your vacation! I was looking forward to seeing photos when Cati told me about her upcoming trip last month!

  8. jess says:

    Also, of all the cards my mother and Mark received this year, yours was my favorite by far. Dan and I laughed our asses off when we saw it at the house on Christmas. Amazing.