Friday, December 29, 2023

Planning the Weekly Menu for into the New Year and a Book Review on the 4th Day of Christmas

On the 4th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Four Calling Birds.  These Calling Birds signify the 4 Gospels as written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament.  This classic Christmas Carol is sometimes believed to have been written in code signifying Christianity when it was forbidden to practice the faith.  

12 Days of Christmas Graphic
graphic provided by Google images

This theory, however,  has been debunked, mostly because it is a French Carol written in 1780.  The French Revolution, when Catholicism and all Christian religions were outlawed, didn't occur until 1790.  

The Twelve Days of Christmas is very symbolic however and celebrates the days between Christmas and the Epiphany, when the Wise Men arrived bearing gifts for the newborn King.

I know that commercialism would have us start preparing and planning for Christmas before Halloween is even started but traditionally Advent is a time of quiet preparation for the coming of our Lord. Celebrations did not start until Christmas Day and continued for the next 12 Days.

In this household, we start preparing for Christmas right after Thanksgiving but we do extend the celebrations throughout the entire 12 Days, leaving all decorations intact until after Three Kings Day on January 6th. which is normally celebrated as "Little Christmas" with another festive dinner and more gifts shared.

Death in D Minor

I've been listening to Death in D Minor by Alexia Gordon.  This is the next book in the series that started with Murder in G Major.  In this second book, Gethsemane is in a race to save her home from being turned into a chain hotel and she only has until Twelfth Night to do so.  

Set in Ireland, the characters in this book also celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas.  This novel starts with Gethsemane celebrating Christmas quietly as her ghost, Amon, has disappeared without a trace.  The billionaire who wants to buy Amon's property, where Gethsemane has been residing, suffers from PTSD having had a bad haunting when he was a child.  Gethsemane is on a mission to get Amon to return and scare the billionaire off before the deal is completed.

There is, of course, murder and mayhem that occur as Gethsemane is on her mission.  Everything wraps up nicely in the last chapter, where Gethsemane sings We Three Kings and writes C+M+B above her doorframe.  She then removes the King Cake from the oven where she has secreted Baby Jesus.  

I thought it was the perfect book for this time of the year.  I will be linking up with Foodies Read stop by and see what the others are reading this month.  If you would like to celebrate Little Christmas with a Cake you could bake this French Kings of the Epiphany Galette.

This is what I'm cooking up around here for the next 7 Days of Christmas......

Almond Chicken

Sunday-New Years Eve
Chicken Marsala
Fettuccine Alfredo 
Glazed Carrots

Monday-New Years Day
Smoked Pork Chops and Sauerkraut
Mashed Potatoes
Buttered Corn

Taco Tuesday
Taco Pie

Out to eat before Choir

Venison Goulash

Fish Friday
Shrimp and Fish Stew

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