This time of year, when it’s raining, windy and dark it’s a good time to reflect on the many cultural and religious traditions that focus on light and that invariably involve feasting and merriment.
Happy Hanukkah! While we are not Jewish, this year we did a little more learning about food and Hanukkah and let it inform our menu planning. We learned that oily foods are a key aspect of foods eaten during Hanukkah because they link back to the ancient story of what happened after the battle between the Hasmonean family and the Greeks. Only a single earthen pot or “cruse” of pure oil was found, just enough for the victorious Hasmoneans to light the menorah for one day. And yet, a miracle occurred in which this oil was used to light the menorah for eight days.
Winter solstice is coming up on December 22. While it is the darkest day of the year, it is also the moment when the light begins to return and the days start getting longer again. There were many pre-Christian civilizations around the world that celebrated the return of the light and the life-giving sun (and also celebrated the fact that they had survived this long into the winter). The origins of the yule log burning on the hearth can be found in these celebrations. What was traditionally eaten at these feasts? A quick Google search does not reveal that, perhaps because they ate whatever they had left in abundance at that time that would not impact their ability to survive for the remainder of the season. Seafood, bone broth based soups, hot drinks and sweets would be my starting place today.
Christmas is interesting when it comes to food. Whereas Thanksgiving is nearly identically all across the country, when you ask people what they are having for Christmas dinner, you are never certain of the answer. We have never had any consistency in my family growing up or today. I’d like to change that. One thing that we have done that is fun, is to serve favorite appetizers as dinner while decorating the tree. Crab is in season and Heyday turkeys are too: let us know if you want a local turkey as we have a few left that are frozen and ready to be a part of your feast.
Thanks to those of you who have reached out regarding our recent announcement of changes on the farm. We will continue to share information as we know it about what’s next for our family and for the farm. In the meantime, rest assured that our dedicated and talented staff will continue to provide the food, lodging and events that people have come to expect.
We have all kinds of meat for feasting, including turkeys. See our fresh list for a complete list of the bounty. Our Farm Store at Lynwood Center on Bainbridge Island is open year-round, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Join us for an upcoming event (as soon as we populate the calendar in the midst of transitions) or schedule your own. We also have lovely rooms for rent both on the farm and at Lynwood Center above our Farm Store. We offer a stunning location and the freshest, local and seasonal food around. See all our offerings here.