Growing up in Illinois, white icing-covered cinnamon buns, fresh from the oven (though prepared the night before) were a core part of Christmas morning. They made a regular re-appearance on New Year’s Day as well. I would, as a matter of course, refuse to get out of bed until I smelled the yeasty, cinnamon warmth wafting upstairs. (I was a fairly spoiled child.)
Here, there are no cinnamon buns for Christmas. What we do have are sonhos , or dreams, to jolt our glycemic levels and supercharge (then superdrop) us. Sonhos are little puffy doughnuts covered in white granulated sugar. Deep-fried carbs covered in sugar. They are delightful.
My body will still be yearning for those cinnamon buns until my gal pal in Azeitão and I make them after the holidays (it’s a combinado), but I’ll keep my pre-diabetic sugar rush going with these sonhos until then… Plus, we still have some sugar cookies left from yesterday 🙂 (They don’t do sugar cookies as a part of Christmas here, either.)
Tonight is Christmas Eve. Maezinha made a veggie quiche for me (especially for me!),
and the rest of the crew will be eating codfish (because they are Portuguese. And because it is Christmas Eve. But really, they just needed the nationality for justification).
We have a fire going in the fireplace (fantastic!) and we made a wreath and a Charlie Brown-style
Christmas tree, both from pine clippings that Pai collected this morning. We’ve got tinsel strewn about, and oddly-placed ornaments, too. It’s Christmas in the homeland 🙂
After dinner, we’ll go to an auntie’s house for ceia (more or less a midnight snack). Ceia is my newest favorite word. I just learned it yesterday. I’m thrilled that there is a fifth accepted standard eating time in the day here. I’d thought I’d won the lottery with four… but five? Nice. Well-played, Portugal. Well-played.
Ok…so ceia isn’t for every day. Normally, it is only on Christmas or for holidays… when people are up and socializing late at night (but not going to the disco or something else more germane, I suppose.) Still, I like that there’s a word for that.