A Markel Family Epiphany

Epiphany has always been a festive day in our house, because it’s Ryan’s birthday. But for the last few years, it’s been an extra big deal, because Epiphany is the biggest day of the year for the children’s choir. This year was a little different because the holiday fell on a Sunday, so instead of the usual evening Divine Service, Epiphany was observed as part of the regular Sunday morning Divine Service, and the adult choir sang with the children on Mendelssohn’s “There Shall a Star.” Ryan even got to be part of the trio in the first part!

There is always a reception after the Epiphany service, but it was different this year, because it was a brunch reception instead of an evening one. The ladies did a wonderful job of decorating the church basement and putting everything together! As for me, my annual contribution is baklava (my signature dish, apparently), and I added in a more brunch-appropriate coffee cake, as well.

We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon at home following the service. Ryan picked chili for his birthday dinner, and it made the house smell amazing for several hours!

He also picked a Guinness cake for dessert, which is definitely our family’s favorite!

So this Epiphany was a little different from normal, but all the basic elements were there…a church celebration and a birthday celebration. It’s a fun way to say goodbye to Christmas!

Tasty Tuesday–The Final Christmas Feast

We had Ryan’s birthday dinner a day early today, so we got to have one last 12 Days of Christmas feast! Homemade fish tacos with shredded cabbage and a delicious white sauce, with a chocolate cake for dessert:

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I’m always sad to see Christmas go, but at least we had one last chance to celebrate!

Tasty Tuesday–Holiday Feasts 2013

We had another fun season of special meals this year! Here’s a wrap-up of the feasts we enjoyed…

We started the holiday season with a typical Thanksgiving dinner, followed by an epic six pies for dessert:

On Christmas Eve we had our annual “pick out dinner.” Ryan chose Velveeta/Rotel dip, I picked my favorite jalapeno popper spread, Turkey asked for deviled eggs, Bunny wanted cream cheese stuffed peppers, Moose chose mozzarella sticks, Ladybug asked for cucumber sandwiches, and I picked red and green Goldfish crackers for Chickadee. Plus, we had the standard buffalo Chex mix, carrots, finger Jell-o in Christmas colors and shapes, and a cheese, cracker, and summer sausage plate. (We had Jesus’ birthday cake for dessert after church that night.)

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Our fancy Christmas dinner was held the day after Christmas, when Ryan’s parents could join us. The star of the meal was a pork crown roast. We also had stuffing, cranberries, and roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and brussels sprouts:

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The Christmas desserts were a rustic apple-pear pie with French vanilla ice cream and cream puffs:

On New Year’s Eve, I made French onion soup in my new soup crocks:

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We didn’t have a Christmas tea party this year, but we did have a New Year’s Eve hot chocolate bar!

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I made our traditional New Year’s Day dinner of pork roast, along with a cherry-pineapple Jell-o salad, twice-baked potatoes, and roast carrots and brussels sprouts, with a chocolate peppermint trifle for dessert:

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The final feast of the holiday season is always Ryan’s birthday/Epiphany. This year, he chose fish tacos with a spicy cabbage slaw, and Guinness cake for dessert:

The time of feasting is over for now, but I’m sure we have plenty of special family meals in our future!

Tasty Tuesday–Holiday Feasts

Here’s a wrap-up of the special meals we’ve enjoyed this holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving, and going through the end of Christmas (Epiphany)!

Thanksgiving:

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The Christmas Tea (our one luncheon feast):

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Christmas Eve (appetizers, dips, and desserts):

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The English Christmas Feast:

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New Year’s Day:

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Epiphany (aka Ryan’s birthday)–a mini-Thanksgiving, with birthday cake for dessert:

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The time of feasting is over, for a while at least. I am working on a plan for a Valentine’s Day tea, though!

The Ryan’s Birthday/Epiphany Feast

Also known as Thanksgiving-lite. Turkey and gravy, stuffing, green beans amandine, and cranberries, with birthday cake for dessert. No mashed potatoes, corn, rolls, or five pies, but still very similar to our Thanksgiving feast. It’s a nice way to bookend the holiday season!

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Hymn of the Day–“The Only Son from Heaven”

The only Son from heaven,
Foretold by ancient seers,
By God the Father given,
In human form appears.
No sphere His light confining,
No star so brightly shining
As He, our Morning Star.

O time of God appointed,
O bright and holy morn!
He comes, the king anointed,
The Christ, the virgin-born,
Grim death to vanquish for us,
To open heav’n before us
And bring us life again.

O Lord, our hearts awaken
To know and love You more,
In faith to stand unshaken,
In spirit to adore,
That we, through this world moving,
Each glimpse of heaven proving,
May reap its fullness there.

O Father, here before You
With God the Holy Ghost 
And Jesus, we adore You,
O pride of angel host:
Before You mortals lowly
Cry, “Holy, holy, holy,
O blessed Trinity!” Lutheran Service Book #402

Hymn of the Day–“Hail to the Lord’s Anointed”

Hail to the Lord’s anointed,
Great David’s greater Son!
Hail, in the time appointed,
His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
To set the captive free,
To take away transgression
And rule in equity.

He comes with rescue speedy
To those who suffer wrong,
To help the poor and needy
And bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing,
Their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying,
Were precious in His sight.

He shall come down like showers
Upon the fruitful earth;
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers,
Spring in His path to birth.
Before Him on the mountains
Shall peace, the herald, go;
And righteousness in fountains
From hill to valley flow.

Kings shall fall down before Him
And gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him,
His praise all people sing.
To Him shall prayer unceasing
And daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing,
A kingdom without end.

O’er ev’ry foe victorious,
He on His throne shall rest,
From age to age more glorious,
All blessing and all-blest.
The tide of time shall never
His covenant remove;
His name shall stand forever–
That name to us is Love. Lutheran Service Book # 398