by Kelly Pelletier, International Vice President of Finance
As I sit here in my living room thinking about what to share with my sisters, I am smiling and feeling nostalgic. This is a wonderful time of the year for me. Being away from the daily grind at my “day job” as a middle school principal allows me to unwind and relax. I never really thought about our family traditions until recently. Now that my children are grown and out in the world as young adults, I have come to realize our family has holiday traditions that are small things they look forward to every year. Let me share a few with you.
Our Christmas Eve is all about watching cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies during the day and then we all go to 4:00 pm mass at the cathedral in downtown Orlando. After church, we pick up a full size lasagna, salad and bread sticks with alfredo sauce for dipping from Olive Garden. We spend the evening stuffing ourselves and watching our favorite holiday movies, Elf and A Christmas Story. We love quoting the lines from the movies as the characters say them and then laugh hysterically at each other.
Christmas morning we all gather at my house around 10:00 am. We have a ham and cheese strata (see recipe below) along with a fruit and cheese danish ring and drink mimosas. After brunch, we open presents and lounge around in our PJs all day watching movies. We tend to alternate between Hallmark Christmas movies and the old Godzilla movies where the words don’t match the mouth movements. Luckily for us, the Godzilla movies are always playing all day on Christmas. We love to laugh and just spend time together. We do eventually get dressed and sit down to dinner together. Christmas dessert is a red velvet trifle with raspberries on top. By the time we are done with dessert, we are all in a food coma and ready to sleep it off.
I hope all of you enjoy your own family holiday traditions and find joy in those traditions that are just for you to share. Have a happy New Year and may 2018 be full of new challenges and wonderful surprises. I am looking forward to what 2018 will bring me and how my service to Alpha Delta Pi will continue into the new year!
Recipe for ham and cheese strata:
12 slices of white bread, cubed
8 oz processed cheese (like Velveeta), cubed
1 ½ cups cubed ham
3 cups milk
1 teasp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
2 tsp onion flakes
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan or a 3 quart baking dish. Put in half of the bread cubes. Place the processed cheese cubes and ham over the bread. Add the remaining bread on top. Beat the eggs, milk, seasonings and onion flakes to combine. Pour mixture over the bread, ham and cheese. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar on top and sprinkle with paprika if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to make sure the bread is soaked with the egg mixture. Make the night before and leave in the fridge overnight. Next morning, bake at 375⁰ for 50 minutes or until set.