Merry Christmas!

Thanks to a 3:30am initial wake-up call from Milo (as we are into official Day 2 of “Under no circumstances will we give into your crying, whining ways. cat” training), it has been quite the start to Christmas morning. As of right now, I’m the only one awake, and I’m definitely feeling that “Oooo – let’s open things!” itch.

For a more non-traditional Christmas Eve than in years past, we went out to eat at The Pit‘s new location in Durham (next to Fullsteam Brewery – how apropos!) Whole-hog BBQ? You might think it would be a vegan’s nightmare, but in fact, The Pit offers TWO, yes, TWO tofu dishes! After inquiring on the BBQ sauce’s ingredients (confirmed: no dairy), I ordered the BBQ Tofu with grilled vegetables. It was really good! The BBQ sauce was not overly sweet, had a bit of kick, and the tofu was cooked well (cut into fun medallions). I also enjoyed an incredibly fresh Founder’s Porter on draft. It was so creamy – mmmm! My mouth still waters.

Since we were right next door, we had to stop in to Fullsteam for a quick pint and to show Aaron’s mom where we met.  Aaron took his first taste of Fruitcake the Beer for 2013. This year’s batch is REALLY smoky, which I did not particularly like. Here is Fullsteam’s description of this unique Christmas concoction:

“Fruitcake…The Beer is a 10% ABV old ale venturing into barleywine territories. It’s brewed with local figs we bought from our local Foragers and house-roasted chestnuts from High Rock Farm. And if that’s not enough, we age the beer in bourbon barrels. This year, we added twice the roasted chestnuts than in our inaugural bottling of Fruitcake…The Beer, and the not-shy smoke-and-fruit combo really makes for a special beer. It combines the fruitiness of a tawny port with the smoke of a slightly peaty whiskey.”

1525383_10102470666760902_677146473_nFullsteam Selfie!

And now, I wait. I’ve got about 15 more minutes in me until only child Katie emerges and the “Aaron…Aaron…” starts. I am thinking of my family today, all of who I miss greatly, especially this time of year. This is only my second Christmas not with my parents in some way, shape or form, and I know it will not be the last. Sometimes growing up is hard, no?

Merry Christmas to all! Enjoy the special time together with those you love and remember those who have made positive impacts on your life. Cheers and good wishes!

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