Rebekah Lyn's Kitchen

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Lemons for Christmas December 29, 2013

I hope you all had a nice Christmas. Growing up we always had a big Christmas breakfast after opening gifts and then my mom would have to go to work from 3:00-11:00 so we never really developed the tradition of a big dinner of Christmas Day. Even after she moved from the hospital to the doctor’s office with the holiday off, we didn’t really develop a specific meal for the day, and I’m happy about that, because it gives a chance to try new things.

I had no idea all the goodness I was missing by not reading Southern Living until this first edition came and I found a recipe for Lemon-Rosemary-Garlic Chicken and Potatoes. My lemons are FINALLY ripe so there was no question this would be our Christmas dinner. I made sure we had everything we would need and went to sleep Christmas Eve with lemons, rather the sugar plums, dancing in my head. (What is a sugar plum anyway?)

The big day came, we opened our gifts, ate our breakfast, then went for a drive. I’ve been wanting to tour the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge for months now to shoot some photos and video for my new book trailer. Who knew we’d spend most of the day exploring, visiting places my dad hadn’t seen in twenty years or more? By the time we came home, we were too tired to cook so we nibbled on cake and pie, cheese and popcorn.

Australian Pines along Haulover Canal

Australian Pines along Haulover Canal

Rainbow in the Ocean

A Rainbow dipped into the ocean just before sunset.

Never fear, though. I wasn’t going to let my lemons go to waste. We made our new dish the following day and enjoyed it all the more for the extended anticipation.

Lemon-Rosemary-Garlic Chicken

The lemon tree still bears plenty of fruit and I have a hankering for some fresh lemon tarts as soon as all of the other treats are gobbled up.


Christmas Traditions December 24, 2013

Filed under: Family — itsrebekahlyn @ 10:42 AM
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Growing up preparing for Christmas started on Thanksgiving day. My aunts, uncles, and cousins all gathered at my grandparents’ house for a day of eating, football, napping, and sharing our Christmas lists. I was the only girl of the five grandkids and probably got spoiled a bit because of that.

Grandma & Papa's garden

Grandma & Papa’s garden

The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were filled with baking cookies to share with the neighbors, visiting Disney Village for the living nativity, decorating the Christmas tree, and driving around to look at houses decked out in twinkling Christmas lights.

On Christmas Eve, we all gathered together again, usually at my grandparents’ house, but occassionally at one of my uncles’ homes in Orlando. The ladies would congregate in the kitchen preparing the meal, the men would gather in the living room to talk, and us kids would play tag or hide-and-go-seek until dinner.

I have such fond memories of gathering in the living room after dinner, stacks of gifts in front of each family member, the anticipation growing with each minute. The gifts were opened with smiles glowing, filling the room with warmth and love. Thinking about it now I can still feel that warmth and security.

Childhood Christmas

Childhood Christmas

Since my grandmother died, traditions have changed. The grandkids have married and have families of their own and we don’t all get together anymore. I have been left feeling untethered during this time of year, with the need to create new traditions. This year I celebrated Thanksgiving with my brother’s family in North Carolina and gave them their Christmas gifts, the excitement of my niece and nephew an echo of the excitement my cousins and I had exhibited so many years ago.

When I returned home I decided to bake cookies to share with coworkers and dear friends. I felt closer to those old holiday memories while I mixed the dough and packaged up the cookies. Delivering the cookies and seeing the smiles they brought reminded me of the simple joys Christmas brings.

Christmas Cookies

My parents are in Florida with me for Christmas this year. I’m looking forward to taking them to the Candelight Service at my church this evening then driving around to look at Christmas lights. Most importantly I will go to sleep knowing this is a celebration of my Savior’s birth. The traditions and gatherings are wonderful and the memories will always be treasured, but I know that one day I will have the chance to celebrate with all of my loved ones again and for all eternity.

I pray that you have a blessed Christmas with your family and friends.

Merry Christmas from Rebekah Lyn

Merry Christmas from Rebekah Lyn


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