December 27

Where We Are … (Hannah)

Enough with the beaches! Today we’re off to the Cappadocia region of Turkey, known for its remarkable rock formations and cave dwellings. We’ll stay at the historic Museum Hotel, set in the restored site of thousand-year-old stone homes. 

Cappadocia lies in central Anatolia, in the heartland of what is now Turkey. The relief consists of a high plateau over 1000 m in altitude that is pierced by volcanic peaks, with Mount Erciyes (ancient Argaeus) near Kayseri (ancient Caesarea) being the tallest at 3916 m. The boundaries of historical Cappadocia are vague, particularly towards the west. To the south, the Taurus Mountains form the boundary with Cilicia and separate Cappadocia from the Mediterranean Sea. To the west, Cappadocia is bounded by the historical regions of Lycaonia to the southwest, and Galatia to the northwest. Due to its inland location and high altitude, Cappadocia has a markedly continental climate, with hot dry summers and cold snowy winters.[7] Rainfall is sparse and the region is largely semi-arid [from Wikipedia].

What We Eat … (Sandy)

When grand children come to The Parsonage, a favorite breakfast is my Parmesan Popovers.


No grandchild’s visit to Vermont is complete without Nana’s popovers – moist on the inside, crispy on the outside. This adaptation of a reduced-fat recipe published in Cooking Light (2009) adds a crunchy top layer of Parmesan. Secret to success: begin with all the ingredients at room temperature. A single batch makes six. I typically double the ingredients to fill two popover pans.

  • 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • cooking spray
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan
  • Paprika (optional)

Combine milk, egg whites and egg in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Let stand for 30 minutes.

The “grands” on the porch of the Playhouse, 2016, Rhaine, Alex, Tully, and Cassie

Combine the flour and salt. Gradually add it to the milk mixture, stirring well with a whisk.

Coat 6 popover cups or a 6-cup popover pan with cooking spray.

Brush the melted butter evenly among the six cups to coat. Place in a 375’ oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and quickly divide the batter among the prepared popover cups.

Sprinkle Parmesan and paprika (both optional) and return to a 375’ oven for 40 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately.

What We Listen To … (Jacob)

Happy Xmas (the War is Over)– John Lennon

I didn’t realize this was John Lennon of The Beatles growing up, but always knew the song was special, as it was one of the only non country songs played on WCVR radio this time of year. The song still sounds like a snowy West Brookfield winter whenever I hear it.

What Makes us Laugh(Patrick)

Nothing brings Christmas cheer like Nintendo.

What Amuses Us (Whitney)

Because it takes place during a Christmas party, Die Hard totally counts as being a holiday movie. This film always strikes me as being better than the script deserves. The sets are fantastic, the escalation of events is dizzying, and it is hard to imagine anyone else besides Bruce Willis pulling off John McClane. It is a quintessential action film, chockfull of both flippant humor and explosions. Alan Rickman’s performance and the presence of Carl Winslow (Reginald Vel Johnson) make it a must-see.

What Makes Us Family (Stephen)

2016 Christmas greeting from Sandy and I in Lisbon, Portugal

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