December 31 … New Year’s Eve

Where We Are … (Hannah)

The Magic Sleigh has delivered us safely back our homes in Brooklyn, Dallas, Vermont, Georgia, Portland, Bend, Boston, New Haven, Tucson, and Washington.

In Iceland, appropriately enough, we saw this

amazing waterfall:

What We Eat … (Sandy)


Pam and Ron Varga, Sandy and Stephen meet on the beach just outside Charleston, SC

My brother Ron Varga and his wife Pam live in Muskegon, Michigan, where there is a large Dutch and Scandinavian influence. The following recipe for Tunn Pannkaka is from the cookbook, “Choice Swedish Recipes,” given to Pam by her mother, Barbara Mars.

In Sweden, these thin pancakes are traditionally eaten as a dessert for pea soup on Thursdays. They are often served with fresh berries and powdered sugar, or with some combination of jam, ice cream, or whipped cream, which is how Ron and Pam’s daughters, Beth and Sara, fell in love with the tasty tradition of their ancestors. Swedish pancakes are now in high demand as a favorite breakfast treat for grandchildren Alina, Savannah, Penelope, and Veronica whenever they spend a weekend with Papa and Grandma in Muskegon.

  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Beat the 3 eggs well. Combine with one cup of milk.

Add the salt, melted butter, sugar, sifted flour and baking powder to the egg/milk mixture. Stir into a smooth batter. Add the remaining ½ cup milk.

Lightly oil a 10” sauté or crepe pan. Ladle 1/3 cup of the batter into the pan, swirling the ladle to evenly coat the pan’s bottom.

Cook over medium high heat until edges are firm and the crepe slightly browned. It should turn easily at this point to be cooked briefly on the other side.

Spread the hot cakes with jam, jelly, powdered or cinnamon sugar and roll.

Pam’s & Ron’s grandkids Savannah, Penelope, and Veronica, daughters of Beth and Sly Owusu

What We Listen To … (Jacob)

My New Year Resolution/Suggestions for America.

“Respect” by Otis Redding becomes the new national anthem.

All Americans must listen to the Stax records catalog for a minimum of 1 hour each day.

Less computer screens and screen time: more horns and saxophones please.

Less division and outrage: more soul please.

Less sheltering in place and more dancing in the streets I hope.

What Makes us Laugh(Patrick)

Hey kids … don’t try this at home. At least, don’t get caught!

What Amuses Us (Whitney)

The Gold Rush also includes a wistful New Year’s Eve scene that I’m so relieved to see resolved. I adore the VHS tape we have of it, as it is tracked with an excellent score. After a trying 2020, The Gold Rush’s reversals of fortune make me feel like anything is possible in the new year.

What Makes Us Family (Stephen)

Pne of our most memorable holidays for the Clan Morris was spent in the good company of the Schaeffers in Jelapa, Mexico. We spent all of Christmas Day in Boston’s Logan Airport waiting for a charter that was 12 hours late. Then we missed the ferry to the isolated community the next day, but when we finally connected a good time was had by all:

Peace on Earth, Goodwill Towards Men, Women, and Children Everywhere in the World (Photo by Charron Valleroli)

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