Each season is distinct in College Place, Washington. The springs are cool and draped in flowers, the summers are hot and peaceful, autumn is beautifully blanketed with leaves, and winter is cold and painted in ice. As the holidays draw closer, it is hard for Sarah Innocent to believe she lives in Washington State.
Sarah studied Mathematics at Walla Walla University for four years, and now lives in College Place full time, having accepted a teaching position at College Place High School after her June 2014 graduation. With her job comes a new, more permanent life away from her childhood in Sacramento, California, as well as the first few months as a “real grown up.”
As time passes, Sarah begins to appreciate her family more and more, especially around the holidays. With two older brothers with jobs of their own, it is hard to get the whole family together for the holidays–but that does not stop her father Larry from trying.
“Every Christmas my dad tries to get us to go somewhere together because we are never in the same building for more than a few hours,” Sarah said. “It is amazing to get away together. It is beautiful.”
Last Christmas Larry rounded up his three children and took them to an isolated, woodland cabin in Northern California. Surrounded by tall, snowy pines and tucked next to a frozen lake, it was a Christmas to remember. Sarah shares her love for cooking with her family, and the four of them spent many hours bumping elbows in the small wooden kitchen. They barely finished one meal and they were already planning for the next one.
When they were finished, the Innocent family played monopoly for hours and roasted real chestnuts on the fire.
“We literally played Monopoly for three or four hours,” Sarah laughed. “Here we are, adults, and we played monopoly like we were all kids again.”
As snow fell around the cabin, the group enjoyed one of life’s most precious gifts: quality time with family.
One holiday treat that Sarah enjoys is Homemade Kettle Corn. Easily popped over the fire, it makes a perfect holiday snack for any family gathering. From Sarah’s kitchen to yours, have a Merry Christmas.
Homemade Kettle Korn (adapted from The Wholesome Home blog) Active prep time: 10 minutes Serves: 4 sides
Ingredients/Tools 1 heavy bottomed pot with a lid 1 rimmed cookie sheet 2 T oil ½ C popcorn kernels ¼ C + 2 T sugar 1 ½ t salt
Measure out all your ingredients and have them ready. Place the pot on medium/high heat. Pour the oil and drop in 1 kernel. Listen for the kernel to pop so you know the oil is hot enough. Take out the popped kernel before adding the rest. Swirl the kernels around in the bottom of the pot to coat them. Sprinkle the sugar on top and give the kernels another swirl. Cover with a lid. Once the kernels start popping, swirl them around once in a while to keep them from burning. You may need a towel or a couple of hot pads to hold on to the lid. Once the popping starts slowing down, take the pot off the heat until they stop. Pour the hot kernels onto the rimmed cookie sheet. Quickly sprinkle on the salt and stir. Serve immediately. If you can resist, cool and store in an airtight container to enjoy the next day.
See the last post in the 12 Days of Christmas series here: "The Spectrum Café Presents The 12 Days of Christmas."
Rachel Logan is a writing intern for Spectrum Magazine.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6493