Hi all, and welcome to the Divas of Desire stop in the Merry Menage Giveaway Hop sponsored by Day Dreaming, My Secret Romance and The Book Tart. I'm taking part in this hop to celebrate the recent release of my FFM ménage romance His and Hers and Hers.
Kyla Denster and Jordan Brougham are passionately in love. Kyla knows she's lucky to have a guy who uses all his tricks to keep her happy in and out of bed. Jordan knows he's lucky to have such a hot, adventurous girlfriend.
But neither of them knows that their best friend, Cassie DeSantis, wants them both. Cassie's painful past has taught her not to wear her heart on her sleeve. She keeps quiet, afraid that revealing her feelings would mean losing the two people she cares for most. Things change one night when an impulsive kiss leads to the three of them spending an incredibly hot night together.
When the couple wants more of Cassie, she leaps at the chance to be with them. But problems arise at her insistence that no one mention the L word and when Jordan and Kyla clash over how to deal with disapproving family. Their triad relationship will only survive if they all stand together to prove that three is the perfect number—when all three are in love.
Not only is the ménage theme of the hop a perfect fit with this story, the holiday theme is as well! The story takes place from just before Halloween to shortly after Christmas and some life-changing events take place for the Jordan, Kyla and Cassie over the Christmas holiday.
Those of us participating in the hop were asked to share something personal about celebrating Christmas. I'm Italian on my father's side and Scandinavian on my mother's. Both cultures have some interesting ways of celebrating the Christmas season.
On Christmas Eve, many Italian and Italian-American families enjoy a buffet of different kinds of seafood. That meal is known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Why seven fishes? Well, some say it's because God took seven days to create the universe. Or maybe because there are seven sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church. Or perhaps the explanation, like so many things, will have to remain a mystery.
Something my family often enjoyed Christmas Eve was shrimp, which was a rare treat for us. A special dish often associated with this feast is salted cod fish or baccalà. I've never had it myself, and to tell the truth am not particularly eager to try. (Hey, I could be wrong, maybe it's very tasty.)
My mother's parents came from Sweden and Denmark and those Scandinavian countries are no slouches either when it comes to Christmas Eve dinner. After a sumptuous meal, which often includes roast pork, duck, goose or ham, rice pudding will be served. Inside the treat is one whole almond or a raisin. Whoever gets the portion with a hidden goodie is given a small gift and promised good luck all year.
A traditional Christmas libation is Gløgg or Glögg. (There seems to be variation of spelling and pronunciation. In our house we pronounced it glug.) This is a beverage made with wine, whiskey and spices and served warm. My mother would make this from my grandfather's recipe.
Here's a recipe that's similar to my grandpa's:
1 bottle of port wine (my mom always used ruby port, but you might prefer something less sweet)
¼ - ½ bottle whiskey
1 cinnamon stick
A few whole cloves
2 – 3 tablespoons sugar (if desired)
1 cup dark raisins
½ cup blanched slivered almonds
Combine the wine, whiskey and spices in a pot and heat on the stove. Once it's hot, remove spices with a slotted spoon and add the raisins and almonds. Serve in small cups with a spoonful of raisins and nuts in each cup (a treat to eat once you've drunk the glogg).
This can be made in advance and stored in wine bottles. It should be reheated to serve.
Yum. Delicious, but it's some powerful stuff!
Now, what's Christmas without gifts? My gift to one lucky commenter is a $15 gift certificate to Amazon/Barnes and Noble (winner's choice). This is an international giveaway. To be eligible to win, please do two things:
1) Follow this blog (if you already follow The Divas of Desire skip this step) and
2) Leave a comment sharing how you celebrate the holidays. Don't forget to include your email info so I can contact you if you're a winner! The winner will be selected randomly on December 9.
What kind of traditions does your family celebrate? Do you associate certain holidays with special foods? I'm eager to hear your responses!