We’ve got Christmas carols playing on Spotify in the background, and while we don’t have a tree up this year and there aren’t any Christmas decorations in the apartment apart from two tiny adornments that our friends gave us, it still feels like Christmas.
This year will be the first white Christmas that both of us will be spending together, and as the entire city of DC starts getting decked out in twinkly lights and wreaths are getting hung on doors, there’s no denying the joy of the season.
Christmas for me has always been special; first because I’m a Christian and I believe in Christ. Christmas has also always been a time spent with my family when I was growing up.
When we were younger, my family would always have dinner outside with Aunty Adeline, Uncle Eric, Shawn and Gracia, and then we’d go to a hotel lounge and countdown to Christmas as a pianist played Christmas tunes on the grand piano.
Of the hotels we’d gone to, the one I remember the most is Shangri-La, and in the familiar lounge we’d sit on comfortable couches and wait for Christmas to arrive, in family.
It’s been many years since I’ve spent Christmas with my family (since I moved to Buenos Aires in 2010), and sometimes I replay those childhood memories and indulge in the beauty of those precious moments. I’m missing my family during this holiday season, and those wonderful moments where we just hang out together knowing we’re safe in each other’s love.
I know that the distance may separate us these days, but their love for me is unwavering and I love them equally. Those of you living overseas may probably understand what I mean, and this year, I wish all of you a merry, blessed Christmas no matter where you are.
In the spirit of Christmas, I’ve made a gluten-free cranberry bread pudding that’s meant to be shared and enjoyed among friends and loved ones.
It’s rich, creamy and delicious, and when eaten freshly baked and warm, it fills you up immensely.
Enjoy this beautiful season!
- 6 cups of gluten-free bread cubes (without crust)
- 1½ cups of fresh cranberries
- 5 eggs
- 2½ cups of milk
- ½ cup of butter, melted
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 deg. Fahrenheit (190 deg. Celsius)
- Grease a 1½ quart casserole dish
- Place half of the bread cubes in a single layer, topped by half the cranberries, repeating with the remaining bread cubes and cranberries
- In a bowl, beat eggs with milk, butter, sugar and vanilla extract until combined
- Pour liquid mixture over the bread cubes and cranberries in the casserole dish, and let sit for 30 minutes to allow bread to absorb the mixture
- Bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean (if top is getting too browned, place a piece of aluminium foil on top) for the last 20 minutes
- Serve bread pudding warm