Savor the Joy

candy-cane-488009_1920 (1)Christmas is on our doorstep and there are only a few days left to enjoy the celebrations. As you know from a recent blog post, A Large Helping of Joy, Please, my ‘new’ tradition this year has been to make the most of every opportunity to join in the merrymaking to make some new memories. No more ‘maybe next year’ attitude. Life is short and I don’t want to miss any fun. I want to remember this year as one filled with joy.

So far, my husband and I have attended a local production of It’s a Wonderful Life, met with our small group for dinner, experienced my niece in all her drama at her church Christmas Extravaganza, and played bunco to raise the money needed to gift a needy family in Mexico with a home. Still to come—Christmas light viewing, caroling, a piano recital, a pazole party, Christmas Eve services (two of them—one fantastically modern and the other full of candle light), and an open house with friends to savor what is good in the world. Yes, joy has really shown up this year.

Another tradition we will be enjoying on Christmas day will be what our family calls The Favorite Foods Feast. It started one year when we were short on cash, so instead of presents to my kids and grandkids, I asked them what their choice would be for dinner. I figured we had to eat, after all.

Now, before you get too troubled at the idea of preparing a dish for each person in your family, know that I don’t whip everything up from scratch. I purchase some (the kids want the stuff from the freezer at the store anyway) and I save my energy for the things I really enjoy making. That way it’s a gift to me as well.

One thing that seems to happen is from each person’s selections there are items that seem to fall naturally into the appetizer, main and dessert categories. This provides us with literally a whole day of yumminess. Pizza, tacos, sushi, prime rib, Pumpkin Dump Cake along with a few surprises have shown up on the menu. The beauty? Everyone has something they really like to eat and everyone feels special because their choice is honored. No one ever goes hungry, and they are filled up, both stomach and heart.

Simply enjoy life and the great pleasures that come with it.

Karolina Kurkova


So for my choice this year I think I want some egg rolls. Our family recipe is made from sausage with shredded cabbage, onions and carrots. We rely on the seasoning in the sausage to make it delicious. Not too much more than soy sauce is needed. I can almost taste them as I write this. I can’t wait to see what the others are choosing. No matter what it is, the best part will be enjoying it together.

Egg Rolls (Schell Family Style)


  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 large head of cabbage, shredded
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • Soy sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) package of egg roll wrappers


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown beef, then mix in onion, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Continue to sauté just until onions are tender. Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, sauté cabbage and carrots 1 tablespoon oil, and soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Continue to sauté until cabbage/carrots are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Return meat mixture to pan and stir together with cabbage over low heat until heated through. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour oil into a deep pan and heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Fill each egg roll wrapper with approximately 1/4 cup of filling and roll up according to package directions. Fry in preheated oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

*Can be baked as well. Just place prepared egg rolls on a cookie sheet, spray with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees until crispy.


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