Christmas Eve 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011 at 1:53PM

Is it 2012 already? It can't be. I am just posting my Christmas Eve 2011 photos! Oh well, I guess it is better to be a day late than a dollar short.  And besides, spending time with friends and family over the holidays will always trump blogging. 

The Methodist Church on Village Lane in Orient NY.  Christmas Eve 2011

I love how the simple lines of the church "popped" against the brilliant blue sky. I was hoping that the wreaths would have big red bows -- but later decided that the demur decorations were in keeping with the architectural style of the church.

Methodism originally came to Orient in the early 19th Century (1802) with the early "Circuit Riders" (i.e. traveling ministers). The church was subsequently built in 1835 on land donated by Thomas Vincent Young, an early settler. In 1900, a Hastings and Hook Organ (Boston, MA) was installed; it was completely restored in 2000.  

The church is a regional (and national) treasure. 

The Crab Shack   Orient NY   Christmas Eve 2011

Travelling west, I found a wreath with a red bow on the old Crab Shack. This iconic structure is located on the east end of the causeway, which connects East Marion and Orient.  

The Webb House, located in Poquatuck Park, can be seen in the distance (on the right).

St Agnes Roman Catholic Church   Greenport NY  Christmas Eve 2011

There was no hint of puritanical restraint on the alter of St. Agnes Church on Christmas Eve. The church was awash in a breath-taking sea of poinsettia.

Our traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner or Wigilia  

Food traditions for Wigilia vary widely, and are heavily influenced by regional variations, family history, immigration and acculturation. But certain traditions transcend family and cultural differences:

The meal traditionally starts with the breaking of the Christmas wafer, or oplatek, and a blessing for the coming year. Meat is not eaten on Christmas Eve, but fish, grains, vegetables (beets, cabbage, mushrooms), dumplings, poppy seed pastries and dried fruit are traditionally integrated into the menu. 

This year, our meal consisted of fried fish (shrimp, bay scallops, eels, and oysters), stuffed baked flounder, crab cakes, herring, sauerkraut, home-made pierogi (cheese, sauerkraut and dried fruit) and noodles with sauerkraut. (Salad, a decidedly American edition was added for good measure).

For dessert, we had dried fruit compote and homemade cookies. 

When the creatures were no longer stirring, it was time for Santa's helper to organize the presents.

Article originally appeared on AJ in the Kitchen (
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