This Tuesday I drove to my aunt's house where she, my cousin and I started assembling one of our family's traditional Christmas dishes.
It's one of those 'nobody ever writes anything down' sort of sets of recipes where you just have to keep turning up year after year to help until you start to remember how it's done.
You know how it's supposed to taste because you've been eating it every year for your entire life but it takes a while to work out how to get it right.
It probably would be easier to write everything down but where would be the fun in that?
All the rolling, blending, chopping, tying, stirring, tasting and seasoning is fun all by itself.
All the yelling at each other over the sounds of the kitchen, asking for consensus, making everybody else taste things and give advice and take turns at things is fun too.
This year only a few of us could make it for one reason or the other but it's different every year.
There's no set time, there's no set procedure.
Every year is different but every year is the same.
The recipes are secret not because it's that different from what anybody else can do.
There are probably plenty of similar recipes in cookbooks and being handed around by other families, amongst themselves and out to friends.
It's secret because then it's just something we do together.
It's secret because then it's special.
It's slightly different and it's all ours and it's just a hell of a day and damn if it isn't delicious every single year.