Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Merry Little Christmas.... 80's Style

Growing up, Christmas Eve was a big deal in my parents house.  My mother slaved in the kitchen all day to produce wonderful gourmet dinners.  The menu changed from year to year, as did the scenery, but it was always a night to be cherished.  The first time my parents decided not to spend Christmas Eve with me I cried.  I was twenty-five years old, engaged and lived 1,500 miles away. I still think it was an appropriate response. 

Fast forward six years, my husband and I have carried on the Christmas Eve tradition by filling our house with friends, family, and food.  This year, with all of our family spending Christmas elsewhere, we were determined to carry on the tradition with wonderful friends, and even more food.  Our menu:

Butternut Squash Soup Shooter
Roasted Turkey with Pickled Jalapeno-Paprika Gravy
Baked Mashed Potatoes with Pancetta and Parmesan Cheese
Collard-Cornbread Dressing
Cranberry Tart
(rumor has it, a sticky toffee pudding will make an appearance... )

Yes, a mere 36 hours after the Christmas Cocktail Party, I will host a Christmas Eve dinner; it doesn’t stop there. 

For the nine years my husband and I have been together, we have always been away on Christmas Day and someone else cooks.  2009 proved to be a year for new traditions, so we planned a quiet day at home with our kids. Word got out, and ‘since we were already cooking’ we will now host guests for lunch and dinner Christmas Day.   Determined to have a simplified prep list as well as minimal waste, I’m going to pull a Pretty and Pink prom dress; take something that is already made and remake it.  I may even play eighties music.  Our menu:

Spicy Macaroni and Cheese with Chorizo and Tomatoes
(only authentic dish of the day)
Turkey Spring Rolls
(leftover shredded turkey, carrots, and scallions)
Stuffed Mushrooms
(stuffed with leftover dressing and potatoes)
Large Salad with Fresh Herb Vinaigrette
(leftover herbs, vegetables, and the olive oil I received as a gift)
Apple Slices with fleur De Sel Caramel and Chocolate Chips
(a failed candy making attempt from yesterday)

Three parties in four days.  Completion will be nothing short of a Christmas miracle.  

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