I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Traditional Christmas Dinner

Hi! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! We had a lovely Christmas, family and friends and lots of good food, if I do say so myself. [since I am the sole cook around here.]

We open our gifts on Christmas Eve...we start with champagne and a big platter of antipasto: cheeses and salamis. And this year I added a bowl of hot popcorn just for fun. After the gifts we have a late dinner of lasagna and salad, then usually peppermint ice cream, but this year I couldn't find any---we had cookies and chocolates instead. This is a very relaxed and casual gathering, family time, just for us.

Then Christmas Day dinner...

a sit down meal using many plates and silverware and starched vintage napkins.

Pretty candles and real holly....

Over the years I have invented the use of tea towel placemats which protects my antique Swedish linen cloth from inevitable spills..and looks cute too.

Oddly I cannot recall what my mother served for Christmas dinner, but we always have prime rib roast beef.


wine and cheese

salad: baby lettuce with radicchio and pears, goats cheese
and balsamic vinaigrette

main course:

Prime rib with horseradish-mustard crust, brown gravy
and/ or
creamy horseradish sauce

red wine

potato pie
[mashed red potatoes, sour cream, green onions, bacon bits]

crisp-sauteed brussel spouts with chestnuts

and a new recipe: butternut squash gratin with Gorgonzola and sage 

dessert, served a bit later,

rum and creme de cacao soaked red velvet cake,
with a chocolate chip cannoli-style filling,


The gratin recipe is here , photo is from the Delish website.

That page also has good links for "Cooking with Winter Produce"..if you're feeling like you'd like some yummy veggies about now. As for this recipe..it was very good, and I will make it again. But I will simple bake/ roast the squash and onions first, instead of the separate steaming and sauteing. Butternut squash can be watery when steamed; it becomes much denser and more flavorful when roasted. Then I  will add the topping at the end. This will make it much easier, too.

The red velvet cake was a mix! With my tweaking...and its main problem was that it broke coming out of the pan. I swirled the filling down into the batter. Better to leave on top so it doesn't go through and stick. I added rum and tiny chocolate morsels to the mix filling, and when the cake was cooled I returned it to the pan and poured in the rum and creme de cacao. Amaretto would have been nice too.

I have NO idea what makes it Red Velvet, best not to ask? Back in the day I think beet juice was used which is possibly more 'eeew' than the likely red food coloring.

Anyway, the rum cheers everyone up and my baking shortcoming are lost in the haze of repletion and good cheer.

I love the glow of these thrift shop mercury glass candles
very warm and festive

Happy Holidays, again, and a Peaceful Happy New Year to all...



               gone to the beach.....