Christmas 08

Posted by on Dec 8, 2008 in Holidays | 0 comments

I did not make any cookies this year and the world does appear to be shrugging off this news with grace. My oldest son, a cookie monster of the first degree, is staying in Seattle with his wife and baby son, a foot of snow, and all my cookie recipes. I know his wife has probably made some of them and some of her own to comfort him on his first Christmas ever away from home in all his 39 years. The four of us that will be here sat down Tuesday night and came up with a comprise plan for food over the holidays. We will not be having my Mama’s Christmas dinner boys and girls. My husband is disappointed but the people voted and his menu did not win.

In my mind’s eye I can see the look on his face the first time I took him to my parent’s house for the holidays. We came in through the frigid garage where Mother had kept three long tables situated between the two cars. Mother had spent weeks mass producing jam cakes to give as gifts and for us to eat but she did not stop there. Neither could she make just one of anything. Pound cake as well as coconut, chocolate, banana and orange slice were standards, but she also made some new ones every year. My husband loved the pecan pies best, but if he got tired of that he could have pumpkin, mince, chess, chocolate, lemon, coconut, mincemeat, butterscotch, or the children’s favorite, peanut butter. She made enough to put every member of the house into a diabetic coma of epic proportions. In the refrigerator she had my weakness, boiled custard, rich and soothing and loaded with fat, it was the perfect side for the shortbread and ginger snaps and coconut crinkles. With a dessert menu like that I will just leave the overabundance of the main meal to your already taxed imaginations.

My parents believed alcohol was a sin and classified all who drank as morally bankrupt, a short step away from the gutter. It took me many years to realize that gluttony was on the same level as alcohol abuse and that drinking, like eating, could be done sensibly and with moderation. Still when we sit to talk about Christmas treats the old days tug at my husband so strongly and myself to a lesser degree. My daughter and son say they want no sweets at all. I know my husband will be at the store buying a pecan pie if I do not make one, so I stand firm for him on that point. It’s a good dessert to make because neither my daughter or I are tempted by treacle or fat, the main components. What did we come up with? I thought you’d never ask.

Free Range Organic Turkey with defatted Pan Juices
Apple Celery Gluten Free Stuffing

(The Ham that my husband thinks he has cleverly hidden in the downstairs fridge)

Fresh Organic Cranberry Sauce with Port Wine

Garlic and Olive Oil Winter Vegetable Roast with Yams, Red Potatoes, Onions, Rutabagas, Butternut Squash and (yuck) Beets.

Brussel Sprouts with Roasted Chestnuts and Orange Peel

Corn and Limas

Green Beans with Almonds and lemon

(Homemade rolls that no one knows I’m making)

Pecan Pie

(A lower fat version of my Mother’s Boiled custard that no one knows I’m making)
(English Trifle with Port and fresh Raspberries that no one knows I’m making)

(What ever else the rest of them are hiding, hopefully made of dark chocolate)

Some Lovely Pinot Noir that the wine steward at Whole Foods suggested and a Petit Sirah that I picked out myself.

For all my friends, and any out there who think themselves my foes, my wish for you this Christmas is that picking a menu is the least of your worries and that the next year puts more of all the good things in life on everyone’s plate.

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