Well the time is nigh and our Christmas dinner is coming together. What are we having, I hear you asking?
Haven't figured out an appetizer yet. Shrimp rings are sold out everywhere. I haven't figured out how to crack open my fresh coconut for my samosas sauce, so that's out. Maybe rare roast beef on thin baguette rounds with a dash of pesto and a sundried tomato on top?
To start dinner, there's a carrot parsnip soup with fresh ginger. I learned a little trick from a friend way back. When you are serving soup as a starter to a large number of people, try serving it in a tea cup. I have a large collection of bone china cups that I inherited from my mother and grandmothers. I hardly ever use them for tea, but they're perfect for soup. People can still wander around talking, sipping their soup and talking, and the cups hold just the right amount so as not to ruin appetites.
Soup is followed by a roasted free-range turkey stuffed with an apple walnut mushroom stuffing. This is a recipe that came from my client at VIA rail back in my advertising days. He took pity on me when my husband-to-be both introduced then volunteered me to make Christmas dinner for his family. Before that, I rarely cooked anything let alone something of this magnitude. My client came through with a stuffing recipe that proved to be a smash hit and I've made it every year since. (We'll forget that I tied the turkey with dental floss, the oven broke mid-roast and the flaming pudding set off the smoke alarm above the dining room table.)
The turkey is served with mashed turnip and sweet potato with maple syrup from our local woods and a dash of cinnamon, mashed potatoes with a bit of sour cream, broccoli with olive oil, garlic and sea salt and of course, cranberry sauce and gravy.
For dessert there's a plate of baked goods (shortbread, mini buttertarts, chocolate balls, etc.) and most importantly, my mother-in-law's amazing steamed carrot pudding with hard sauce (at least I think it's called hard sauce. It's sweet and white and thick and sweet.) Ooh, baby, pudding is spicy and thick and served piping hot with a dollop of this rich, sweet sauce that melts down the sides.
After that, we basically undo our belts and try to breathe.
You? What do you serve at Christmas?