Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Dinner and All That Jazz

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?


Julie K said...

This year? Prime rib - trying it out to see if I can do it. Oh, and I want the recipe for both the pudding and the carrot suop :)

Yutha said...

Me too - prime rib, yorkshire pudding, mashed taters and your recipe for walnut pie except now it's pecan pie....cooling on the counter as I write this.

My word is buremph, which is what we'll be doing after we eat all of the above.....

Unknown said...

Turkey, mashed potatoes, bread stuffing with dried apricots, sage, and onion, gravy made by the incomparable gravy maker, Martin, carrots, peas, roasted root veggies, cranberry sauce. Dessert will be my great aunt's Christmas pudding served with custard sauce and whipped cream, trifle, and a plate of the stuff I bake for the holidays. One of the best parts will be the slice of Christmas pudding I take home to eat for breakfast the next day. Yummy.

A Novel Woman said...

Prime rib? Yummy! Julie, you can do it, I know you can.

The carrot pud is my MIL's but the carrot soup is easy peasy.

Yutha, save me some Yorkshire pud. I haven't had that since we were kids. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

nightsmusic said...

The prime rib seems to be the thing this year. I do Christmas eve, Christmas morning and my MIL does Christmas dinner.

Christmas eve, it's medium rare prime rib coated with a cracked pepper seasoning, sauteed mushrooms (always add a bit of lemon juice, they stay looking nice and taste wonderful) and green salad, with my shortbread, cookies and fudge for dessert.

Christmas morning, it's sausage/swiss/onion egg strata, kielbasa and fruit salad with orange/pineapple/banana juice, coffee and sweet rolls.

Then I get to sit back and let others cook and clean up after :D