My menu for Christmas Eve was supposed to be simple...an antipasto, stuffed shells, Caesar salad, and garlic knots.
The hit of the evening was the "antipasto"...which turned out to be a mishmash of stuff that I picked up, but probably didn't really go together:
We ate the above with multi grain pita chips (my sister's favorite).
The stuffed shells were...eh. Next time methinks I will go with the ready-mades and a jar of sauce and be done with it. Starting from scratch wasn't quite worth it.
Neither the Caesar salad nor the garlic knots saw the light of day, but I suppose that just means I will have both for lunch this week.
Christmas Day was supposed to be shrimp cocktail, ham, scalloped potatoes, cheddar biscuits, green beans, and fruit salad, but the ham was a total bust and we ended up face first in the appetizers again. I also made broccoli/cheese/rice casserole and potato salad last night at the last minute (because, God forbid, I ever leave well enough alone and not cook for eighty six people), so this time the biscuits and green beans were the items to go by the wayside.
(See comment re: lunch above.)
Tomorrow I will slink into the Honey Baked Ham store and beg for a few slices to bring home for sandwiches. The ham in the fridge will go into the freezer and we'll deal with it another day. I guess there's a reason why ham from the Honey Baked Ham store costs what it does and ham from the bin at the grocery store does not.
Who knew I was such a ham snob?
The final verdict is still out, but I am thinking that the failure was twofold...firstly, I think the glaze that came with the ham had a very peculiar flavor. Liquid smoke? Clove? I just should have made my own with brown sugar, dijon, etc. The second issue was that I burned the living crap out of it in the crock pot...like a total doofus...and then tried re-hydrating it with a splash of orange juice.
(So much for me knowing my way around a kitchen. I'm going back to following recipes like a boss rather than pretending like I'm auditioning to be on the Food Network, and I'm chucking that damn crock pot into the bin.)
The fruit salad though, was lovely. I put walnuts in it, which is something I've never done before. Me likey!
I was wringing my hands over the "failure" of the food when I heard my Dad's voice say "CJ, you've had perfect food and it turned out to be the worst Christmas ever. Maybe this year the food won't be perfect but the Christmas will be. How's that sound, kid?"
And I stopped fretting, poured another cup of coffee, and enjoyed a perfectly lovely day with Bosco and Aunt Chrissy and all was well.
Oh, and yes, in case you were wondering...I would have made these same menus even if it would have been just me. (You should have seen my Thanksgiving spread!) This sad fact comes from a saying that my mom had in her kitchen..."A full cupboard bespeaketh a generous heart". I'm pretty sure that the two really aren't related at all...wouldn't a generous person's cupboard be bare because they constantly gave their stuff away?...but I guess we never thought to ponder it.)
(After all, this is the same mom that, in the middle of a stern lecture about respecting your mother...pointed to yet another plaque in the kitchen and hollered "Read that sign and tell me what it says!!" And we looked up at it and said "Love one another". At which point she turned around to read it herself and muttered "Son of a &;($@! All this time I thought the damn thing said "LOVE THY MOTHER"!)
What can I say? I come by my sense of irony from my mother. I think I get my reading skills from my dad.
Photographic evidence that not every single story I tell y'all on this here blog is fiction:
My needles are calling me. A few more days of Christmasy stuff and then it's up to the studio to assemble some things for the New Year!
Here's hoping that your own feasting was...festive! Only six more sleeps until a new year!