Dec 25, 2016


Well, we managed to survive Christmas.  There was no gun play, screaming, hair pulling, or loss of limb this year, so I suppose that's a good thing.

My menu for Christmas Eve was supposed to be 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:
The black things in the middle are Mission figs.  I was trying for an Ina inspired figs and prosciuto, but alas, this is Hoosierville, and obtaining fresh figs was not possible.  The pepperocini and artichoke hearts were last minute additions, because (despite Ina's warning not to make it look like the dog's breakfast), I did just that and filled the platter.

We ate the above with multi grain pita chips (my sister's favorite).

The stuffed shells  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 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!


  1. Your celebration sounded wonderful. A late Merry Christmas, Coni!

  2. I'm glad it was a good Christmas for you. Leftovers will give you more time for stitching! Have a wonderful New Year!

  3. So nice not to picture you standing in your driveway in your pajamas. If you ever decide to go the the sauce in a jar route I would suggest Raos Marinara. They have picked up capacity and started selling to more stores but so far the quality hasn't changed.

  4. Your antipast looks delish as does your fruit salad! Congrats to you for cooking. I nuked leftover chicken leg & pkg coleslaw (how sad) for myself. Going thru some sadness here & didn't want to leave the couch TG for set tea & Receses cups maybe in a few days I'll cook stuffed shells sounds like just the thing perhaps with a little antipast lol Many Blessings to you sweet girl,Baa

  5. I love you Coni..and your posts! Merry Christmas!

  6. Sounds like you had a nice time despite some setbacks.
    I'm glad you weren't alone on Christmas Day. :)
    Can't wait to see what you come up with for New Year's!

  7. What an eventful Christmas...but it does sound like it was a full and nice day after all.

  8. I laughed. Your Christmases past and mine are somewhat similar but I bet your sibling didn't give you coal for Christmas like mine did! (There was much laughter at that, though.)

  9. Both your antipasto and your fruit salad looks fabulous. I am glad you were able to spend some time with Bosco and your sister. Your were in my thoughts yesterday. Enjoy the remaining days of Christmas stitching; look forward to seeing what you come up with for a January/New Year project.

  10. Dear Coni,
    As most of your blogs do, I am laughing while reading this! I had a couple of fails in the Christmas dinner dept, forgot to put on the potk tenderloins. Thank goodness our ham was big enough for our hungry family. I wish you the happiest of New Years and look forward to a year full of your blogs.

  11. I think it's ALWAYS OK to pick potato salad over green beans!! :) Sounds like a delicious and loving holiday!

  12. Looks and sounds like, at the end of the day, fun and feast was had by all. Most important, it was shared by kit and kin ;)

  13. HoHoHo - Your Mom was a hoot...That exact sign lives on my kitchen wall...just love it. Perhaps your Mom meant that a full larder speaks the generous heart that is always prepared for hospitality....Anyhoo... it sounds as though your day worked out anyway. So glad you had company

  14. The salad and antipasto look divine. So glad you had a nice day.

  15. I love your stories about your Dad and Mom. All that food you made sounds absolutely scrumptious! Even if some of it didn't turn out as you had wanted :)

  16. At least your whole meal wasn't a flop.