A full 24+ hours has eclipsed since Christmas Day, and I am now ready to recap the Cratchit Christmas Dinner.
I feel that post-holiday letdown moreso this year than any other...and it definitely has less to do with the lack of presents under the Christmas tree and more to do with no big holiday menus to plan for and execute.
Anyway, pictures and commentary and highlights:
It was a rather quiet Christmas, with the Nelson 5 and my parents. Going off of context clues in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the menu consisted of roast goose, mashed potatoes, applesauce, sage and onion stuffing, and a Christmas pudding. The point was to keep it simple and sparse.
Whaaaaaaaaa...? That's a ServSafe violation if ever I saw one.
But, that's why the recipes also say to sprinkle brandy on the pudding every 7-10 days. It's so damned well-preserved that it won't spoil without serious negligence.
Then, my mom brought chestnuts. As it turns out, there's several ways to prepare them - roast 'em, boil 'em, grill 'em...
For the first attempt, we opted for microwaving them. Bad idea.
Plan B. Using my mom's old-school popcorn popper. Within 10 minutes, we had roasted them enough to split the skins easily.
Frankly, I was not impressed by the taste of a whole chestnut...kind of sweet, kind of tough. I see why people choose to chop them or puree them.
Oh yeah - the photo op moment right here. When several of us gather around the "open fire" to "roast" our chestnuts. It was our hope to make Mel Torme and Nat King Cole proud.
here about the last time I served my father stuffing). The applesauce I'd done in the crockpot the day before, thus just needed to be warmed in the morning. By the way, I could not resist a little tweak...so I added
I know the picture is small, but this is what our dinner table looked like. Stuffing, potatoes, goose, applesauce, and a loaf of bread (from front to back).
After the meal, which, by the way, we did not feel incredibly stuffed, we watched the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol.
Then, it was time for the Christmas pudding...which I forgot to warm up in the steamer. We settled for nuking it in the now chestnut smoke-free microwave and drizzling caramel sauce over it. It was okay. I will not be making and eating it again soon. It's heavy, raisiny, and bready. The kiddos could hardly get one bite down - too alcohol-tasting, they said. The best part, though, of the pudding was setting it on fire. Basically, I warmed a ladleful of whiskey, then I held an open flame to the edge and it caught instantly. Pouring it over the pudding spread the blue flame out in a cool, surreal kind of way.
It was nice and quiet and relatively uneventful. A real blessing.
Going to be hard to top this Christmas Dinner next year, I tell ya. In fact, I'm sure it will have to involve costumes.