Friday, December 30, 2005

Post-Christmas notes

It's been a lovely Christmas - a nice blend of family, food and activity. We had Christmas eve dinner at my sister's and Christmas dinner at my house.

My sister (or more precisely her husband, since he does most of the cooking) normally doesn't 'do turkey'. She says it's too much work and bother. (She'd rather come to my house for turkey dinner because we love turkey and all the trimmings and have it at least two or three times a year.) Well, this year, she decided to try one of those pre-stuffed, de-boned frozen turkeys. It even comes with a package of pre-made frozen gravy. You just take it from the freezer, put it in a pan, stick it in the oven, roast for the designated time, and voila - turkey dinner. Well, it looked kind of like turkey - in a sort of rolled up, white/dark meat with brown stuff in the middle kind of way. It tasted kind of like turkey - in a didn't taste like chicken or duck sort of way. But, I'm sorry sis, it didn't seem like a real turkey dinner. I'm not ungrateful because there were plenty of other goodies, but next time stick with the duck and chicken.

On the 28th, we had family and friends over for a 'games night'. Nothing fancy, just simple food -- lasagna, salad, garlic bread, wine -- and good times. We played mah jong before dinner and board games after. We had such a good time, it was past midnight before I even looked at my watch. Playing cards and board games at family get-togethers is somewhat of a tradition in our family. I remember playing mass solitaire with my cousins - everyone yelling, laughing and flinging cards across the table. Absolute bedlam, but so much fun.

I've stuffed myself silly with turkey, wine and chocolates. As a means of preserving my self-esteem, I'll wait until the new year before stepping on the scales to survey the damage. Actually, it shouldn't be too bad because I've been trying to stay active and keep portions moderate. It's all the extras of wine, desserts and chocolates that will tell the tale.

Our Christmas day:
We get up early, put on some coffee and open our presents in front of the tree and fireplace. We do this in our housecoats and pjs (sans makeup - heaven help us if we ever get a high-maintenance person in the family). Sons don their Santa hats and nobody worries about how they look as we snap pictures of each other opening gifts. It seems that, over the years, we've all become more attuned to each other and the gifts now are truly a reflection of both giver and receiver. It's really a warm, wonderful part of our Christmas day. Later, we make breakfast and spend a leisurely day together while the turkey is roasting.

Other family members and guests arrive in the early evening and we have a traditional turkey dinner followed by conversation over coffee and dessert.

CHRISTMAS MENU

Roast turkey
with
Herbed Stuffing,
Giblet Gravy and Cranberry Sauce

Mandarin Salad with Toasted Almonds
Ambrosia Salad
Stir-fried Asparagus
Wild Rice with mushrooms
Orange-glazed Yams

DESSERT
Mango Mousse Cake
Assorted pastries


1 comment:

jane said...

this whole post is lovely. and really very similar to our holiday except we have the fever pitch mania of children under 5 who are strung out on chocolate and candy canes. but once they crash and are tucked in we too play a very tense high stakes game of monopoly. my dad is only happy when he is winning and is bitter and irritated when he is not. lol.

happy holidays ell.

love jane