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Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas in the kitchen

Christmas is only three days away, and last night I finally made it to the grocery store for my big pre-holiday shop. I always make a large spread of appetizers and finger foods on Christmas Eve, and today and tomorrow Marla and I are getting together to bake cookies and other treats. Today will be the baking day, tomorrow will be the decorating day (we're planning several batches of iced sugar cookies).



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Snowflake sugar cookies we made in 2014.
I ended up buying pounds of butter, sugar, and eggs. You can't have too much--nothing is worse than having to run back out to the store mid-bake. I still forgot a couple of things last night, but I'll go buy them before we start. I can't believe that after a two hour long and really expensive trip to the store that I still managed to forget a few things!

When Gregg helped me unload the car last night, he said "Holy shit! You know we're just two people, right?!" after he saw the back of the Scion loaded down with bags. He said he hoped I hadn't spent a small fortune on food! (I did) (I don't care). I'm determined that this Christmas will be a festive one. And since I'm off work next week, I'll be seeing friends and family that I can share the leftovers with anyway. It's going to be nice to have Christmas Eve off to listen to music, sip wine, and cook. A lot of the food we have will be homemade for once since I have all this time. I just sat down and made a list of the foods I'm planning to serve and it may be a tiny bit excessive:
  • Brown sugar Coca-Cola baked ham
  • Spicy grape jelly meatballs
  • Deviled eggs
  • Crab stuffed mushrooms
  • Assorted cheeses (gouda, brie, sharp white cheddar) and crackers
  • Crudite platter with sour cream dip
  • Roasted pecans
  • Cranberry, mandarin orange, and walnut compote
  • Watergate salad
  • King's Hawaiian rolls (to go with the ham slices)
  • Assorted sugar cookies and homemade candies
  • Mulled wine 

Oh well. It's just once a year, right?

Well, I'm off to do a little extra pre-bake cleaning in the kitchen before Marla gets here. It's a shame she can't drink wine with me this year, but maybe there will be less chaos if one of us remains sober! The last time we baked while drinking we blew up my stand mixer (it died dramatically in the middle of a batch of dough) and we made a monstrous mess of the kitchen. It looked like a bomb had gone off the next morning! It's all part of the Christmas fun, though. Next year when she's had the baby we can resume our shenanigans. :)

How are your holiday preparations coming along?


19 comments:

  1. Slowly, slowly is how my holiday preparations are going.
    I love your menu. It has many of my favorite forbidden foods.

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    1. I love forbidden foods at Christmas (well, anytime really but when the holidays roll around we have an excuse!).

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  2. We are ready! Gifts for the dogs are hidden in a cabinet. We have plenty of food for dogs and humans. We're set for a nice Christmas. I hope you have a great time. Enjoy your cookie baking. We used to bake and decorate sugar cookies on Christmas Eve. Then one year I had to work until seven on Christmas Eve and when I got home my daughter and daughter-in-law were working together on the cookies. That warmed my stone-cold heart.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

      (I don't believe your heart is even close to stone-cold).

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    2. My heart had some unhappy moments when I was married. In Florida, my heart stays pretty warm.

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  3. Whoa: this is your first shopper-serving-free Christmas in an eon. You are allowed to go as crazy happy over-spending over-sugar-dosing as you want. You waited a long time for this and paid serious dues. Indulge, my dear. Your karma is golden.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for such a cheerful, uplifting comment! It made me smile. Merry Christmas to you!

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  4. I have to work Christmas so I don’t have much to do. I do have next year off.

    Your talk of food has made me hungry!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, dear. I'm sorry you have to work. I hope you have a fabulous holiday despite that!

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  5. I did my shopping yesterday. It had become known as 'Frantic Friday' and lived up to the name. I shall cook Roast Turkey with Roast Potatoes and Sprouts, with one or two other things (stuffing, etc). We eat the same every year, and we like it that way. Our only change this year is for Christmas Eve; usually we eat ham, but we've decided to have Salmon and Scallops this year. No leftovers!

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    1. Salmon and Scallops sounds nice! Merry Christmas Cro.

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  6. How about writing a shopping list before you set off? ;-) Saves you having to go back...
    As I am not hosting anything but will be out all the time (Christmas Eve at my parents, Christmas Day and Boxing Day at O.K.'s), there is nothing to prepare food-wise.
    The only thing I need doing - and will do tomorrow - is wrapping the presents I will be taking to my parents' in the evening.

    Yesterday, I had my last day of work for this year - next time I'll be back at the office will the January 8th! It feels great, and I am VERY ready for the break, not having worked so much and so hard as this year in a long time (and I am not 20 anymore... or 30... or 40).

    Your Christmas sounds as if it is going to be great, making up somewhat for the sad and bad things that happened to you and your loved ones this month.

    Merry Christmas, dear Jennifer!

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    1. I did make a list, but I STILL forgot a few things. I'm not a very organized housekeeper (understatement) but I try my best!

      Wrapping presents is fun. We get a lot of pretty gift bags, too, that I like to reuse. They're so much easier than wrapping when time is tight, too.

      I hope you enjoy every minute of your break!

      Our Christmas will be.....okay. Gregg is struggling a little bit, as you can imagine, so I'm doing my best to be cheerful and to make our home warm and festive and a sanctuary from worries for these few days.

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  7. Jennifer wishing you and Gregg, also Ginger, George and Marco a Happy Christmas!
    Buon Natale!
    Greetings Maria xxx

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    1. Buon Natale to you, Maria! Thank you for your warm wishes!! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a new year filled with happiness.

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  8. Wow! You are going all out! Have a great time (wine makes everything better) and pet the dogs for me!

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  9. I thought a Watergate Salad might be something healthy like a Waldorf Salad. Instead I discover it's a rich dessert! With your new job this Christmastime it's all going to be so much better than last Christmas.

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  10. Wow. That list is amazing. What time should I be there?

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  11. What a funny word picture you paint of your mixer blowing up last year. LOL. Your menu of goodies sounds perfect.

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