The holidays in our house are all about food. My mother likes to cook and try new recipes and so forth, so the holidays are a time when she does that. There are a few dishes that we make year after year and that I request, but it is also a time for trying new things.
For Christmas Eve, we had our traditional scallops in red pepper sauce with endive and green onions. My mother likes this dish because it is red and white and green – Christmas colors. Also, apparently it is traditional to have fish for Christmas Eve.
This year we also had a simple calamari dish that she saw on the Food Network. It has tomatoes and parsley and a simple dressing. Guess what – it looks like Christmas. Yep, red and green and white. I knew when I saw it on TV that my mother would want to cook it. And luckily for us, we have a new fish market in town that we were able to get cleaned and sliced calamari from. This dish looked better than it tasted, but it improved upon siting in the dressing a little longer.
Christmas day, we had a huge brunch. I made potatoes and onions – one of my favorite things and an absolute must have for the holidays. My mother made chocolate chip scones, which we ate with clotted cream and seedless raspberry jam. We also had some sage sausage to make up for all the carbs. OK, this was a great way to start Christmas – it was absolutely delicious!
Then it was on to making dinner – reminder for next year, take the roast out to warm to room temp early in the day! We ate sort of late on Christmas, but it was all good. We had a beef rib roast, horseradish sauce (I make the sauces), Yorkshire pudding, spinach, and fingerling potatoes. We also had our holiday salad which deserves a paragraph of its own. Let me just say that the beef, the horseradish sauce and the Yorkshire pudding together are just yummy! We kept commenting about what a good choice it was and enjoyed the heck out of it.
OK, holiday salad. This salad we used to carefully compose the individual components on plates, but we discovered that it is just as good all chopped up and tossed at Thanksgiving. We have endive, watercress, and radicchio – yep red, white, and green. We also have pear, toasted hazelnuts, and blue cheese. The dressing is a simple vinaigrette made with hazelnut oil. We found an excellent blue cheese that really made the salad – Rogue River Blue – which is apparently, I just found out today, the best cheese in the USA. (It won best of show out of 1326 entries at the 26th Annual American Cheese Society Competition.)
Anyway, we also had ambrosia and cookies for dessert on Christmas. We used pink oranges – Cara Cara oranges. It wasn’t quite as good as regular oranges. And, according to my mother, much harder to prepare than regular navel oranges. I prepared the coconut. We had some discussion about which job was worse, and we both felt that the other one was worse, so that was good. The cookies were spice cookies that I mostly made except for the freshly ground spices which my mother was in charge of.
We didn’t do quite as well for New Year’s Eve – the head chef (my mother) was phased due to new hearing aids – Lyric hearing aids which are inserted into the ear and worn 24/7. We tried for lobster and pasta with a white truffle butter sauce. It was good, but the recipe said it served two which was clearly a mistake. On New Years Day we had lentils and sausage for dinner since I rejected the traditional Southern food. I think my mother was still phased. We did have a white chocolate bread pudding with white chocolate sauce which was very good, but it lacked in complexity a bit.
So now we’re back to our regular eating – and struggle to not eat too much. We are working out to the Wii fitness “game” I got us for Christmas, and I am going to Curves. And now, I am going to help get today’s unexciting dinner on the table.