Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas -- The Food

Being a family with lots of foodies, Christmas meant enjoying lovely food and cooking together.

Brunch, while opening presents, is traditional:

Mom began making Cardamon Bread for Christmas when we lived in Chicago. Now it is one of those tastes we associate with Christmas. One day, I'll have to post the recipe:

When Michael and I married I began making this tea ring for Christmas breakfast each year. We often have different fillings: apricot, festive apple, or rasberry jam:

Rachel decided to make all the boys and men biscotti for their gift. I think Baby was expecting something a bit more chewable:

Sometime after noon preparations for Christmas dinner began in earnest. Brussel sprouts were the vegetable of honor:

Uncle Bill suggested stuffed pork loin. Carefully he sliced the loin open and laid it flat:

On went the sourdough, sausage, cranberry and sweet-potato stuffing:

Rolled up and tied securely with string,

it was plopped in the pan and surrounded by apples:

Here we are doing the "Martha Stewart and Guest" pose -- don't you think!!

The table was set with my birthday tablecloth and the birthday flower arrangement which has now dried to a lovely centerpiece. A surprise package in the mail yielded Christmas crackers!!!!

And the crackers were in gold, to match the napkin rings! How perfect!

I made a pumpkin-gingerbread cake for dessert, but everyone was too full to eat it. Oh well. Next year I won't bother with dessert. Cookies will be enough!

The Christmas Fruitcake was allowed out of its tin:

Everyone lended a hand. Emily mashes the potatoes and turnips:

Mom helps with the gravy (made with some of my precious crab-apple jelly):

Here is the incredible stuffed pork loin with the gravy poured on top:

Cracker-pulling time:

On went the crowns:
Here we all are. And, we all wore our crowns for the whole meal! Michael has come a long way!!!

My dinnerplate: pork loin, mashed potatoes and turnips, butternut squash gratin, brussel sprouts with pancetta, homemade rolls, homemade applesauce, and salad. The salad was incredible: greens with fuji apple, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, freeze-dried apples for crunch on top and a creamy gorgonzola crumbled throughout. Amazing!

Cookies and mince pies for dessert:

There were even some chocolates we made:

We were just sitting down when we remembered that we'd forgotten to make the eggnog! Thanks to the vitamix, this was an easy chore:

After a delightful glass of eggnog is was time to call it a day!


Daniel said...

Your posts about food always make me hungry!

Monica said...

The table setting is gorgeous. I'd love to learn how you prepare brussel sprouts.

Lovella said...

The food looks just amazing and your menu and table just lovely. . .that stuffed pork loin needs to be done at my house. . .and yes, you definately could be Martha.

Lovella said...
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willow said...

Lovely Christmas photos, Heather, both in this post and in the previous one.
I like the way you all do the meal preparation together, so much more fun than the cook all on her own in the kitchen! Mind you I may have some help in years to come, my youngest son made pancakes for everybody this breakfast time - I will encourage this!

A very Happy New Year to you and all your family.

A Little Bunny said...

oh my that looks so yummy! i think you should start a recipe swap on your blog. i miss reading your posts regularly.. hopefully the computer will be fixed in the next couple of weeks. lots of love.. and did you get your thank you note? it seems a lot of them got lost in the mail over this season.

Christina said...

Oh my, I missed you guys. It looks lovely.... I can't wait for next year!

Rachel L said...

Oh wow! Now you've made me really hungry - that all looks sooooo good! Way, way better than Martha Stewart! How was the fruitcake? There are so many things there that I'd like to try out - are you going to post the recipes?
Rachel L

Carla said...

You should warn people not to read this post when they're hungry. Can I come over for leftovers? Looks like a great memory making meal. Are those marinated olives hiding behind the breakfast breads?

Ruth MacC said...

Oh my goodness, it looks like you guys outdid yourselves! Great photos, great tartan apron, can I come next Christmas? ha ha!!!!

Happy New Year Heather