Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve

2 people working 6 hours- the tree alone represents12 man hours of labor

Not every inch of every corner was decorated for Christmas this year. I don't think anything was lost in translation for a family so pleased to be together. Eric and Billie's family supplied us with delicious appetizers to tide us over until the main event. Christmas Eve dinner.

The weather was so nice- we could have eaten on the patio. However, that is our norm for entertaining. For Christmas, it is nice to change things up.

Instead of the usual dining room table as buffet cart- serving stations were set up around counter tops throughout the main living level. Just the last minute seasonings, bread and butter were on the table. The sewing machine held ice water,  the relishes and  napkins within the arms reach of seated guests.

Gerald's younger brother, former MLB pitcher Eric Plunk, masterfully  carved the turkey breasts. With my husband's hand not quite ready for this sort of exertion and both our son's missing from the table- I was so grateful for his help. 

Being short an oven and the repairman short the part, the menu was shortened to just enough to feed 8 Sumo Wrestlers for the 12 days of Christmas.  It has been  decades since we celebrated this holiday here - and I wanted my husband's relatives to know that there was no expense too great or line to long to prepare a memorable feast just for them.

A short blessing was said for the food and for those who could not join us this year.

  The Menu  Actual Menu
 (as in  when I had to stop cooking because my feet gave out)

Cream of Watercress Soup

Butter Lettuce Salad with Candied walnuts and Dried Cranberries
with  Hazelnut-Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
with butter and lavender honey

Sweet Potato Casserole
with Bananas and Pineapple

Brined and Smoked Turkey Breasts  
with Gluten free Cornbread Dressing
and Gravy

Boars Head Ham with Pineapple Sauce

Crème Brule
Assorted cookies

The odd plate was because forgot to count myself in the head count when setting the table):-  Rather than have everyone scoot away from the china cabinet so my plate would match- I just reached in the kitchen cupboard.


After dinner, we gathered in the main room, with the children fascinated by the gallery wall.

Abigail was particularly interested in finding out who was whom. When were her cousins (our sons) so skinny?

So I did what any Aunt would do. Get out her 36 year old wedding album to show the kids that their father wasn't always 6' 6" of athletic prowess.


When Gerry and I were married- Eric was about the height and weight of his teenage professional model daughter. It was time to open presents.


Eric Jr and his girlfriend- Sara Lynne- enjoyed a private joke.

Alden is into animal prints.

My favorite gift  just may have been the pair of rolled pillows I had made for my mother -in- law. For her living room chairs, the main fabric was leftover from our reupholstering her dining chairs. 

Did you have a favorite gift you gave?


OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a BEAUTIFULK Tree and a lovely Christmas, my dear Lydia...Considering your cooking limitations it sounds like you had a Fantastic Deast, in spite of it! BRAVA to you. Looks like you all had a WONDERFUL time!

Anonymous said...

Oh Lydia,
Your tree looks magnificent! I am not surprised it took that many hours to decorate! WHO were your helpers? Was Ger up to the task?
Loved seeing your Christmas Eve festivities! Sad the boys weren't there to share it with you all but then I know what that's like. They have to share some time with their ladies relatives too. Fortunate that we do our Christmas on Christmas day and our boys' ladies are of Hispanic descent so they do theirs on Christmas Eve.

Yes, my favorite gift that we gave was a 42" flat screen TV to Kevin and Debbie. They have been saving for one so now they can save for a HOUSE!! lol
Your menu looked delectible! So glad Ger's family agreed to come to your lovely abode and enjoy your excellent cooking! Good job my dear!! :):)

XO Trisha

Lydia said...

Dear Naomi and Trisha- Thank you for writing in.

Trish- Gerry's job in getting the house ready this year was to supervise! Kaitlyn McCreary helped with the interior decorations and we had some professional help in hanging a minimum of outside lights to avoid the basic bah-humbug look. After all- We have so much to celebrate.