December 20 – The Menu

I hit the grocery store yesterday, after finally putting together a menu for Christmas Eve. Since I have to share my holiday time with my husband’s family, I have to pack my holiday dining enjoyment into Christmas Eve dinner. Family holiday meal planning isn’t like planning a menu for an event at the store. I don’t get to totally pick what I’m cooking.
So after much debate and a few eye rolls on my part, this will be the menu for Christmas Eve:

and under protest…

  • Mississippi Mud Thing (not sure what it is but it calls for milk in a can and marshmallow in a jar, found some recipe on the internet-will let you know if it is edible)
  • Tabbouleh (after much arguing I’m NOT using a stupid mix, although I had to agree to find bulgar wheat that wasn’t so “brown” & I’m not allowed to put mint in it)

Green Peppercorns
I was happy to find green peppercorns in brine at Uptown Grocery, saving me a trip into the city today. I did buy the last 2 cans though.
They also had vanilla beans…dried up, tiny pathetic beans for $5. Not sure if it was one bean folded in half or two stumpy beans, but they were sad. I have the best beans in town!
Gruyère cheese wasn’t hard to find this year, I’ve been successful finding it at many places so far. I’m making three dishes with gruyère so that was important.
True croissant story. One time I brought my beautiful and delicious croissants to a meal. Someone else made Plisbury “crescent” rolls and some people ate them instead. :slap: There is no accounting for taste! You can not make a croissant out of a biscuit.
Christmas PuddingI really, really wanted to make Christmas Pudding this year. They served it on the Christmas special of Downton Abbey and I’ve been jonesing to make it ever since. But I don’t have time to run down strange ingredients and have enough on my list to cook already. Plus the only person in my family who would have appreciated this is dead, and everyone else would most likely not eat it.
Other exciting things happened today. The sleigh full of spring yarn arrived early. I had about a hour to pop in the shop between grocery shopping and picking Mason up from school and discovered several huge boxes. UPS is delivering early this holiday season. I dig those guys!
I hope my menu and recipes help some of you in deciding what to prepare. If that’s not enough, I’ve decided to give away Ina Garten’s newest cookbook Barefoot Contessa Foolproof along with ten juicy vanilla beans to one lucky winner today.
Simply share what you are most looking forward to (or not looking forward to) cooking/eating during the holidays by commenting on this post.
Speaking of winners, I thought I’d post a list of who has won so far in case you’ve missed the little “you’ve won” comments I’ve been posting.

  • December 3 – two $25 Gift Cards – Betty and maryktb
  • December 6 – Prairie Gypsies gift set – Melann526
  • December 15 – Principles of Knitting – Pindy4176
  • December 16 – Knit Out Coupon – everyone who posted (it isn’t too late, post a comment to this post by January 15 and you too can receive a special deal)
  • December 19 – four holiday project bags – mbkinser, Meli40, Jlbeene83, pharris824

prinI received a nice email from June Hemmons Hiatt thanking me for our post about her books on December 15. We correspond from time to time, and it was nice to see that she too is reading our blog! She was nice enough to offer to send autographed bookplates.
So Pindy4176, we’ll have one of those coming for you too along. Anyone who purchases one of the copies we have left in stock will receive an autographed bookplate too.
How cool is that?


  • maryktb

    20.12.2012 at 05:28 Reply

    I also have a Christmas Eve dinner menu planned ( except Keely’s sounds so good that maybe we will go there instead. )
    Cranberry Pork Tenderloin
    Extra Good Mashed Potatoes
    Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic
    Balsamic Green Beans
    Mrs Silvers’ Homemade Rolls ( recipe from my 5th grade Sunday School teacher!)
    Raspberries n Creme Ribbon Cake ( okay, so I get this from their bakery but my family thinks it is the best cake ever!)
    I have a small family now but we like Christmas Eve dinner and then a laid back Christmas Day- leftovers or maybe a crockpot soup.

  • kp73120

    20.12.2012 at 07:51 Reply

    That is one impressive menu!! I was perusing Ina’s cookbooks in the book store last night. She has some good recipes. I will be making pumpkin pies and the cornbread dressing. Yes, we repeat our T-day menu. lol

  • machelle

    20.12.2012 at 09:30 Reply

    My husband and his family are stuck in some kind of time warp. They have insisted on the same holiday menu for over 20 years and I oblige by preparing the major part of the meal for them. It is pretty basic, nothing remotely resembling fancy for this bunch, so we are stuck with: Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Green beans, Rhodes Frozen Rolls,(I use to make my own whole wheat dinner rolls from scratch, but they prefer these instead. Go figure!) and Coconut Pecan Pie for dessert. They usually guilt my sister-in-law into making sweet potatoes from a can doused with a bag of marshmallows, deviled eggs (Yuk!) and some sort of cooked carrot dish that I have never been brave enough to try. I have tried to cajole, beg and plead my way out of this lack luster Christmas fare, but so far-no luck. I would much rather be eating the Christmas Eve meal you have planned Keely!

  • jlbeene83

    20.12.2012 at 09:36 Reply

    For some reason this year, I’m looking forward to ham! Not sure why, just sounds good, but also Granny’s homemade dressing! Yum!

  • Melann526

    20.12.2012 at 10:29 Reply

    Since our Christmas is so small this year, I’m thinking about getting a bunch of appetizers for Christmas Eve dinner. That was my mother’s go to for ‘fancy’ events would have small numbers of people. For some reason, eating with our fingers was fancy and classy 😉

    • keely

      21.12.2012 at 00:16 Reply

      Congratulations! You are the lucky winner!

  • pharris824

    20.12.2012 at 10:56 Reply

    Yay, I loved the cute project bags!

  • cwatson

    20.12.2012 at 10:57 Reply

    Sounds delicious, after making tons of peanut brittle, fudge, banana bread cookies and chocolate dipped pretzels, turning most of the cooking over to my spouse for the holiday meal we are having pork tenderloin, ribs, baked beans, coleslaw and brocolli casserole and I will probably make a pie or two to round out the meal. Looking forward to spending time with our kids and grandkids 🙂

  • greta

    20.12.2012 at 12:20 Reply

    Our big meal will be Christmas Eve evening at my husband’s cousin’s home. Christmas Day will be Linguini with Shrimp, salad, rolls. Not sure what dessert will be

  • Meli40

    20.12.2012 at 12:51 Reply

    We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. We always traveled to visit family on Christmas Day. The Christmas Day meal is much like Thanksgiving; turkey, ham, pies, etc. My favorite meal is Christmas Eve. We always cook weiners in the fireplace. Mom never wanted to make a big meal because we wouldn’t be around to eat leftovers the next day. So, we would all huddle around the fire fighting for the best cooking flame. This was always an exciting time as we knew after supper came the presents. We have continued this tradition with my kids as well. They love it…. or maybe just the idea of opening presents one day early!

  • mbkinser

    20.12.2012 at 13:17 Reply

    I won something? Holy cow! Since we do the big Thanksgiving meal at our house, Christmas is low-key. Brunch with Mom to start the day, then something like a prime rib for that evening.

  • pindy4176

    20.12.2012 at 19:43 Reply

    Winning _The Principles of Knitting_ makes missing out on Ina’s cookbook okay with me! LOL
    My mom makes terrific meatballs, so we often have spaghetti and meatballs on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, we all forage, so nobody gets stuck in the kitchen.

  • mschoir01

    20.12.2012 at 21:14 Reply

    The last few years I have taken to cooking a standing prime rib roast. Rare Roast beast, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes Duchesse (I’m lying. I mash them.), the perennial green bean casserole, my great grandmother’s rolls, and at least four kinds of pie. Those vanilla beans would come in handy there..
    I used to do a goose every year for my father and I miss that, but he and I (and a few in-laws) were about the only ones who really loved it. It is a fond memory and one day I will roast another, but for now we will eat red meat on December 25.
    One last item: a sibling’s boyfriend once graced us with a real homemade plum pudding. It was awful. I’d take steamed blueberry or pumpkin puddings any day! As a matter of fact, I may make one for Christmas after all…

  • donnajmiller

    21.12.2012 at 16:20 Reply

    We do a big breakfast then deli sandwiches for lunch. Gifts and food go on all day long!

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