Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Eve Dinner

Holidays are hard. It was simple when I was single, but once SP entered my life, holidays got complicated. Plus, he has a much larger family than I do. The who, what, when, where of hosting and seeing family and trying to share... it's all so stressful and there's always someone who isn't satisfied.

There have been a lot of family issues the past year, a lot of stress, and me being a complete crying mess for many days and wondering why some people seem so hurtful and mean towards me and why does it seem that I am blamed when SP & I have always made decisions together and he has been OK with every single decision we've made. But I am at fault.

Sigh. So we spent much of spring & early summer trying to figure out how to make things easier/less stressful/happier for us because, as my parents have repeatedly told us for the past few years, it only matters if SP & I are happy with our decisions and everyone else just needs to accept and respect our decisions.

Which brings me to the 2011 holiday season. My parents came in for Thanksgiving, and since we hadn't seen my dad in 11 months, we made the decision to spend the entire week they were here with just them. So we figured we'd spend Christmas with SP's family. But we are not yet ready to host after the 'we hosted but someone clogged/broke our sewer pump and cost us a lot of money' situation (which admittedly was a while ago, but... we've had a lot of unexpected expenses this year and had no desire to possibly add on another!) so we decided we would not have people over. We also decided that we wanted one day for just us to do our own thing and we wanted that day to be Christmas Eve. We decided that Christmas Eve we would stay home and make our own special meal and open our gifts together and watch football and stay in our jammies all day.

I have to say it was one of our best decisions. It was so nice to not be getting ready for a bunch of people coming over or to be getting ready to go out to other places. It was so nice to stay home all day, watch football - the whole game while on the couch, not peering across the kitchen at the living room TV -  and make some very easy but tasty dishes.

At the last minute, we ended up inviting over a friend whose only local family was in a rehab facility recovering from recent surgery. He didn't have anywhere to be and he doesn't cook. He's such a good friend and always there for us so we wanted him to come have a good meal and enjoy some holiday cheer. Here's what we made:
Pork Balls! My mom made these last Christmas Eve. They're a once a year treat. Ground ham & ground pork balls baked in a brown sugar-vinegar-mustard-water sauce.
Yum! I love these! My parents (who spent Christmas in GA with my brother) were a little jealous of our pork balls. This is my grandma's recipe and she used to make them at the holidays. My dad and grandpa love these and often fought over who got the last one.

We also made a white bread in the bread machine and pimiento cheese spread:
I love pimiento cheese spread. Grated white cheddar, grated yellow cheddar, pimientos, mayo, and cayenne pepper.
We had some carrots and celery with my mom's Parsley Dip:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice
chopped onion

I also like this dip on sandwiches instead of mayo or mustard.
And we made Turkey Salad:
We baked turkey cutlets, pulsed them in the food processor, and mixed in finely chopped celery and egg plus mayo, vinegar, and some Dijon. And parsley, pepper, and salt.
We have leftovers, which we wanted, and I've been enjoying them for lunch. I've been toasting my English muffin then spreading pimiento on one half and turkey salad on the other half and eating them open faced. Mostly because I cannot decide which I'd rather eat, so I have both!
So that was Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day we went to SP's parents' house. I didn't take any photos on Christmas, but SP's parents made a turkey and a ham plus there were roasted brussel sprouts, roasted and pureed squash, sauteed green beans with almonds, mashed potatoes with caramelized onions mixed into the potatoes, a brown bread, 3 kinds of cranberries (regular, blackberry, and orange), and cole slaw. Tons of food!

Hope your holiday was, and continues to be, as yummy as ours!

No comments:

Post a Comment