Planning the Holidays

22 Dec

I have been away from the house for nearly three weeks now.  Getting back to cooking meals for ourselves is going to seem really weird. To top it off, our first full day home is going to be Christmas Eve, so I have to figure out holiday meals just when I don’t remember how my kitchen works any more.  Happily, I read a Facebook notice that Daisy Mae’s Market has blood oranges, so I’ll be stopping by there Sunday afternoon or Monday.

My wonderful mother-in-law would usually make standing rib roast for Christmas Dinner, complete with Yorkshire pudding.  I did so myself last year, which was the first year I had actually cooked Christmas Dinner at our house.  In the interest of preserving the fragile health of my bad shoulder, I have decided to go with short ribs for dinner.  Short ribs and grits.  With a blood orange salad before and a repeat of that gorgeous caramelized pear tart afterwards.

Christmas Eve, I think we’ll have fish.  My family in Florida often has seafood on Christmas Eve (the Christmas Eve Dinner antidote?) and I will keep that up, despite the fact that there have been no oceans near Ohio for a few eras.

My mother gave me a pair of dolsots for Christmas.  She actually had them shipped from Korea.  They came packed in cake boxes and surrounded by little envelopes of sushi seaweed to cushion them.  We’ll definitely be having dolsot bibimbap this week.

Looking forward to cooking, enjoying and hearing what others have decided to have for whenever and whoever are special to them.




7 Responses to “Planning the Holidays”

  1. Gail Baptiste December 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I was wondering when you would get back to town. I knew it would be close to Christmas Eve.

    In the early years of being married, my husband and I lived close to both sets of parents. Over time we figured out that we would spend Christmas morning with my folks and Christmas dinner with his folks since Christmas was also Nick’s father’s birthday.

    So the menu was that my dad would get up very early Christmas morning and put a turkey in the oven. We’d open gifts and for lunch we would have hot turkey sandwiches. They were delicious as I recall.

    My mother-in-law was first generation Italian. My father-in-law adored her Italian cooking (the rest of what she cooked was eh -ok). She would make a huge pot of fresh gravy,
    braciole, sweet and hot italian sausage, meatballs, lasagne, ravioli and cavatelli for Christmas dinner every year. We had this because my father-in-law wanted Italian for his birthday. I’ve never had better than hers – ever. So even when we moved away, I wound up cooking Italian for Christmas because that is what we had from the time I was 19 years old.

    She’d get some Italian bread at a place called ‘Del Buono’ bakery that was down the street from her. On Christmas morning she’d get up and drive into Philly and get an ‘Italian Cream Cake’ with rum cream in the middle, for the birthday cake/dessert. It was a feast to end all feasts. The food available in Philadelphia – particularly Italian food – is so hard to obtain here.

    I’m going to make a smaller version of the Italian dinner for Christmas. I bought some Tinkyada GF pasta at Whole Foods last week, and tomorrow I’ll make the gravy from scratch. I’ll also make meatballs and some Italian Sausage. I’m not going to make the braciole because it’s too much for just the three of us. I haven’t decided on dessert – maybe some cheesecake.

    I’m late on everything this year. I hoped to get some of the food cooked today but I’m still decorating and cleaning.

    Christmas eve is still a mystery. Fish sounds good, but I might go the easy route and get a spiral ham and make potato salad, etc.

    • Mrs. U. December 22, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

      Thanks, Gail. Your traditions sound great! I am trying to start a melange of family traditions for us. I love that you call it ‘gravy’. So much more real. For us, Christmas Eve is elegant and Christmas Day is hearty. Making harira for lunch on Christmas Day, though. Looking forward to getting home soon,

      • Judy Cammarata December 22, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

        The Italian foods sound wonderful for Christmas Day. I always wanted to do the Seven Fishes Feast for Christmas Eve, for La Vigilia. Maybe this is the year I try it. Maybe just shrimp and salmon or tilapia.

      • Mrs. U. December 23, 2012 at 7:18 am #

        Great idea, Judy! Hmmm….

      • Judy Cammarata December 22, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

        I forgot to ask what are dolsots? Something Turkish?

      • Mrs. U. December 23, 2012 at 7:18 am #

        Korean stone bowls. Google dolsot bibimbap.

  2. Barb Cooper December 23, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Your plans sound delicious. We’ll be ready for you at Daisy Mae’s! Merry Christmas from all of us!

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