Let me be honest with you all. I so wasn’t feeling the Christmas spirit. So much so, that I waited until mid-December to put up my tree, didn’t start Christmas shopping until the weekend before Christmas, and totally handed over the reins for Christmas dinner to my mom this year. I mean, I haven’t had one of my mom’s holiday meals since when Paul and I first got married, like over a decade ago. I cried mutiny the year she started putting chestnuts in the stuffing. Chestnuts in stuffing is a crime against nature. Then it was just a matter of distance, with her being two states away. But when she moved here in 2005, I still continued to cook all of the holiday meals. But I was missing Mom’s cooking, and didn’t feel like going through the whole production this year, so I asked mom to do it this year. And what did that get me? A plate of my mom’s tasty cooking. Who can ask for more?
Her turkey, a Jennie-O that was missing a wing for some odd reason, came out perfectly, thanks in part (I’m sure) to one of my Christmas gifts to her – a temperature probe with alarm. Perfectly browned extra crisp skin and oh so juicy, even in the breast which tends to dry out.
Paul loves her whipped potatoes, which come out fluffier than mine. I don’t know what I do differently, though.
And I so need to get her a fat separator for her gravy for next year. Flavor was quite excellent, but with no way to de-fat it, it was an issue.
Joe made a nice cauliflower with cheddar sauce that I really enjoyed.
And my mom’s cranberry sauce (not pretty in this picture, but much prettier when stirred up a bit) was so very good. A simple recipe, but delicious.
My sister Amanda, who is a second year culinary student at her high school, made some really good (much better than I expected it to be, honestly) chocolate mousse using a recipe she had found on Simply Recipes. Maybe there’s hope for her yet.
My contribution to the meal? Cannolis, which I’ll talk about in a separate post. I have got to say, it was nice to sit back and let others cook for once – we talked about rotating among various family members from year to year, which is AOK with me.
So tell me, what holiday dishes are a standard in your family?