Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Wrap Up (NPI)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas full of great food, great gifts, and lots of family loves. I have really enjoyed reading everyone's Christmas blogs, particularly as so many of us out there are in mixed marriages and are navigating multiple holidays.

I did have a very nice day with my family yesterday. I ate some great food and took in some good loot. A paritcuarly clever gift was that my husband replaced my lost iPod, and made it difficult to lose again as he had it engraved with my name and words "Rhubarb Pie."

My only problem with Christmas dinner is that I suffer from Christmas Dinner Envy.

The best example of this came while I was watching Tyler's Ultimate a couple of weeks ago. He was making fun of people who become so stressed out at Christmas time that they go to the store two days before Christmas freaked out about what to make and end up with a spiral ham. He made this amazing looking crown roast of pork with stuffing.

Really, a spiral ham? What kind of Christmas dinner is a spiral ham? BOR-ing!

Oh wait. We almost always have spiral ham for Christmas in my family.

Don't get me wrong. I like spiral ham. I just sometimes feel a little tired of it when I see all of the other options out there. I suppose it's the Food Network's fault. It's probably the fault of all of the other food-related media as well. Sometimes I just long for a crown roast of pork, or a duck, or a goose, or a beef tenderloin, or a leg of lamb. Even if I hosted Christmas dinner myself, a lot of people in my family wouldn't want to eat these things anyway. My husband wouldn't touch it. My mother would politely pick at it. I did enjoy this type of dinner last year, but that's because we had dinner at the home of one of Kevin's family friends instead of with my own family.

Of course when all is said and done, the food I eat is always delicious when enjoyed with family. So what if it's the same food as last year and the year before that (and the year before that)? In the end it's all about family.

As I'm still waiting for the return of my camera, I'm short on food photos. I will have to just be descriptive once again.

Christmas was a brunch this year, as it often is. My mother made baked orange french toast. Alongside this, we feasted on many aspect of the noble pig. We had the ham, but we also had sausage and bacon. There were the inexplicably traditional cheese grits as well.

Desserts were mostly purchased ones except for one - the one I brought. I decided Christmas was the perfect time to make Emily's Kitchen Sink Bundt Cake (oooh....I made another scary Bundt cake). Kevin was kind enough to photograph it for me with his camera.

I made just a few tweaks in the recipe. Some were not intentional. For one thing, I was a doodyhead and neglected to put the toffee bits into the cake batter (I also had to use chocolate-covered toffee because that was the only toffee I could find). I couldn't find any peanut-butter-filled pretzels, so I used plain ones. I know I could have found the chocolate-peanut-butter ones at Trader Joe's, but I didnt' want to be fighting the crowds at multiple stores on Christmas Eve. I also didn't bother putting the Oreo bits on the outside. It seemed like overkill, particularly with the toffee on the outside.

The cake was a big hit. Everyone was so full from all of the brunch food that it was hard to squeeze dessert in. With this cake people certainly tried.

I got a new microplane set!

The Short (dis)Order Cook and Sir Pickypants wish all of our friends a very Happy New Year!


noble pig said...

Okay, I made a crown roast of pork was the best. Sounds like you had a great day!

Happy holidays to you and your family.

Peter M said...

Rachel, it appears you had a wonderful Christmas and Emily's cake looks freakin' good!

A slab would put a smile on my face too!

Bellini Valli said...

It sounds like you had a fun filled Christmas with plenty of love and laughter Rachel.

Heather said...

Ooh, that microplane is great. Have fun with the new toys!

Colloquial Cook said...

Spiral ham?? I am puzzled. Could it be ham cut around the bone? Hmmm. Interesting. Your scary cake made me laugh out loud :-) it looks scaringly yummy.

Emily said...

Merrrrry Christmas to you!

I thought that might be the cake! I'm glad you liked it. I really like it. My sister and I ate the entire cake, in a period of a couple of days. It stays really moist.
No Oreos? Boooooo.

I'm kidding.

Love the picture of you two.

melissa said...

I like ham, but I don't make it myself. I had it every year growing up, so I try other things when I actually cook for Christmas.

Glad you had a lovely day!

Bunny said...

Yes I get tired of making the same thing every year too. I think next year I'll slip a different side dish in amongst the usual to see what happens. My husband would absolutely FREAK if I didn't make certain things for Christmas dinner. Awe the picture of you and your husband is wonderful!!

The Blonde Duck said...

Merry Christmas to you! I'm actually the total opposite. I look at all the elegant food and think, "Hell, can't someone just fix me some chicken friend steak?"

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

NP - I'm so envious.

Peter - Hope you had a great one and Em can't make a bad cake.

Val - Thanks and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well.

Heather - I intend to!

CC - You are correct. A sprial ham is a ham that has been sliced off the bone in circles. It makes for very easy slicing for the person serving it.

Em - Sorry about the oreos. I might have used them if I didnt' have the toffee already on the outside of the cake instead of inside of it. I would never have been able to get more stuff to stick.

Melissa - You hit it on the head. I've had enough Christmas ham, so if I were making dinner, there would be som changes...

Bunny - It's great to see these comments were I know I'm not alone in being tired of the same dinners. Maybe I'll cook next year and make everyone just deal with the pork roast!

Blondie - Actually, I would love some chicken fried steak for Christmas!

Stacey Snacks said...

At least brunch is SAFE.
Safe from sprial hams and disgusting casseroles.
I used to go to a fancy christmas eve w/ silver chafing dishes, turkey, crown roast of pork and seafood! Until they moved to Florida. boo hoo.

Sue said...

What's wrong with having the same thing every year? It sounds wonderful and it takes alot of the stress off the hosts.

Wow! A microplane SET? That's deluxe. I've just been thinking that it does take kind of a long time to grate tons of Parmesan on my long skinny one, which I do adore. I may have to look into that.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Stacey - My brunch wasn't safe from spiral hams though.

Sue - I understand what you mean about convenience for the host, I just feel envious at what other people are eating. Too many magazines and cooking shows and blogs are showing me all of the the things I could be having for Christmas, but am not.

My microplane set is really cool. It has three different microplanes with different grating textures - coarse, medium, and fine.