Christmas menus at Barb’s house

Laura reminded me this morning that I need to take a few minutes to share our holiday meal plans here.

Well, just a few minutes ago, I was reminded that one of the trademarks of the Christmas holiday for us is the need for flexibility. We were supposed to go to a Christmas dinner party at the home of some new friends, but we currently have some kids that are feeling under the weather and a dad with a totally spazzed out neck. We realized that attending a party was totally unrealistic, so we’ve changed gears at the last minute. Fortunately, I have a crockpot of succulent pork roast in mole’ sauce, all ready to eat.

I’ve also just started home made pea soup. I have a huge (HUGE) ham bone in the pot. This tells a second story of needing flexibility. Dave was curing a huge ham and a whole side of bacon out in our normally bitterly cold garage. Our weather has been so unseasonably balmy that he finally needed to pull it in. He refrigerated the side of bacon and will continue curing when the temps drop. Meanwhile, we are cooking up a LOT of half-cured pork today!

Christmas Eve: This year, we’re having our special holiday meal on Christmas Eve. In the past, we’ve done everything from McDonald’s happy meals (when the kids were tiny) to take-out pizza to split pea soup (I wish I knew how to spell the Dutch word for pea soup….because on Christmas Eve, that’s the word we use!)

This year, my brother Rick and his wife Deb will be joining us. We plan to indulge in delicious appetizers (supplied by Rick and Deb) followed by our favorite Holiday Chicken with kalamata olives and apricots. I’ll serve this with rice, some sweet potatoes, and tossed salad. For dessert, we’re trying something new….tiny apple tartlets.

Christmas at our house will also be a Jammie Day. We’ll start with a leisurely opening of presents and move on to a leisurely brunch. I plan to make homemade cinnamon rolls and shrimp scampi. The rest of the day will be grazing and leftovers, old movies and long naps, good books and quiet conversations by the crackling fire. Ray’s Weather is predicting that snow will start to fall on Christmas Eve and continue through Christmas day. I can’t wait!

The one thing that does stay the same each Christmas is our joyful celebration of the birth of Jesus. Our hearts are overflowing with thankfulness for the greatest gift of His birth. Joy to the World!