Christmas Menus in My Sister’s Kitchen

Barb and I agreed it would be fun to share a snapshot of what’s going on in our kitchens in the next few days. Our families read love in the food we make at this time of year, and for both Barb’s and my families, that means a mix of traditions and adventure. Neither one of us is a die-hard traditional Christmas dinner gal–we’ve often skipped the turkey and ham, and gone for other meals we enjoy more. I remember one Christmas that we actually got to be together around Barb’s table–and it was a spectacular brunch that included Baked French Toast, smoked salmon, and…I can’t remember all the fabulous things, but we lingered at the table for hours and hours, laughing and talking. Anyway, we thought we’d give you a peek into our kitchens to see what traditional and adventurous things were being made.

Christmas menu At Laura’s House:

Christmas Eve services will be done by about 6, after which we’ll come home to find the pizza dough risen and ready for our family tradition of Homemade Pizza. We’ll probably include on BBQ Chicken Pizza for the grownups. For dessert, there will be our family heirloom Apple Dumplings with real whipped cream.

For Christmas Day, we are repeating last year’s (new tradition?) of mid-morning brunch, serving Eggs Hussarde, which is a scrumptious biscuit-ham-egg-Hollandaise sauce-Marchand de Vin sauce concoction that I remember my father-in-law making on Christmas morning when Kirk and I were first married. We will garnish that with fresh asparagus. I’m also considering making a hybrid of two of my favorite recipes, using the dough from Auntie Joan’s cool-rise cinnamon rolls, and making a Cream Cheese Peach Braid. Of course, there will also be Banket and Fudge for munching as the day progresses. If we are not totally food-ed out by dinner time, I’m thinking about making Pozole, which is a traditional Christmas/comfort food soup from Mexico.

Christmas Menu At Barb’s house:

My dear mother-in-law experienced quite a Travel Ordeal yesterday as she flew across country to come visit us. This resulted in a bedtime somewhere after 3 AM this morning for me, so my brain is a bit fuzzy. I’m going to give you a real skeleton sketch of the next two days. Please come back in a day or so and I will have posted recipes of some of the foods to which I refer.

Tonight we’ll have a later dinner after our Christmas Eve service. Michael and I have been doing some wild pizza experimentation and plan to serve some of the best results. We’ll make four pizzas: sausage herb pizza, the Ultimate Onion pizza, Smoked Salmon pizza, and Crab Pinenut Hummus Asiago pizza. I will be posting recipes for all of these in the next couple of days, so please check back!

Tomorrow we’re majoring in meat. We’ll be serving 13 people and of those 13, seven will be males within the ages of 15-22. I plan on making a LOT of food.

Christmas dinner wouldn’t BE Christmas dinner without my mother-in-law’s famous Cheesy Potato Casserole. We also will be grilling venison steaks, roasting a turkey, and grilling beef tenderloin. The tenderloin will be served with a Bleu Cheese Sauce, like we did last year. All this will be accompanied by Auntie Shirl’s Pear Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette. Of course there will be vast quantities of sourdough.

I must confess that I haven’t figured out appetizers for tomorrow’s dinner. The family that will be joining us for dinner is taking care of desserts. Jill plans to serve Chocolate Mousse and cheesecake.

I really hope that we’ll end up with some leftovers out of all this wonderful food because I would like to go on enjoying these flavors for several more days!

I will be posting the recipes for our specialty pizzas and then linking to them from here, so check back in a few days for those.

Merry Christmas and Joyful eating!

Barb and Laura