Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Dinner 2012

Ten Course Christmas Dinner for 2012

Every year I do a ten course dinner for the family. Some years it turns out better than others. This year I was missing two of my children: Rob couldn't come home from Washington State because he had duty on his Naval Ship; Renee was unable to come because she got married and moved to East Tennessee, which was too far for just a day's travel.

Every year Christmas dinner is formal, ladies wear formal dress and gentlemen wear suits. This year, to accommodate my brother's non-alcoholic tendencies, we had no wines. Usually we have a wine with each course (except for Dean and Sidney who have different drinks). This year, I supplied different flavored waters, Sprite, and a white and red sparkling grape juice.  Some of the pictures did not turn out, but you can at least glean what I made!

After the dinner, I ask everyone what their favorite is (looking for praise, of course!), and what their least favorite is (so that I won't make it again).

The first course, or what my eldest daughter Renee calls the "prior-tizer" was not photographed because I forgot! It was very simple: Baby shrimp and cocktail sauce poured over cream cheese with a pretty knife and fancy crackers. I never get to eat any of this course because I am still cooking.

We sit down at the dining room table to begin, and we start with the appetizer. This year it was home-maid bruschetta.


As you can see, I do serve with all of the plates stacked, because it just me doing EVERYTHING at Christmas. So, they just have to put up with tall dishes as we work our way down.

The next course was the soup, which was not what I have maid every other year. My eldest daughter, Renee has always wanted home made potatoe soup, and this year since she married and moved to the other side of the state, the youngest wanted something different. So, my mom chose butternut squash. Strangely, all the ladies loved it, and all the gentlemen did not! And, also strangely, the picture turned out to be a big black blank. So, I can't show you that at all. Boo!

The next is my salad. This picture doesn't show how pretty it really was. The greens don't look green, but they really were! I make a home-made vinaigrette dressing for the salad every year. It took me about three years to figure out what to do, and then one year I made the two best and had everyone choose which they would prefer in future. It turns out to be the red-whine vinaigrette. Yes, "whine" because they all whine until they get to the salad course because all of the courses are small! :)

The next was sea food. Notice how my brother scooted his stuffed clam as close to his mouth as possible! This was his favorite dish of the night.
Then came the pasta dish. This year we had cheese ravioli with, absolutely from scratch, tomato sauce. This, everyone loved. The picture didn't turn out for this one. :(
The next dish was my favorite! Which, was why there is no photo. I got carried away with eating! I made the most delicious turkey EVER! I stuffed butter inside deep cuts, then made a rub of parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil. I then made the most fabulous glazed carrots with orange juice and brown sugar. 
Next came the meat, which was a thick steak marinated in molasses and soy sauce! This is always the most tricky for me because it gets well done. However, it did turn out really yummy and was my mom's favorite dish. I cook the green beans in butter and salt. OMG, love these beans!
The next course begins the desserts. So, each year everyone takes either a bathroom break, or a smoke break. I don't smoke, so I take this time to load the dishwasher from the previous course! This year, however, our NEW dishwasher leaves a residue, and since this is my good china, I chose to hand wash everything. So, I washed a little.
Now that everyone has made a little more room, here is what is usually my eldest son, Rob's favorite. I make a mousse from scratch. Every year it is chocolate with a flavor. However, due to health issues I am no longer able to eat chocolate due to its caffeine content. This year I did a little experiment and came up with a white chocolate mousse. This year's flavor was raspberry. I also made a flavored whipped cream to top it off. This was my boyfriend, John's favorite. He ate something like four of them!

After that came Sidney's favorite dish of the night. The fruit course this year was raspberries mixed with sugar and topped with a cream cheese whipped topping. I mixed it like my grandmother "Mawmaw", who was a Southern Lady that taught me much of my cooking skills. (Yes, for those that know me, I DO know HOW to cook, I just don't like it except for Christmas and Easter!)

And the very last course of the night every year is the sherbet. To keep the theme, it was a raspberry sherbet served in a 1960's vintage champagne glass. MMMMmmmmmmmm.

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