Christmas Dinner

December 25th, 2005

Everybody always asks what we’re having for Christmas dinner. This year we weren’t planning to have a big dinner on Christmas, because Jackie, Fred, and their kids were coming over on Christmas Eve to have chicken and pasta with us. With that big a meal on Christmas Eve, I wasn’t planning a big meal on Christmas day too.

But, as fate would have it, Summer got sick Thursday night, and was still sick Saturday, so we called off the big Christmas Eve meal. That left me wanting to do some cooking today. Even though we didn’t have the advantage of foresight, we were able to put together a pretty good meal.

It started with the ham that Selena gave us: spiral sliced with a honey glaze mix. I put it in the oven at about 4 PM. At about 5:20, I mixed up the glaze, basted the ham, and put it back in for another fifteen minutes.

Then came the rice that Marcia gave Wendy for Christmas, a box of wild rice that Wendy loves but can’t buy around here. Marcia gave us a box of six packages. Each package contains about two and a half cups of dry rice mix. I only needed to use one cup of rice, but I didn’t figure that out until it was too late. Oh well, that means lots of leftovers. I cooked the rice in butter and beef bullion, according to the recipe, starting at about 4:30. It came out very well.

I wanted to make the green bean with cheese casserole that Wendy likes so much, but the only cans of cheddar cheese soup I could find were about eight years old and had gone bad. Instead, I resorted to the cookbook and made a cheddar cheese sauce by James Beard’s intructions. It was better than the usual recipe, if I do say so myself.

We needed one more dish. I made Dad’s pan potatoes, red potatoes peeled and sliced, cooked German style with salt, a little fresh pepper, and a chopped up onion in some butter and olive oil. Summer loves these potatoes, so this dish was for her. The potatoes were tender and the onions oh so sweet.

It all came out very well, even though I was juggling four different dishes there at the end trying to make everything come out at the same time. The cook would have lost his mind if it weren’t for a couple of glasses of red wine to soothe his nerves.

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