At Chez Bauer we do Christmas dinner just like we do Thanksgiving, only smaller. Since we spend Thanksgiving away from home we never have leftovers, and I guess when we were younger we might have made negative comments to mom and dad…so Christmas dinner became a Thanksgiving repeat, but with our own leftovers! (That will DEFINITELY be the next post, because I make a killer leftover turkey sandwich!) I won’t bore you with the same recipes from Thanksgiving (side dishes here, turkey and stuffing here), instead I want to share our Christmas Day traditions.
We’ve always started our day with stockings and then breakfast. Growing up dad always made pancakes or waffles and for a few years there were ebelskivers (a round Danish pancake, click here for a video from Christmas 2011!). Mom would make mounds of eggs and bacon to feed all the kids and any guests that were with us, and we couldn’t open presents until breakfast was done. After presents were opened dad would start cooking while my siblings and I would explore our new toys. Although that changed a little as we got older. I started helping in the kitchen, my sister, mom and any guests would play Scrabble. And my brother would play with his young daughters and put toys together. There was a Christmas that we all played Wii-including my mom and godmother! This year was quieter without my nieces or my siblings around. Our friend Sarah came over in the afternoon and Scrabble was played, appetizers were had and wine was drunk. Dad and I cooked and dinner was served in the early evening. Many years ago we bought a set of Spode Christmas dinnerware from Macy’s. I think it makes the dinner feel extra special.
With a 16 pound turkey and only 5 people, we decided to only carve up one breast, and even with the one breast and all the dark meat, there was still a lot of turkey left on the platter. There was also Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Pearl Onions, Green Beans with Shallot and Ginger, a salad, cranberry sauces, dinner rolls, the squash and apple dish, and of course stuffing. We were so stuffed by the end that no one had room for dessert (pumpkin pie of course). But my mom did pack leftover bags for our guests. After they left mom started the turkey soup, we cleaned up and relaxed. Then I had a piece of pumpkin pie. I just couldn’t end Christmas Day without some!
Before I returned to Los Angeles a few days later my mom packed a box full of leftovers (including that turkey breast we never carved!) so that I could make my own sandwiches back home. Christmas is my favorite time of year, and even though it was a drastically different one this year, I still enjoyed the time spent with my parents and friends. I got to visit one of my best friends and finally meet her new daughter, have lunch with two of my mentors from high school, and enjoy the country in general. I very rarely went online, instead I went for a walk or curled up on the couch and watched some Doctor Who. I also did some cleaning of storage items at my parents, (Why was I saving old college notes again? Recycle! And there’s a cool wall hanging I had forgotten about! Oh, and more walruses!) and was able to get rid of a box and a half of stuff plus a whole shelf of books was brought back to LA. There’s also a sense of relaxation that comes with the end of the year that I just love, and when you’re in a place as beautiful as Three Rivers it’s hard not to feel rejuvenated. What did you do for Christmas?