Cooking Crimmis

December 22, 2016

cherry cheesecake

OK. We have made this.

Lawd have mercy. It’s Crimmis, all up in here!

I have been to Kroger more times than the legally allowable limit this week, I think. Because today, I realized I was Almost Out of foil, and you cannot cook Christmas dinner without foil. It just won’t work. And Child A had bemoaned that I had not made fudge, and “I don’t care if you make all those other kinds, but you know, we’re all gonna eat that peanut butter fudge, and my sister (that would be Child B) will be heartbroken if there is no peanut butter fudge.”

So I got marshmallow cream. And another bag of sugar. And foil. And stuff for a coconut cake, though that won’t be for Christmas, because it takes four days aging, and I don’t have that in the calendar, but we will have coconut cake early in 2017. It’s in the freezer. Have already told friend Kate, who is all about some coconut cake, that I need five days’ notice when she’s coming to visit, so I can make one and get it started aging.

Anyway. Christmas dinner is tomorrow, to accommodate Child B’s schedule, so she and her family can get back home and actually have Christmas morning in their own home for a change, and I think that is a Good Thing, and I’m perfectly happy to change my dinner plans to help it happen. Not to mention that it means Child A and Lucy and I can hang out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, go to church, and eat fun things like waffles and pigs in blankets and all such, and generally be slothful and highly enjoy it.

So, today, I commenced cooking Christmas dinner. It speaks to my many years of doing this that some things come automatically. One boils sweet potatoes, peels them, and makes sweet potato casserole, with a pecan praline topping. One grinds up cranberries, apples, pecans and and orange, coats it all with a Jello based syrup, and makes cranberry salad. One makes cheesecakes — this year, white chocolate cheesecakes, which will get a cherry topping that is, I must confess, nothing but grocery store cherry pie filling, but oh, my Lord, these cheesecakes, which are cooling in my oven as we speak….

Tomorrow, I have to:

  1. Get up and roast the “extra turkey” that goes to the charity dinner a group of which I’m a part is sponsoring at a local group home for women trying to reclaim their lives after addiction or incarceration. Get that bird in early, and I can deliver it sometime around noon.
  2. Make potato salad. Because we are having ribs and ham, and both those call for potato salad, at least for me. And I’ll eat it all weekend.
  3. Make the mac and cheese. Because mac and cheese, and kids.
  4. Make the bread. It’s a holiday dinner, so that means Miss Mary Lloyd’s yeast rolls, to be eaten all day and the next two days as sandwich buns for turkey and ham. Leftovers rule. And it’s a holiday.
  5. Prep the asparagus. It’s the requisite green thing.
  6. Warm up the turkey breast and the honey-baked ham.
  7. Snatch the ribs out of the sous-vide bath early on, chill them, then coat them in sauce and give them a quick run in the over to develop a nice crust, then cut them in about two-bone segments to serve.

So, it’s a meat-centric Christmas dinner. We are having ham, sliced turkey breast, and ribs. Cranberry salad and sweet potatoes and rolls in a nod to tradition. Mac and cheese because the kids want mac and cheese. Asparagus because we need a green thing. And potato salad, by God, for ME. Because I like me some potato salad, and I’m the cook, so I count.

sweet potatoes

Sweet ‘taters. Can’t beat ’em.

I have white chocolate cheesecake, to be topped with cherries, and we have pecan pie, made by a friend of Child A, and it’s fine pecan pie (I’ve had those pies before!). We have a barrel of Chex mix, we have spiced pecans, we will have a cheese board with proscuitto and with lots of good pickles and olives.

If anyone goes away hungry, it’s his or her own damn fault. There will be a gracious plenty of leftovers to sustain us through the Christmas weekend, with the addition of pigs in blankets and waffles on Christmas morning, either before or after church, which is at 10 am for a change. After which I will come home, get back in my PJ’s, and be a sloth the rest of the day.

I hope you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em have a fine, fine Christmas full of love, family and friends, and lots of good food.  If you find yourself alone, well, come on up here and see us. Bring your PJ’s. We’ll provide the food.

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