Crimmis? Can it be that close?

October 28, 2018

Y’all know it’s a real slippery slope. If you start thinking about cooking Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas can’t be far behind.

Help me, Jesus. I ain’t ready for this.

There are two separate and distinct cooking issues to be dealt with for Christmas. One is the Christmas treat baskets, a tradition my peeps have gotten spoiled to, and one I’m determined to continue. I’ll put some canned stuff in these, and I’m about of a mind I may try my hand at canning chicken liver pate and maybe pork rillettes, as well. I have a gracious plenty of pickles and jams and jellies, and I can fill in the gaps with cookies and candies. I will be adding these molasses spice cookies (because they are GOOD, y’all), and maybe coconut macaroons and fudgey oatmeal cookies and pralines and fudge to the mix. And spiced pecans, because those are always a hit, and maybe Chex mix, because that’s always a hit, too.

OK. Baskets, more or less planned. Then there’s Christmas dinner.

Christmas dinner is mid- to late afternoon, giving Children B and C and AGCs time to revel in Santa while I peacefully contemplate Christmas Day. And while Thanksgiving dinner is bound by tradition, Christmas dinner is decidedly not; I have done a cocktail buffet spread, I have done a fancy brunch, I have done seafood, I have done ribs, and I have done beef tenderloin, which I managed, sadly, to overcook. All those are potentials.

In fact, I have in the freezer a lovely rump roast that I could cook within an inch of its life while leaving it rare, thanks to the miracles of sous vide, and then chill it and slice it thin and serve it with horseradish sauce and Miss Mary Lloyd’s rolls. That has a good deal of appeal to me.

There will, of course, be cranberry salad, because it’s Christmas, and that’s the one tradition I WILL keep, and besides, I love the stuff. There may be some sliced turkey and/or sliced ham, just to provide a little variety in sandwich filling.

OK, if we’re going in that direction, it looks like we’re going the cocktail buffet route. (Bring on the Prosecco and the mimosas and the Bloody Marys!) We will need accompaniments.

I have taken to fermenting things. I think some fermented carrot sticks with ginger would go nicely. I’d throw in some sauerkraut, but I can’t see sauerkraut in this setting. Maybe a choucroute garnie on Christmas Eve. I have lots of pickles. I am thinking some endive leaves filled with a crab salad would be nice. Hell, some boiled shrimp with a cocktail sauce are never a bad move.

Potato salad. It’s always a plus. And I make a good one.

Some sort of other veggie salad. The tried-and-true broccoli and cauliflower salad with bacon and onion and a mayo/lemon juice dressing? (No raisins. One must draw the line somewhere. Sunflower seeds are OK.)

Bruschetta. Topped with smoked salmon rolled up around a cream cheese/dill/lemon filling. Oh, yeah.

Pickly things. I have asparagus spears, lots of cucumber pickles, marinated mushrooms. A spread of all of ’em.

Deviled eggs. Well, yeah. Because I’m Southern. We do deviled eggs on holidays. Because we do. Some of which will be with smoked salmon and caviar, some of which will be bacon and cheddar, some of which will be plain old deviled eggs. Oh, and rosti or blinis with caviar, too.

Dessert? Chances are, nobody will eat it. But I’m thinking some kind of individual tartlet things, just to stay with the canape/finger food theme. Well, OK, potato salad and broccoli salad and cranberry salad aren’t finger food. Jeez. Everybody’s a critic. Let’s say the picnic buffet under the Christmas tree theme.

Yeah. That’ll work. 

So if you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em are out and about visiting on Christmas afternoon, come on by and snack on some good munchies.

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