The countdown to Christmas dinner at Chez Chili has begun!
I’ll start today by going to my step and yoga classes and seeing who’s going to venture out on Christmas Eve morning to sweat with me. I’m betting that some of my regulars will show – they know I bring goodies on the last class before Christmas and this year is no exception: I’ve got egg nog poppy seed bread for my step class and fleece blankets for the yoga people (we moved into a new studio at the club, and I haven’t figured out how to work the thermostat, so I thought blankets an appropriate gift). Then I come home, shower, and hit the kitchen.
I’m going to start by setting the bird to brining. I’m going to have to do that in the cooler it’s been sitting in for the last few days – it’s an enormous bird and I’m not sure that I have a stockpot big enough to hold the beastie. Once he’s set to soaking, I’ll peel some potatoes for later boiling and pan-roasting, put the carrots together in their pan of orange juice and brown sugar, and chop some onions for creaming. I’m making two varieties of stuffing: my brother-in-law leans toward vegetarian and MeadMaker’s wife despises celery, so there’ll be an “out of the bird, celery-free” stuffing and an “in the bird with the works” stuffing for offer. Finally, I’m making a quick cranberry christmas pudding, if I can figure out how to translate the recipe from the original British measurments.
I made the chocolate steamed pudding last night, and it LOOKS to be a success – it came together quite nicely and smelled heavenly in the oven. I’ve not tried to turn the thing out of its bowl yet, though, so the jury’s still out. If it ends up being the winner I’m hoping it will be, I’ll post the recipe next week sometime.
We have a tradition of going to my in-laws’ and spending Christmas Eve, and we’re expected tonight at about 5:30. MIL makes two huge lasagnas to feed five grown-ups and two kids (“two” because of Bruder’s vegetarian tendencies, and “huge” because that’s just what she does) and then we pass around Dickens and read our favorite passages from A Christmas Carol. I’m trying to decide what part I’ll read this year; I’ve read the bit about the “undigested turnip” in the past just because I love Scrooge’s attempt at logic in the face of his fears, but I think I might choose the part at the end where he’s hanging out his window, instructing the little boy to get the BIG prize turkey. Yes, I think I’d like to read a cheerful part this year – I think I’m ready to start feeling happy again.
I’ll probably post a quick “hallooo!” tomorrow, but for those of you who won’t be reading then, I wish you all a safe, warm, happy, and contended holiday. May your dinner be yummy, may your family behave, and may you truly enjoy your day.