We opened presents in the morning with the kids and I started setting the table and cooking around noon, while Jay and the kids shoveled the driveway and finished setting up for ping pong and snooker downstairs.
I had already done a lot of the food prep the day before as there were 19 of us for dinner and I was trying out individual beef Wellingtons!
At 52, I’m still searching for that perfect Christmas meal – which may sound ridiculous. BUT, it’s more understandable when you hear that I’ve only cooked Christmas dinner about six times in my life.
For almost the first 20 years of our marriage, we went back to visit my family in Calgary every Christmas. And, since then, we spent one Christmas in Puerto Rico and another back in Calgary. So, I’m still somewhat of a novice at it.
Every year, I draft a Christmas menu, keeping notes of what worked and what didn’t, with little reminders to help me make it better (and easier) next time around.
This year, for example:
– managed seating for all 16 adults by using downstairs wooden table and the card table, in addition to the dining room table. Two big tablecloths covered all three. Add card table at last minute, otherwise it’s too cramped for socializing and eating the appetizers.
– made mac and cheese for the little ones, and fed them before the adults ate.
– don’t crowd too many individual beef wellingtons into the oven at one time. If there’s not enough space around each one, the pastry doesn’t brown. Cook in shifts using both ovens. Next year, they’ll be perfect!
– the potatoes au gratin were easy and fantastic. A huge hit.
– ditto on the steamed brocollini, but make more next year.