Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our First Christmas Dinner

So Chris and I volunteered to make Christmas dinner this year using my parents house to host. I kept thinking how Chris and I will never be able to do this at our own home since we live so far away. We spent months figuring out what we wanted to make and putting together recipes. We also had to give other family members dishes to bring as well. I thought I did a good job telling people what to bring but you'll find out that we did run into some snags.

The first problem we ran into was my sister was supposed to bake a pie on Thursday night. I missed out on her pies for Thanksgiving so I really wanted one there. However, she just recently moved and couldn't find her recipe for the filling. She makes everything from scratch. So Chris and I just made two of his mom's desserts as opposed to the one we had planned. Although I can sympathize with Kat's situation, she still had to be punished. Therefore, she was given potato peeling duty. One large Costco size bag of potatoes.

After Christmas breakfast, Chris and I began prepping our dinner. Chris prepped the ham and put it in the oven. We had already made dessert the night before so we began washing lettuce, chopping onions, etc. Soon, we had nothing to do. So we went and showered and got ready for the party. At 4pm I started boiling the potatoes. I've made mashed potatoes before but never for 20 people. I had no idea how long it was going to take for the potatoes to get soft. As it turned out, I cooked them too long, but Chris managed to doctor them up and they looked normal. The family arrived as we were hitting the busy part of the night. Throwing everything together at the same time. Thankfully my mom has two ovens.

The other two little snags we ran into were the dishes that were brought to share. Chris wanted to make creamed brussel sprouts. I didn't originally think it was a good idea b/c my family doesn't really care for brussel sprouts. But Chris wanted to make something that was traditional at his holiday meals so how could I deny him this pleasure? Then my cousin, Alice, made carmelized brussel sprouts. I only gave three people directions to bring vegetable dishes and now so far we had a roasted root salad, two brussel sprout dishes, and a strawberry salad. Then my cousin Martha showed up (very late) and since she was late, she had just run by the store and gotten a container of mixed greens with an avocado. Now we have three salads and two brussel sprout dishes. I thought, oh well, it is what it is. Fortunately or unfortuanately, the creamed sprouts didn't come out very well so we bagged them and just served our meal. Here it is below.

My uncle Cy told me that when he heard we were cooking dinner, he was a little irritated. He didn't know that we knew how to cook and he thought it was going to be a disaster. He then said it was delicious. My uncle Brad said the potatoes were the highlight of the meal. My cousin Alice said that it was the best family meal we had ever had. Everyone went back for seconds. In fact, there was hardly any left over ham. I'm so happy and relieved that everyone liked it so much. And all in all, it wasn't the bad cooking the meal. We timed everything very well. The worst was cleaning up afterwards and having to hand wash all my mom's silver and crystal. Ugh!

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