I’ll start: For Christmas I make prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, boiled red potatoes, and brussels sprouts. Same thing every year, whether I’m alone or have guests. This year I think I’ll make that green bean casserole instead of the brussels sprouts. Or in addition to. Or I might try something creative with brussels sprouts if someone happens to post a recipe.
I’m cheating this year. The Market had roasts with the ribs already cut off and tied back on. They also had some that were pre-seasoned. I asked what the seasoning was, and it turns out to be the same thing I use for my rub (rosemary, kosher salt, garlic, olive oil); so I reckoned ‘Why not?’ To steps saved, so there’s basically no work involved!
Lasagna - from dad’s recipe that we had every Christmas growing up as a kid. Plus dad’s recipe for Italian sausage in wine. Also, turkey-tortellini soup (compliments of Butterball recipes that I found online 12 years ago and keep doing every year) and if I have the time, will make the German rum balls for dessert - heavy on the chocolate and rum; two of those will knock you out for a quick nap.
This recipe is pretty close and the picture is accurate.
In Germany, bakeries use left over cookies from the day before and crumble them to make the base a bit “thicker” than just the powder sugar. Many US recipes suggest using crushed vanilla wafers (Google “rum balls” to see the variations). Also, don’t be stingy with the rum* and use the dark Captain Morgan Rum - packs a good punch.
They really do taste better the next day, after sitting in the fridge overnight, then bring them out and let them get to about room temperature.
*Then again, don’t OVERDO the rum, or it is too soggy and wet to roll into balls - trial an error there, but nobody seems to mind making another batch and you can always add some more crushed cookies to “dry up” the texture.
Christmas Day: (sigh) The eternal Ham, what else? (though actually I love a nice spiral cut ham). A mishmash of side dishes, though it’s always potatoes in the end. I might bring couscous or rice for an alternative. No shrimp this year due to the eeeeconnnooommmmyyyyyy.
Christmas Eve: I always make lasagna (with hot italian sausage).
Dessert: lemon bars. chocolate pecan macaroons. yellow cake with pineapple and whipped cream. (my mother thinks we all need lots of extra cheap stuff to fill us up so she buys these awful apple or blueberry cheapie pies that are always on sale during holidays. And a plate of icky looking, damp wads of garnished dough from god knows who. Her cake is excellent, though. I take the ugly cookies home for “later”.)
Several years ago, my Mom tried to do a “traditional” Christmas dinner, and damned near gave herself a mental breakdown doing it. She would accept no help, and generally made everyone miserable that year.
So beginning the next year, we went potluck with “munchies,” or finger foods/appetizers/etc. Mom was mellow (Dad’s 100+proof egg nog didn’t hurt), everyone was happy, “And there was much rejoicing!”
So, over a decade later, our “Traditional Family XMas Dinner” has my oldest niece making a huge taco-dip platter, I’ll do either my Steak Chili or Beef Burgundy, Dad ponys up a huge shrimp platter, my sister does either a roast “debris-style,” or some quality deli-meats and breads on a platter, my brother-in-law kicks in some deer sausage, crackers, and some good cheeses, and so on.
Lamb pasanda takeout from Sitar Restaurant if they’re open.
We are making progress! One grandchild says that she is coming by on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to hang out for a while. This is the first time that the grandchildren have been in town at Christmastime in several years. Usually they are bustled off to the cabin in the Smokies.
Christmas Eve is our Norwegian Christmas. We’ll be having ham, mashed sweet potatoes, Norwegian red cabbage, pickled red beets, and lignonberry jam. For dessert, rice cream with raspberry sauce. This menu is written in stone, as a sacred text, and does not change.
Christmas Day is our American Christmas. What we eat changes from year to year. This year it will center on a gorgeous hunk of prime rib that’s sitting in the spare fridge looking absolutely delicious. The choice of side dishes has not been finalized yet, but it’s looking like roasted potatoes, carrots, a big tossed salad, shallots, and mushrooms. Dessert will be gingerbread with whipped cream and any leftover raspberry sauce.
I’ll be having the Finnish pescovegetarian, gluten-free version. First course red beet salad and forest mushroom salad with different types of Baltic and Atlantic herring, probably gravlax and whitefish if I can find the time and energy to make or buy. Second course would have been lutefisk, but since most of my family hates it, I expect we’ll sneak it in another day. Third course, baked ham for those who eat it, a lentil pate for those of us who don’t (last Christmas made one with roast chestnut stuffing that was delish) gravy, red cabbage, and the potato, swede and carrot casseroles. For dessert, coffee, marzipan candy and puff pastries with plum filling.
Much like flodnak’s experience with the Norwegian Christmas menu, this is pretty sacrosanct, without much room for experiment.
The hubby’s been wanting, for years to try something other than the “traditional turkey dinner” for Christmas. So this year, we managed to find a lamb roast (pre-seasoned) at Aldi that I will buy; I think I’ve found a decent mint sauce recipe online. There will also be a small ham for those who turn out to not like the lamb (my hubby loves lamb; I myself have, somehow, never eaten it. My SIL and middle daughter’s bf will be here, and in the true tradition of guys in their early-20s, will eat just about anything. . .)
In addition, there will be dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, petite peas with pearl onions and mushrooms, gingered glazed carrots, some kind of rolls or biscuits. For dessert, there will be pumpkin pie, apple pie, and whipped cream.
Anyone who walks away from my table hungry on Christmas will have only themselves to blame!