Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Eve Plans

Every year, I start imagining all the Thanksgiving/Christmas get-togethers and what kind of menu we should have, what look, what time to eat, etc.  I sometimes have a theme, sometimes it's an elegant candlelit affair, occasionally I envision a Norman Rockwell painting.  The thing is, no matter what ideas or scenarios that I come up with, it usually plays out like our holidays have played out my whole life.  And, that's ok.

We have never been the night-time, dress up in velvet, candlelit formal holiday dinner types.  I see the articles in Food & Wine and Bon Appetit with all the shimmery decorations, formal china and crystal, fancy dresses and coats and ties and it looks great.  I love an elegant event as much as, maybe even more than most people.  But, holidays in the Webber-Wilson-Akre-Ballard clan have always been pretty casual, homey, pot-lucky and what I consider to be "normal."  We make a plan: who's making a turkey, who's  bringing ham,  how about Uncle John's smoked corned beef this time?  Aunt Jennie is always asked to make her dressing & sweet potatoes.  I've probably told y'all before that without her sweet potatoes for at least one of the holiday dinners, the Earth will fall off its axis.  My sister and I are usually the ones who will throw in a new experiment or some hors d'oeuvres.  We all pitch in, plan on eating a mid to late lunch, drink wine.  You know.

So, Christmas is upon us and I'm thinking about Christmas Eve in particular.  At Thanksgiving, I said to my Dad, "What about doing a beef tenderloin on Christmas Eve after church and having the traditional stuff for lunch on Christmas Day?"  We both agreed this would be a great plan.  I think I suggest the tenderloin every year; it usually happens about every 7 years.  What usually ends up happening is what will happen this year too.  We all gravitate back to "pick up food."  Not take-out, but hors d'oeuvres, snacks, casual dishes like gumbo, antipasto.  Sounds great to me: I could live off finger food.  Remember how Rachel served her kids their meals in Mermaids? 

 I want to throw in a cheese fondue this year.  Vivian hasn't experienced fondue and at 4 1/2 years old, I think she'll really think it's cool.  And, I want to do the real thing: the emmenthaler, kirsch, garlic, good bread...the whole nine yards.  We have tons of crab in the freezer, so I think crab cakes go without saying.  I'm looking at some other recipes like roast beef & horseradish crostini for example.  That's as far as I've gotten so far.  I'm sure Mom has some great ideas floating around in her head as well.
Ok, that does it...I want fondue NOW!

So, as is pretty typical for us, we'll have a yummy, casual Christmas Eve grazing.  Katherine is bringing a ham, we'll make Aunt Jennie's sweet potatoes, maybe a broccoli casserole, so Christmas Day will be pretty traditional. OUR Traditional anyway.  And that's ok!


  1. We LOVE fondue around here. Ashton's favorite restaurant is the Melting Pot and that's the dinner he chose to have with his friends kindergarten year. :) We've done it on Christmas Eve, too. It works out great.

  2. The word "fondue" always reminds me of the set my folks had in the '70's. Skewers with little colored dots at the end to demark whose skewer was whose.

    I haven't ever really gotten into the idea--in fact, never been to The Melting Pot.

    Should I admit this?

  3. Kelley-admitting it is the first step. Actually, the Melting Pot would be a great Frazzled Females outing.



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