Since 2002 my husband and I have celebrated Thanksgiving with his grandmother and over fifty members of his family (scary at first, before we were married and I was being “interviewed) and they’re good folks.
We have never celebrated Christmas or New Years’ Eve. My husband’s birthday is December 23 and his family always kept it separate from Christmas. Mine is in November so some years when we need something, we call it a birthdays and Christmas gift to each other. Our wedding anniversary is in January so we took a weekend trip.
One Christmas tradition we made while living in TX for several years was inviting all the folks who were alone, didn’t have family or family was halfway around the world. It was a different bunch every year, and a different menu but I really enjoyed planning those dinners and making people feel at home.
This year we’re going to see my Dad. Luckily we’re not, to our knowledge, leaving any potential “orphans” stranded. Perhaps we’ll have a feast after the new year and have a few friends over. After my oven is fixed. I can’t possibly do a roast with a wildly fluctuating temperature gauge!
One year, the year Jim’s parents and brother came to visit, I made a pork roast and cornbread-stuffed Gala apples all with a hard apple cider gravy (thanks Tyler Florence). I’d really love to try to make a standing rib roast, or even a fillet. If it’s a fillet it’ll definitely have to wait ’til the oven works! Yorkshire pudding (I have popover molds but they’re in storage). I’d start with cold and hot appetizers, and definitely add the new cauliflower/brussels sprout gratin everyone loved last week. And for dessert, perhaps mincemeat tarts, lebkuchen and perhaps something easier for other palates to handle, trifle.
I love planning menus. My husband doesn’t get it and thinks he’d be happy with a robot in the kitchen. I’d love to let him run this place for a week. Those robots would be in a trash heap! He could only be left with an agreement that he couldn’t go out to a restaurant to eat, except for weekday lunches with his work pals. Interesting idea.
Some of my favorite memories include sitting in my freezing cold bedroom in upstate NY with ten cookbooks around me, designing a balanced menu for my guests, then seeing them enjoy themselves with conversation, wine and food. Husband Jim calls me a nurturer, probably why he married me, that and when we stood on the beach watching the sunset he could rest his chin on my head. I was the perfect height for a headrest! Cheers, don’t work too hard but get some food prepped now so you can enjoy your family and friends at dinner, Dee