"Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it." ~Unknown

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Dinner

Friday, 4:30 PM
     We're getting an early start for Christmas dinner.  I decided earlier this week, that we should have a real classic Christmas dinner, a Kentucky Country ham, and an even more classic dessert, figgy pudding.  Figgy pudding tastes best if it's allowed to age a day or two.  So we started out this morning, chopping figs, making breadcrumbs, measuring brandy, (and rum, and cognac).  After lunch, Mom, Cy and I went to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie.  After more than two hours of a not-so-great sequel, we came home and mixed up the pudding.  Now steaming,  hopefully it will be done before Mom and Dad leave for Festivus.  

Sunday, 4 PM
     Now we get to make the actual dinner.  We've got biscuits, and a salad, and a Christmas ham.  We're going to gussy it up with pineapple juice and dijon mustard.  The ham was one shipped out to us by our uncle Clark.  Every year in my memory, he's sent us one of Col. Newsom's hams.  They're great stuff, and we got this one the day Mom and I were planning dinner.
     We've spent most of the day playing with gifts, Dad and Cy and I set up our new 42-inch TV in the basement, we went to the park with a water balloon slingshot, Mom cooked breakfast omelettes on a pair of new skillets we got her, and everybody has spent a little time with the Newton's cradle.
     The ham is coming along nicely I think, we have yet to get started on the salad, and the biscuits just got put in the oven.  They're an interesting recipe, even before we cooked them, they were the flakiest dough you've ever seen, and that was after we'd added an extra half-cup of buttermilk.  The biscuits also call for an interesting ingredient, homemade baking powder.  Believe it or not, this baking necessity is just two parts cream of tartar, and one part baking soda!  Now there's something for ingredient based chefs!

     So far, this dinner has been remarkably simple, the ham is pre-cooked, so we just have to glaze it and warm it up, we made dessert days ago, and the biscuits took less than half an hour.  So far the most time intensive part has been the salad, and really, salads are pretty easy.   Even fancy ones like the pomegranate salad we are making are fairly easy.
     Over the break, I've been working on a new feature for the blog.  We've gotten a lot of requests to post the recipes we use, and I've finally found a good way to do that.  Near the top of the page you should see a bar with two buttons, one labeled "Sunday Dinners" and the other labeled "Recipes".  The "Sunday Dinner" button will take you to all of our Sunday Dinner posts, including this one.  The "Recipes" button will take you to a group of posts of some of the recipes we've used.  If you would like us to put up a specific recipe from the past, just let us know what post it's from, and then we'll try to put it up for you!

     Dinner was great.  The salad dressing was great, the almonds added a good crunch, and the pomegranate gave it an excellent holiday color.  The ham was, like all of Col. Newsom's hams, salty and rich and so, so, good.  The biscuits, with their homemade baking powder, were very flaky, but at the same time very fluffy and thick.  Cy took to drenching his in honey, but I don't think anybody else tried it.



video
     Now we get to go back to where we began.  The figgy pudding.  It was good, but the general consensus was that it was too boozy (Mimi loved it though!).  We also agreed that it's a little old-fashioned, better suited for a time when you couldn't get fresh fruit all winter.  The still-good part of figgy pudding is only for us young pyromaniacs.  We've got a video of that, but it too is rather disappointing.  But it was a great Christmas!! Merry Christmas!

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