Merry Christmas

Okay, so it’s still Christmas Eve in the U.S., but it’s Christmas in most of the world.

I feel good about tomorrow’s big schlep over to mom’s place with the feast packed in coolers, and a triple crockpot contraption that can reheat things while we have the hors d’oeuvres.  She’s 88, and hasn’t cooked a meal in many years, not even for herself.  We have the catering thing down to a science, and have been doing this for ~15 years by now, so it’s pretty easy.  The only adjustment we really had to make when we moved was to substitute either potatoes au gratin or scalloped potatoes for mashed, since they travel better in a long car ride.

Eighty plus percent of the labor was done by 3:00 this afternoon:

  • turkey, still to be roasted
  • gravy still to be made
  • cran-apple sauce, done
  • potatoes au gratin, done, but needs to be heated tomorrow
  • stuffing/dressing, still to be made
  • sweet potato mash, done, but needs to be heated tomorrow
  • mixed veggies, steam-in-bag to be nuked at mom’s
  • carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, done
  • curried eggs, hard boiled already, but yolks need to be curried
  • peppermint bark, done
  • cookies, done, courtesy of a neighbor who stopped by with some she had made
  • smoked salmon, still to be artfully arranged on a plate, and plastic wrapped

The most labor intensive thing so far was grating all those carrots, making the frosting for the cake, assembling the layers, and frosting it.  That was food-wise.  The remaining food items probably require less than an hour’s worth of real labor; mostly, it’s waiting for things to come out of the ovens.  Having two ovens is a godsend around the holidays.

Other than the cake, today’s biggest labor project was making a new ~30′ leash for our dog, out of braided clothesline.  That took a while, but only because I had to untangle whatever remained of the three 33.3′ lengths of cord every so often, because for every stitch I braided, one would reverse-braid lower down the cord, which I’d have to disassemble, so I could continue.  I could have knocked out a 6′ version in 15 minutes or less, including affixing the hardware.

Next up are New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.  That’ll involve roasting a duck, some herbed up wild rice mix, whatever veggies we have on hand, a bottle of cabernet franc, and at midnight, some champagne.  We don’t cater that for mom.  It’s just a tradition I started ~15 years ago that we keep doing in-house.  That, and watching the Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy.  No parties, or fireworks on NYE fo us.  We just fix a fancy dinner, and settle in for some damn good classic TV, with our cats and dog gathered around the fireplace.