Monday, December 31, 2012

Gatherings


When Christmas rolls around, I feel like Mrs. Patmore of Downton Abbey.  I prepare these gourmet meals that I often worry that I might collapse, not from exhaustion, but from the pats of butter solidifying in my arteries.  But what is Christmas without the joy of celebrating Christ's birth and partaking of lovely meals in His honor, surrounded by the nicest of friends.
Yet again, we wait tonight - New Year's Eve - for our friends to arrive at 10pm to ring in 2013.  The table is laid out with trays and silverware for the following:

- Caviar and Blini
- Truffle Pate, Prosciutto and an assortment of cheese
- Pigs in Blanket
- Gravlax and Mustard Dill sauce
- Cotechino and Lentils
plus Champagne












Tomorrow, we have another meal to celebrate our first dinner of 2013:
- Starter of Crab Cakes with Mesclun Salad and Champagne Vinaigrette
- Herbed Prime Rib Roast


- Potato Gateau (Fancy Nancy's way of describing hash browns)
- Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Pecan
- English Trifle
- Three Kings Frangipane Cake (from Le Pain Quotidien)

And these were preceded by Saturday's cozy dinner with another family when we dined on:
- Mushroom and Fennel Soup
- Salad of Spinach, Bosc Pear, Walnuts, Craisins and Blue Cheese
- Roasted Rack of Pork Chops
- Roasted Sweet Potato drizzled with organic Maple Syrup
- Blanched Asparagus seasoned with olive oil
- Profiteroles (home-made!)

On Christmas Day, we entertained a vegetarian friend and her family.  We served
- Crab Cakes garnished with Avocado
- Crown of Lamb


- Mushroom Tart with Gruyere Cheese
- Potato Gateau
- Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts
- Payard's Louvre Log Cake



And the full house of twenty church friends who came over after service on Christmas Eve.....
- Poached Salmon with Scandinavian Dill Sauce (as easy as boiling an egg!)


- Baked Ham and home-made Applesauce
- Beef Tenderloin wrapped in Bacon, with Mushroom Sauce and Horseradish

- Wild Rice with Walnuts and Cranberries
- Green Beans sprinkled with crushed Pecans
- German Potato Salad
- Carrots cooked in Orange Juice, spiced with shaved Ginger
- Salad with Fennel and Onions
- Cheesecake with Whipped Cream
- Mince pies
- English Trifle and
- Chocolate Log Cake (from Financier)
- And Christmas Pudding from Harrod's, served with Brandy Custard Sauce

I cringe that I might be so guilty of boastful blogging this time.
But I must admit that I enjoy throwing parties the way my mother did and my sisters do.  On Saturday night, our guest told us that our daughter is known in school for being quite the thoughtful hostess in the lunch room.  On the other hand, my son loves to help me in the kitchen....mashing potatoes, stirring the sauce, spinning the salad, cracking eggs.   I like to think they will enjoy throwing parties when they grow up.

Happy New Year!












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