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Old 12-17-2007, 12:17 AM   #21
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Rubber turkey at the hospital for me.
Oh... that's kind of pitiful.

Of course then I thought about the fact that my DH announced the other day that he will be making meatloaf on Christmas day. Now, you have to understand he's never made a meatloaf...he says "it will be fun to experiment."

Rubber turkey, huh?
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:29 AM   #22
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Tango, if you can't do vanila extract, you might be able to substitute just using an actual vanilla bean in the recipe.

Christmas Eve is our day to host the family. I seem to be socked into a tradition of bacalao (very extravagant version with sudried tomatoes, capers, hot cerry peppers, etc.) and baked stuffed shells, with veggies (especially broccoli rabe sauted with lots of garlic) and the usual appetizers. If I have time this year, I may do homemade bread as well.

Christmas day is my parents' problem.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:41 AM   #23
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Tango, I can no longer have alcohol due to my pancreatitis. Doc told me not even cough meds with alcohol, but, I'm not giving up vanilla since it's such a small amount that is usually used in baking.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:49 AM   #24
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Christmas Eve has a set routine.

DW wife makes a very nice sit down dinner. The participants are DW,MIL,DD (home from college out of state),and friends (a family of three, their DD home from graduate school out of state.) We have a late dinner followed by all attending the 11:00 pm candlelight service at church. Choir sings the same anthem every year and DD gets to sing with her dad in the choir, my thrill, not hers. The service is very casual and well attended normally. It's a really nice tradition. As I recall, last year we had roast pork loin etc. for dinner, in the dining room.
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:10 AM   #25
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Since we are Jewish, Christmas eve is usually just another quiet evening at home. However, this year will be very different. Our son recently got engaged to a wonderful woman from Brazil and her parents are flying into D.C. for their first visit to the US. They will all be staying with us on Christmas eve so we are preparing a traditional Hanukkah dinner for them (even though that holiday ended last week). They are non-practicing Catholics and since their daughter is marrying into a Jewish family she thought they would enjoy learning about a different tradition. We will exchange presents that evening too.

It should be very interesting. They don't speak much English and we have only learned a few phrases in Portuguese. On Christmas day they will drive to North Carolina where my son lives. They are returning to our place on Jan. 5th. On the 6th we are all going to a Wizards basketball game. Her dad played with a Brazilian national team as a young man and is a big NBA fan. They fly home to Brazil the next day.

Current plans are for a wedding next November in Brazil. We will have to learn alot more Portuguese before then.

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Old 12-17-2007, 11:15 AM   #26
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Spaghetti, homemade meatballs, homemade sauce, sauted mushrooms and stuffed squid on Christmas Eve.
Homemade ravioli, homemade meatballs, homemade sauce and homemade wedding soup on Christmas.
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:19 AM   #27
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Of course then I thought about the fact that my DH announced the other day that he will be making meatloaf on Christmas day. Now, you have to understand he's never made a meatloaf...he says "it will be fun to experiment."
Oh dear, that brings up a memory.

When I was about 20, one of my roommates girlfriends (who was very loosely related to me) decided she would do some of that there cooking stuff and make us meatloaf. Thinking back on the results, seems she used a very cheap fatty ground meat and not enough bread crumbs.

Anyhow, she baked this thing and it shrunk to about half the size of the loaf pan, and then sat there boiling away in a substantial amount of its own rendered fat. When she plucked it from its bath and sliced it, it was found to be still raw in the middle. So she fried the slices in a pan until the pinkness went away, which I believe was about 35-40 minutes per slice.

To say that we could have strapped this baked/boiled/fried substance to our shoes and worn them for the rest of our lives without breaching the sole would be a very fair statement. We attempted to cut and chew the stuff for a while and then waited until she left the room to quickly scrape it off into the trash can.

I do have a really, really, really good meatloaf recipe right here if you want to minimize the horror and anxiety...here:

ER Forum Cookbook -- Recipe Posting Thread
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:40 AM   #28
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CFB's food stories are the best!
I once made Christmas cookies--the recipe called for shortening, and so I thought I could substitute lard (well, it WAS cheaper). Um, just so you know, that doesn't make them taste very good. And I fed them to the vegetarians next door, even worse!

We go to my parents for Christmas eve lunch (probably pork loin) with all the squalling young-uns, then home to peace and quiet, then back out the door in the morning to drive to DH's mom's. She is an awesome cook, not fancy stuff like my mom, but I love her cooking! New Years we're going up to Asheville for a music show with friends and renting a house. It will likely involve a fair bit of alcohol, hard to say what food.
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Old 12-17-2007, 12:02 PM   #29
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Oh dear, that brings up a memory.

When I was about 20, one of my roommates girlfriends (who was very loosely related to me) decided she would do some of that there cooking stuff and make us meatloaf. Thinking back on the results, seems she used a very cheap fatty ground meat and not enough bread crumbs.

Anyhow, she baked this thing and it shrunk to about half the size of the loaf pan, and then sat there boiling away in a substantial amount of its own rendered fat. When she plucked it from its bath and sliced it, it was found to be still raw in the middle. So she fried the slices in a pan until the pinkness went away, which I believe was about 35-40 minutes per slice.

To say that we could have strapped this baked/boiled/fried substance to our shoes and worn them for the rest of our lives without breaching the sole would be a very fair statement. We attempted to cut and chew the stuff for a while and then waited until she left the room to quickly scrape it off into the trash can.

I do have a really, really, really good meatloaf recipe right here if you want to minimize the horror and anxiety...here:

ER Forum Cookbook -- Recipe Posting Thread
tears are flowing down my cheeks as I type..love a good meatloaf (ground beef-veal-pork-crumbs) and mashed potatoes


Christmas eve our family tradition is to go to our favorite Chinese restaurant in Minneapolis (think Christmas Story) except no duck but fresh seafood pan fried noodles and a whole fish then go to a late movie (sometimes it's our own personal theater) and get back about midnight and open some presents.
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Old 12-17-2007, 12:48 PM   #30
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I have no idea really...though breakfast will include water chestnuts wrapped in bacon and smothered in bbq sauce, so yummy. That is the only confirmed item...
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:00 PM   #31
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Gotta love CFB stories!

If I tried to guide him to a recipe, he'd say, "recipe...I don't need no stinkin' recipe!" Then he would ask me how to turn that oven thingy on.

About 28 years ago, he made a pie....homemade crust and all. It looked great when he put it in the oven...problem was, when he took it out an hour later, the crust (top and bottom) had completely disappeared.

Bless his pea pickin' heart.
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:56 PM   #32
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As a kid we always had a big turkey dinner for Christmas .It was good but wasted on us kids who would have been happy with a bologna sandwich and left in peace to play with our toys.Then we would get packed up and go to my Aunt's house who had never gotten married or had any kids very boring but she would always give us cards with $50.00 this was in the 50's and that was a lot of money then .She would also offer us a weak hi-ball and frozen pound cake .I have some crazy relatives .
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:03 PM   #33
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I want to be that aunt, moemg!
I actually had some awesome great aunts like that. It sounds like you had a lot of fun with her! Note to self--get some frozen pound cake before the holiday!
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Old 12-17-2007, 06:37 PM   #34
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Christmas Eve is usually spent skiing and then we eat a very nice lunch at the lodge. Christmas Day and New Year's Day we watch lots of football on TV and I make 'snicky-snacks' for the TV viewing - I bought some mushroom turnovers, I will make some goat cheese and smoked Salmon spread, some salami with crackers. For breakfast we'll have some eggs with prosciutto and cheese. On Xmas Dinner, I bought a leg of lamb, so I'll probably make that with some potatoes or rice and a salad. For New Year's I've made a shrimp/champagne risotto before which was awesome. It also has some asparagus. Oh, and we drink champagne, either straight or as mimosas :-)
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:35 PM   #35
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Rubber turkey, huh?
Oh, it's not that bad with the cranberry sauce. Better than IV nutrition, which is what most of the patients will get. And it's free if you aer working Christmas day!
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:44 PM   #36
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Ok, you've convinced me...save me a seat!
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:07 PM   #37
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12 hour drive north to Nebraska Thursday night to go visit family.

Christmas eve we'll have my favorite hometown pizza with my folks, all the brothers and sisters, and everyone's family. We open presents, and then play card or board games.

Christmas day will be most of the family getting together for either turkey or prime rib (I haven't heard yet), and more games.

The day after, DD and I escape and make a nice quiet 18 hour drive to Virginia. We'll do some skiing and just hanging out. She flies out early New Year's day so we'll have our usual quiet eve, and not make midnight. I'll come back home and watch college football all day on Jan 1.
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Old 12-18-2007, 05:28 PM   #38
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Son comes in, so there is only Grandma and I and the son. I'm cooking:

Big cheese ball rolled in pecans with water crackers
Lots crudites (carrots, stuffed celery, marinated mushrooms, etc.)
Ham with a sweet sour glaze made from maple syrup/balsamic vinegar (really good)
Hot German potato salad
stir fried spinach (we love it!)
Homemade fruitcake; homemade whiskey cake; homemade toffee bars; lemon cookies
Everything homemade! I love to cook!!!!

Some of the dinners on here sound just fabulous!!!! Yummmmmm!!!!
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Old 12-18-2007, 06:15 PM   #39
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Christmas Eve is our day to host the family. I seem to be socked into a tradition of bacalao (very extravagant version with sudried tomatoes, capers, hot cerry peppers, etc.) and baked stuffed shells, with veggies (especially broccoli rabe sauted with lots of garlic) and the usual appetizers. If I have time this year, I may do homemade bread as well.
This sounds superb! I am reading a book called The Little Ice Age. It explains how Basque fisherman ranged far into the north, fishing for and salting cod which became the staple known as bacalao throughout the Mediterranean. It is even popular in modern Cuba!

Every year I try salt cod at least once, but usually go back to making whatever I want to make with fresh cod. I am not very good at the soaking etc. needed to deal with the salt.

Ha
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Old 12-18-2007, 06:28 PM   #40
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Ha - here's an old new england dish I've made with both the salt cod and smoked haddock.

For the cod, rinse it thoroughly for about 5 minutes under cold running water. Soak it for 24 hours in the fridge, replacing the water every 6-8 hours. Then soak it in milk for another 8-12 hours.

Remove any skin or bones.

Make a batch of unseasoned, no additive mashed potatoes, just boiled skinned taters mashed up. Make a simple white bechamel and add a pound or so of defrosted frozen pearl onions, season the bechamel well with salt and pepper and a bit of ground clove. Go easy on the salt.

Poach the cod or smoked haddock in a small amount of milk until its beginning to get tender.

Put a 1-1.5" layer of mashed into a large baking dish, top with the fish, and pour the onion bechamel over it, bake it at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until you get a little light browning of the bechamel.

This works out well in drawing out the salt, the milk soak and poach helps add flavor, and any excess saltiness in the cod is well offset by the plain potatoes and the bechamel.

Also very nice with the smoked haddock, as a baked finnan haddie.
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