Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

The holidays are all about the meals really - the kids should be the only ones exchanging gifts and the adults focus on the time spent together over a great meal with family and friends. Christmas is not about Christ's birthday, give me a break. There really is nothing in the Bible that leads us to believe that we as Christians should be celebrating on December 25th and with the way we celebrate Christmas, we're pretty much breaking several of the 7 sins (gluttonly and envy for starters). In my opinion, if Christmas is a time for anything, it should be to celebrate the winter, the solstice, the physical, emotional and spiritual inward reflection that is naturally occuring at this time of year.

On Christmas eve we were blessed to have Paul's parents and one of his sisters up for dinner (the other was with her husband's family). They are warm and good people. Maryellen took a train from New Hampshire and the parents drove up from New Jersey and picked her up at the train station along the route. This was - the first real dinner I have ever prepared. Don't be mistaken, I've had friends over for dinner but this was the first time I've really made a meal. This was the first time I have ever cooked meat (aside from chicken, fish or hamburgers) and it was actually pretty easy - an organic four bone prime rib - 10 whoppin' pounds. Next time I know to order much less! Other items on the table were organic when possible: mixed greens and mini tomatoes with Gray Salt, RoundPond balsamic and olive oil, spicy horseradish (for the meat), sauteed brussel sprouts, roasted potatoes, roasted garlicy asparagus, and (store bought) Italian ciabatta rolls. This along with ample red wine makes for a pretty good meal (pat on my own back). The dessert was a simple creme brulee with fresh blueberries on top.

The problem with this meal, that started with a cheese platter, was that it was way too rich. It was a cholestoral nightmare. I threw together things that were simple to make but I didn't think this part through. After the meal and the family left, my body retaliated from the richness of the meal. A better option would be to have a small appetizer that was vegetable based and dessert could be a fruit tarte of some sort. Next year I'll know.

Overall, the conversation was nice and I was reminded of how food and wine brings people together. We ended up not moving back to the living room after dinner but we stayed at the dinner table for the entire evening, picking at creme brulee candy crusts and having coffee. That evening, was a wonderful gift.


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