Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Holiday Culinary Adventure

Two days, four meals and a GAZILLION calories! Ah Christmas!

As most of you can agree, my family uses holidays as an excuse to eat. We headed out on the 24th and the first thing my mother did when I
entered the door was to have me taste her chicken casserole. She then
led me to the dining room where the table was adorned with chocolate bars,
butterscotch bars, fudge, peanut butter pinwheels and her famous cheese ball.

For the evening's activities we headed to my Aunt & Uncles where we had
ham, turkey, homemade macaroni and cheese, baked beans, broccoli casserole
and a whole array of desserts including my sister-in-law's AMAZING pound cake,
coconut pie, chocolate pie and lemon chess bars.

Stuffed we headed home to my parents where I let my dad open his sausage grinder ( I am telling you, it is all about the food family wide). Here we are, can barely keep our eyes opened talking about all the yummy goodness he will create with his new toy. Instead of visions of sugar plums, I must say, I dreamed of chicken sausage and black beans!

At 5 a.m. my mother was up cooking a country styled breakfast that has long been a tradition in our home. I tossed and turned feeling part guilty that I was not helping and then that she was crazy... people were not coming til 9 a.m. Guilt gave in and I got up to enjoy a cup of java and help. On the menu: ham, homemade biscuits, eggs (two different ways) and gravy.

Our family is so big that there are three different shifts of breakfast. After all are fed, we move to the den where we open gifts the include cookbooks, cookie pans and panini grills (again, it's all about the food).

It should come as no surprise that after we open gifts my mother is filling the dining room with cookies, bars, cheese balls and my sister-in-law's new Coconut Cake. I had to snag a slice before we headed to Scott's Aunts

Aunt E has declared that this was her last holiday gathering. She must spend week's preparing her spread... casseroles, turkeys, hams, unique salads and DESSERTS. She is by far the best dessert maker I have ever met. She downsized the dessert menu this year to ONLY four cheesecakes, three pies and four cakes. My favorite was her Amaretto Cheesecake. I hope I am lucky enough to share the recipe with you soon. Another plate of food, one dessert, spiked hot cider and eggnog. . . it is 4 p.m. and we are on our way to Scott's Mom's house for DINNER.

Me and Scott at Scott's Family's--- Betty Allen made us
all wearantlers.
We had a no gift Christmas... it was nice!

Betty Allen (Scott's mother) is another great cook. Each Christmas it is something different; Prime Rib, Braised Ribs, Ham. This year we had Beef Tenderloin with a horseradish spread that was cooked to perfection on the outside grill. To accompany she had my favorite, Asparagus Casserole and also: Spinach Salad, Pinapple Cheese Bake, Brocolli Cornbread and an array of sweet treats. With several glasses of red wine and lots of food I am ready to hibrinate for the night.

The next day we were on the road again, in route to Radford, with a tummy full of my mom's Cherry Yum-Yum, a trunk full of leftovers and a weekend full of culinary memories that we all call tradition.

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