Christmas Eve 2006
Our family celebrates the holiday meal on Christmas Eve. This year, just for the fun of it, I chronicled the events in the kitchen, all day long. Every hour I tried to record the doings in the heart of the house.
9:20 am. Things are off to a slow start. Last night was the beginning of the gathering of the clan. My sister Nanci, and Pete, her husband came from Portland, Oregon. Curtis arrived with the lovely Lauren and Frankie the cat. My Mom was there. So we had a late evening of talk and wine and laughter and everyone slept in, getting ready for today.
10:20 Still quiet but the troops are starting to rally
11:20 The coffee pot has been working overtime and Curtis is the only one still trying to stay in bed. Celery root soup is on the stove. Fava beans are soaking.
12:20 Ahh….the age old tradition of gathering around the computer begins.
1:20 A group of us gather upstairs to practice yoga. Much to the amazement of the others.
2:20 Steve, Taylor and Jeremy have arrived….and cries of hunger are heard. A big plate of penne Bolognese quiets everyone down.
3:20 The poor chicken clock is looking like its having a hard day. Celery soup is strained. Dried tomatoes come out of the oven. I open my first present, “Popeil’s Polpo Pulverizer”. It’s a big rock to pulverize the octopus, just what I wanted! Thanks, Uncle Steve!! Another crew heads out for some fresh air at the lake.
4:40 Its getting harder to move in the kitchen. Troops are lingering, gathering and standing in front of the cabinets. Nanci commands the counter top as she makes some almond candies.
5:20 Lauren whips the cream. Rita surveys the kitchen chaos. The boys are bonding over a glass of wine and a "Dick in a Box". If you haven’t seen this little gem, you might want to take a peak. It kept the boys laughing and entertained all day, and most of the night.
6:20 Troops are getting restless. The cries of “When are we going to eat?” are getting louder. The kitchen crew moves into the final phases. Quail stuffed with sausage and chestnuts, resting on a bed of potatoes and fennel. It’s time to open the Brutocao wine. Jeff opens his present from Curtis, a gorgeous hand blown wine decanter that Curtis has made.
7:30 Time to head towards the table. Places everyone.
Amuse: Pureed fava beans with oven dried tomato on toast
Caviar cream on potato crisp
Soup: Celery root soup with frizzled leeks
Fish courses: Sauteed shrimp
Octopus a al Divina (tomato based, spicy octopus stew)
Sardelle in Saor (sardines with sweet/sour onions, currants and pine nuts)
Intermezzo. Normally Intermezzo might be a little sorbet to cleanse your palate. In this case, the boys treat us to their rendition of “Dick in a Box”. In normal circumstances, there should be a warning about “Adult Content”, but in this case, its strictly “Juvenile Content”!
Main Course: Roasted Stuffed Quail
Roast Potatoes and Fennel
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts (mmmm….brussel sprouts…)
10:25 Desserts!! Deborah treats us to a trio of fantastic tortas! Some granitas: espresso and cream granita, fennel rum, and campari limonata. Little vin santo jellies with almond candies. This is a serious dessert table.
12:30 am. The ragazzi have gone off to do whatever it is that ragazzi do. And this is the part of the evening, where over a little glass of desert wine, we kick back and figure out how to solve the world’s problems. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.