I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like I’ve been going non-stop since Friday, and haven’t stopped yet! Just need to make it to Monday and we’ll be in the homestretch. Or that’s the plan anyway.
OK, let’s see where we left off… ah, yes, Christmas Eve. I was incredibly organized all throughout the day. I dragged The Husband and Nicholas with me to do a few last minute errands in the morning and then made a few of our pre-dinner munchies in the early afternoon. I was doing SO GOOD … until I went to start gathering things to set the table. You may recall that our house has been on the market. We’ve packed up a lot of stuff that is sitting very peacefully in a storage unit (all the better to make the house look bigger), and a lot of my “entertaining stuff” was packed up then. For some reason, I packed half a set of brown napkins, leaving me with only 4. That’s fine for everyday dinner, but won’t exactly work when company is coming. I know my family would have thought paper napkins were fine, but when I put effort into decorating and coordinating the dinner table, I just couldn’t do it.
So there I am, an hour and half before everyone arrives, frantically calling a few stores to find one still open, and luckily I did. Dashed off to get the napkins and made it back home with an hour to spare. Luckily I had made most of the pre-dinner stuff already, and wasn’t planning on starting the Cioppino until everyone got here, but the lesson was definitely there. Check table setting stuff before you go to use it!
I actually stuck very close to the original planned menu, only nixing the salads along the way. Everything was good, and we even took the time to match wines with each course this time, which was a nice addition. The Spuma di Tonno was a big hit, with the bowl nearly wiped out before dinner (a tried-and-true for us, and a snap to make). The Cioppino is hearty, simple to make and encompasses a lot of the fish for our Feast of Seven Fishes, which is a nice perk.
After dinner, we all relaxed and watched Chevy Chase’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation over the French tradition of 13 desserts. Some sixteen years later, and that movie still makes me laugh, and language notwithstanding, Nicholas has a new favorite too. He finally crashed around 11:30 that night, eagerly waiting for Santa’s visit, with us all bunking at my parent’s house. Christmas Day morning started with our strange, but loved, tradition of Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast, and then for our dinner, we continued our new tradition of take-out, going for Italian this time.
Our living room won’t be the same for a few more days – still finding space for the Christmas presents. I got a bunch of kitchen goodies and other fun stuff … new cookbooks, napkin rings, placemats, Rachael Ray’s pasta pot (yay!), table runners, a massage chair (double yay!) and more stuff that I still need to find space for. I’ve gotten in the habit of leaving my clothes on our bedroom radiator so they’re nice and toasty when I get dressed in the morning. One of the gifts from The Husband was a towel warmer rack, a nice, albeit safer, alternative – very cool! Nicholas picked out a few presents for me, and made adorable choices. He got a pair of rubber spatulas – one smaller one for himself, and a larger one for me. Too cute. He also got one of those diner-style straw dispensers. He has great taste – The Husband said he chose everything all by himself. I think I got 6 new cookbooks in total, so we’ll have to start breaking those in. In fact, I made two new recipes from one of the cookbooks tonight, but that’s a topic for tomorrow.
I’ll leave you with a few pictures from Christmas Eve/Day. Tonight we had our holiday dinner with The Neighbors, and that recap is on tap for tomorrow. Until then, hope your holiday was a wonderful one.
What a cute reindeer you have! I actually didn’t get any new cookbooks this year, but I might get one or two on my own. Had a great Christmas as it sounds like you did, too!