Thursday, 30 December 2010
'Tis the Season...and plans get changed - again and again!
This Christmas was going to be a bit different - for all of us. For me, personally, it was the first christmas that my grandmother wasn't around. She passed away early in the year. For The Lovely Wife, it was her first Christmas without her father, who passed away in September. With that, traditions and what we normally do on Christmas would be different.
Usually on Christmas Eve, The Lovely Wife, kids and I go to her parents house where we are joined by the other siblings and sometimes TLW's uncle and family for Christmas Eve dinner. That has been the tradition ever since I got married. My parents on the other hand, usually go to my Grandmothers house.
This year, the original plan was to have Christmas Eve dinner at our place with TLW's family and my parents. However, all plans sometimes go awry and TLW got called back to work for something urgent on the 22nd and she reckoned she could possibly be tied up on the 24th as well. So... we decided to call off Christmas Eve dinner and notified the rest of the family to 'go do their own thing.'
Come Christmas Eve however, The Lovely Wife managed to finish off all that she had to do and my parents suggested that we go out for dinner. I suggested to The Lovely Wife that we get her family over after dinner for dessert as I had already made the dessert. We could all then open up our presents as we would normally do on Christmas Eve. That sounded like a good plan.
Late in the afternoon of the 24th, we were out shopping and so on the way home, we decided to stop at a restaurant nearby to make reservations for dinner. Would you believe that at 4pm, they were already fully booked for Christmas Eve dinner? And here we thought that everyone would be at home on Chrissy Eve!
I decided then that rather than go out somewhere I would cook a simple meal. As I said, dessert had already been made the day before so it was just deciding on the main meal. I decided to keep it really simple and just get some bread and toss up a pasta as well as some fried sausages. That would be enough for my parents and the 4 of us.
It was then that The Lovely Wife asked if since I was already cooking, could I make extra and invite her family over as well, rather than just getting them to come for dessert. No Problem!
So...rather than just make one pasta, I made two. TLW's family bought some Pizza too and brought that over so there was plenty. It was really good having everyone over and the meal was enjoyed by all.
So for Christmas Eve Dinner, this was what we had:
Pasta Salmone - Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Portobello Mushrooms in a creamy sauce lightly flavoured with Salmon stock and tomatoes.
Spicy Vegetarian Pasta - Zuchini, Fresh Thai Basil and Red Capsicum tossed in Chilli Flakes
Sausages fried with Basil
Triple layered Chocolate delight - Oreo base layer, baked mousse layer with nuts and topped with a final layer of Chocolate Mousse.
Not forgetting the garlic bread and the bought pizza :)
Dessert didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to, but it was still a mighty delicious dessert nonetheless. I had wanted the baked layer of the dessert to be softer but it turned out more like a brownie thanks to me adding in too much flour, forgetting that the cocoa would act as a binder as well. (I redid the layer a few days later and I'll post about that soon - I hope!)
We didn't put up the Christmas tree either this year either so the kids decided that our reading light was going to be the Imaginary Christmas Tree...
...and all the presents were placed under this light in lieu of the tree. After all, the tree is usually place in this spot anyway!
A week earlier, I had ordered a new TV for the family as prior to this we were still in the Stone Age with an old CRT TV - thats Cathode Ray Tube TV for those that have never seen a fat old TV Set before. I took the opportunity to take a picture on Christmas Eve night since all the other presents were being opened and this was by far the biggest present! Note the small ribbon that we put on the TV...
Now we have the latest but probably not the greatest, but still a marked improvement to what we used to have! The kids love it and so does The Lovely Wife! I have to admit that watching football(soccer) on the big screen is so much more fun - especially so when I have hooked up the sound to my audio system!
The best part about this dinner was getting the whole family together. Christmas Eve dinner is rarely about the food and more about just getting together with lots of love and laughter!
Merry Christmas Everyone and a Blessed New Year ahead!