I am cooking everything myself this year for Christmas dinner. For the past 10 years I have catered my holiday dinners. I did this not because I can't cook, quite the contrary, I am a chef by trade. I am a formally trained chef. I catered holiday dinners because I hated being stuck in the kitchen while everyone else was having a good time. I catered holiday dinners because I hated being exhausted with all the preparation, planning and shopping for EVERYTHING by myself. It just made sense to pick-up items fully prepared from Restaurants that I loved to dine at. So my now-estranged husband and I would make a menu and order. I was happy, he was happy, our friends and family were happy.
Usher in sweeping change; reversal of fortunes; limited resources--ah make that no resources. I am back to prepping and planning and preparing food...and I am loving it. Let me make it clear, I do not expect to take this on every year. But this year I am. Not because I am totally broke--because I am, but mainly because there is a sense of divinity in making a meal and sharing with loved ones. My friends are amazed and anxious to see what happens. Yes, they know I have skills, but a full Christmas feast...well that is another story. I am ready. I created a budget, I have poured over countless cookbooks at my house and online. I have narrowed it down and created a menu. I shopped for the freshest ingredients and have begun the prepping. Even my kids are fascinated with my focus--they are ready to help and I am going to let them.
So here is my menu:
Roasted Turkey, stuffed with apples, garlic, thyme, oranges and onions,
Jazz Stuffing--not quite traditional, but not haute cuisine either,
Potato and Sweet Potato Torte
Sauteed Collard Greens
North African Spice Carrots
Mediterranean Herb Green Salad
Vegan Baked Macaroni and Cheez---this is made without cheese--it is delicious!
Vegan red velvet cupcakes for dessert