Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Texas Size Christmas Dinner

One thing is for sure............if you are with us at Christmas in Texas, you will not go hungry.  Every year we create an enormous feast.  Grandma worried about the festivities from her hospital bed.  She went over menus with Sheila one day.  The next day I sat by her bed side and wrote out the grocery list and recipes that only grandma had stored in her memory.  The day after that, Judy started her holiday baking for the big dinner and Susan and I made the dreaded trip to Kroger's to fill up the shopping cart.  Then that night and the next day all of grandma's "girls" started the cooking process.  Occasionally we would recruit one of the guys to do a kitchen chore.

This is Aunt Judy's, Betty Crocker's Cookbook.  It's one of her go-to books!  She's got it stuffed full of internet recipes that she has printed off too.  We all love that Judy is the baker in the family!
This year she stepped in and made grandma's pies.  Grandma requested that pappaw have his pumpkin pie and to make sure that we used the recipe on the back of the Libby's pumpkin pie filling can!  She told me in the hospital that we could use Kroger's brand of pumpkin pie filling but make sure you use Libby's recipe!  Judy also made pecan pie.....
We all look forward to Aunt Judy's home made from scratch Christmas cookies.  They get devoured every Christmas.  The little ones love the Santa cookies.......
Judy added the chocolate cherry cookies to her assortment starting last year.  They are perfect small bite sizes of chocolaty cherry sweetness.....
and here are her reindeer cookies......she was icing them "smooth" when Uncle Steve walked in the kitchen and offered to help.  He iced his "furry" to give his more realistic impression!
These did not last long once they arrived at grandma's house !
and the never fails standard sugar cookie with icing and sprinkles..........nothing better!
Aunt Judy was also in charge of baking the bread.  She had grandma's recipe for homemade rolls and Lyndsey was a big help with getting all the rolls ready to rise!
Lyndsey girl made the best formed rolls!  They went fast when everyone was going through the dinner line.  We will for sure be seeing Lyndsey in the kitchen from now on.  She so enjoyed helping her mom and aunts with the food prep.....
We made these "Chinese buffet" green beans to snack on while getting Christmas dinner put together.  Aaron stood at the stove and did most of the work for these tasty beans.  Blanch the green beans before adding to sauteed white onion in olive oil.  Then "fry" the beans in the skillet adding garlic powder, soy sauce and powdered ginger.....
Aunt Susan and Stephanie put our favorite romaine/broccoli salad together.  Romaine lettuce, broccoli, green onions, red grapes, toasted ramen noodles & pecan pieces topped with a dressing of sugar, red wine vinegar and canola oil....

This is a family favorite.  We made it early in the day and snacked on it as well.......
Garrett watched as Aunt Judy made her fresh spinach dip.....
and Lyndsey helped her assemble it......
Aunt Patti frying up a pound of bacon for her layered salad......
Grandma's girls gathered around the dining room table telling stories and working on dinner.....
Uncle Russell spent time in the kitchen this year!  Here he is making the glaze that went on the ham.  The next day he made us chili and sour kraut hot dogs!

Aunt Judy made fried sweet potatoes which were awesome!  And here are some of those homemade rolls after they came out of the oven.....
Rory worked in the kitchen too.  He was in charge of stirring the rue that went into Sheila's home made mac n cheese.  Garrett was hoping it would cook up faster than it was!  Gabby's corn casserole is sitting next to the stove top......
Miss Natalie ran through the kitchen a few times snatching up some dill pickles off the relish trays......
Adam volunteered to slice up bacon to go with the green bean wraps.  This year grandma had seen a recipe where instead of doing the green bean bundles, you simplify it by layering all the ingredients in a baking pan.  The pound of bacon had to be cut into small squares.  Thank you Adam!
We had two turkeys.  Here is Russell carving the Cajun one with some oversight by Caleb....
Our big dinner was on Christmas Eve this year since Katie had to catch a flight early Christmas morning to get back to her nursing job.  So we opened gifts first (mainly because they were piled up all around the dining table and underneath it) and then ate dinner.  The little ones at their dinner after the adults since they had taken off into the playroom with their new treasures while we were eating.  Here they are around the dining table. 
And the moment that took our breath away.........Grandma dressed in her Christmas sweater and walking through the line taking samples of all the many dishes we prepared to her liking!
From the moment she was taken to the hospital the previous week, all she wanted was to get home in time for Christmas.......
Her wish was granted and it was a moment to always remember as we watched her enjoy Christmas dinner with her family.

2 comments:

  1. My Christmas prayer for Aunt Pat was answered! I am so thankful she spent Christmas with her family.

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  2. Thank you so much for these pictures. I'm so thankful Pat was able to enjoy Christmas with her family. She and Buddy are in my prayers.

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